Monday 9 August 2021

An Introduction To Bleeding Malice: Interview + Thy Kingdom Come Review

I came to the realisation a while ago that the blog had lost it's way a little bit. I was too focused on reviews and had become disillusioned with sending out endless interviews that never got answered. I was going through some e-mails around the same time and I received one from Belarussian dark deathcore/metalcore band Bleeding Malice. They asked if I could interview them regarding their debut album Thy Kingdom Come, to which I agreed. 

Bleeding Malice was formed in 2020 by composer/bassist Olga Kann and vocalist Alex Rabets, though the band has expanded to a four-piece for the album with the addition of Sergey Pinchuk and Sergey Kuvizenkov on guitars. It was Olga who kindly answered my questions, which as well as being about the band and the album, also tied in slightly to my will to dig deeper into the lives and socio-political situations behind those who make music. Many of you will be aware of the current repression taking place within Belarus at the hands of their increasingly dictatorial regime. The answers that Olga gave don't directly reference that repression,  but it's clear to see that things are difficult in the country, as they have are across the globe.

1. I want to start by asking about the how Bleeding Malice formed. Were any of you in previous bands? How did you decide to start Bleeding Malice?

In fact, like any previous project, this band began with a challenge. It originally planned to play hardcore to take out the accumulated anger and fatigue just for fun. The project started with 3 people: bassist-composer, vocalist and drummer. As a result, everything went as usual not according to plan and grew into heavier, darker and more evil material. In the end, the drummer said that we were too depressed and left us to play punk. 

We have many guitarists in our country, but they all hide far away in the bushes or are busy with their own business. Probably, it has been this way since the days of the partisans. Finding a permanent, motivated guitarist who is not busy with his projects is a whole quest. So bassist-composer called his old friend in session to record the guitars. A little later new permanent guitarist joined the project. Therefore, for the live line-up we still have vacant places for the second guitarist and drummer.

About our other projects, the bassist-composer and the vocalist have a couple of projects of completely different genres. In this year, a new album by Withered Land (epic atmospheric black project) is released, for example.

2. My knowledge of Belarussian bands is small but those I have listened to, including Eximperitus and Pa Vesh En, have been very heavy and dark. What is special about the bands and the heavy music community in Belarus compared to other countries?

In fact, we ourselves know the local scene rather poorly too. New collectives constantly formed, but then they fade away. Not so many bands go a long way. In our country, due to economic, political and other conditions, it is not so easy just to live, and even more so to be creative. Regarding the gloom/dark of the local scene, Belarusians really know a lot about pain. We have many hardworking people; we work hard and suffer a lot. We are also very patient. It is a pity that this does not always apply to creativity. So it goes.

3. You will shortly be releasing your debut album Thy Kingdom Come, which includes lyrical content about social issues, religion and human emotion. What influenced your lyrics?

Life influenced it. On the one hand, the vocalist drew more inspiration from more understandable and truly human feelings. Some songs inspired by their own experience, some by films / books / stories. An existential theme part was introduced by the bassist-composer, not tied to specific stories, to the suffering of an ordinary person.  Rather to general metaphorical concepts. Therefore, the content of the album, songs and the overall musical component turned out to be both sincere and simple, and at the same time philosophical, pompous and existentially deep.

4. Following that previous question; you talk about the album being a story. Is it purely fictional or is it rooted in real life? How does it relate to life in Belarus at the present time, if at all?

Partly there are references to real life; partly general existential moments are touched upon, as I wrote earlier. This is partly due to life here. But still, it seems to me that in any place you can be absolutely anyone. Reality is a rather shaky concept. We often do not notice many things around us; we do not want to notice. Everyone focuses on what is important to him. Or what cannot be denied. We are all, to some extent, hostages of morality, but in fact, we are always on the other side of good and evil. Some of the songs on the album respond to this theme and show "what if" and "good that is not".

5. Moving onto something a little lighter, how excited are you about the album’s release?

It's hard to say, on the one hand this is one of the fastest releases for us. Most of the completed projects accumulated many years in the composer's drawer. And their implementation required a lot of determination, time and nerves. The same album seemed to have been made in one breath. Not without difficulties, of course, they always happen. However, this time, 2 motivated people just went and made it possible. Because there was a lot to say. And somehow everything worked out so harmonic, the concept, the music, the lyrics. Well, we think it worked out well. We do not hope to become famous all over the world. Nevertheless, it was necessary to us to share this with the world, for those for whom the album can become a revelation and give new supports for life. Yes, despite the fact that the album is too depressing, and without a happy end, it still speaks in several dimensions. Moreover, hope does not play a last role in it, albeit in a slightly different way.

6. As well as being a fan of heavy music, I’m also becoming more interested in how bands promote themselves and how they push their music to new listeners. How do you plan to promote Bleeding Malice and your album going forwards? 

Many a little makes a mickle, as says. Now I like to collaborate with webzines, magazines, I focus on collectors of physical merch and like to use more classical methods. My colleague bets more on Spotify and digital distribution. Anyway, I can only guessing which works best. Everything is useful.

