New Years Day: Malevolence

Anaheim CA rockers New Years Day have been on the cusp of reaching the next level of success for quite some time