7. As musicians and performers, how do you think music consumption and gigs/touring will change following the Covid-19 pandemic? Do you think live streaming events will become more popular and do you plan to play live when you’re able to?

About gigs.
To be honest, I am absolutely disappointed with live lineups (for many of the above reasons). And so far it is difficult to say whether this project will be able to position itself as live-band in the future. Everything has definitely changed in this world and so far we have not seen any improvement, everything will only get worse (in terms of live performances). We all were be putted under a dome. And we will be here as long as it is beneficial for the ruling elite. We live in some kind of fucking post-irony. In the "World War Z". And 15 years ago, just starting music life, it was difficult for me to imagine that this world would come to this. I played a lot of concert, organized it too. I don’t recognize the situation around me. For me, the format of online concerts is still wild, although I'm not such a dinosaur. But the very essence of the concerts is lost from this, it is better then to watch a beautifully produced music-video. 

About music consumption.

Also difficult question. A positive trend is likely to emerge here. If not one "but" for every band. With the growth of technology, the opportunity for music production also grows, the number of bands and competition grows. We are all drowning in information noise. If believe Google, 200 to 300 songs are released every day (but in reality, probably much more), huh, can you imagine that number? People have more time and opportunities to listen to new music; that's becoming more accessible thanks to the Internet and streaming services. However, the music itself is getting more. At the same time, the old classics titan-bands do not diminish their positions. Sitting under the dome, what else to do, how not to listen to music, watch movies and read books? People will listen to music more and that's a fact. The only question is whose music will be listened to. 

I’m talking too much haha. In any case, it is always pleasant for a listener to find new projects for themselves. And as for a musician - to find new listeners. Each such "meeting" of two understanding parties is very valuable.

Thanks a lot for your questions! I hope you and the readers find something interesting in the answers.

Labels: Self-Released

Formats: CD/Digital

Release Date: 06 Aug 2021


1. The Last Prayer

2. I Claim Death

3. No Remorse, No Redemption

4. Coming Home

5. Thy Kingdom Come

6. A Wolf Among Sheep

7. Bleed

8. Stillborn Hope

9. Nothing Left Worth Living For

Apologies for the delay in posting this feature, I had my second Covid jab on Saturday and while I only had minor side-effects on Sunday as a result, I felt more tired and ached as the day went on. I feel more alive this evening so attempting to dissect the debut album from Bleeding Malice is the right thing to do. Darkness was always expected when hitting play on album opener ‘The Last Prayer’ but that darkness is punctuated heavily with technical musicianship and plenty of old-school metalcore influences too. The deathcore tag doesn’t come across as prominently, except in the vocals, which veer from higher pitched scream to a low growl.

I can’t quite make out whether Bleeding Malice use a drum machine or not, but the member/instrument listing on their bandcamp page doesn’t list percussion as one of those, so it’s possible. Either way, it doesn’t do them any harm and I’m not that idiot on Facebook who questions bands about their use of analog/digital drums. ‘I Claim Death’ is a blasting mix of both new-school and old-school metal approaches, all wrapped up in an intense package.

Despite the darkness that’s entwined within this release, there’s also subtle light as well. It’s encased in the opening bars of ‘No Remorse, No Redemption’ and carries through during further passages of the song thanks to synths (I think? Or at least well disguised guitar) and some masterful lead work. So far this record is a real surprise! In a time when both deathcore and metalcore have both become very copycat, Bleeding Malice seems to be breathing new life into the sub genres without breaking a sweat. The slight sludgy undertones of ‘Coming Home’ make that last statement all the more real and add so much atmosphere to the recording as well.

The title track ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ begins with a spoken word portion of the well known prayer, only then to descend into a haunting yet groovy death metal song, with some clever choral elements too. Not what I was expecting at all but it’s great to have curveballs in albums like this. It shows the breadth of their song-writing and performance. Things go back in a more brutal direction on ‘A Wolf Among Sheep’ and while their brutal might not be your br00tal, there’s still plenty of neck-snapping tempos and death metal to grab on to.

‘Bleed’ is another great example of how Bleeding Malice create shorter songs that still have plenty of impact. A song being less than three minutes in length doesn’t mean it has to be an afterthought when it comes to progression. It’s pulled off brilliantly throughout this album. Penultimate song ’Stillborn Hope’ is hard-hitting from the off, though it’s structure seems a little familiar, in a hardcore vein almost.

As endings go, you can’t get much bigger than the starkly titled ‘Nothing Left Worth Living For’. It’s tempo is slower, the overall feel is more cinematic and the vocals are the most scathing they’ve been throughout, at least these ears anyway. It’s a very befitting way to end. Debut albums don’t often make such waves within the underground metal community but Thy Kingdom Come makes it’s mark immediately. Bleeding Malice may well end up on plenty of end-of-year lists later in the year (or in early 2022 when the year’s actually over) and if they do, they really deserve it. 

You can stream and purchase the album on both physical CD and digital formats below:-

Bleeding Malice -

Thanks again to Olga and Bleeding Malice. Please go and check them out and support them!

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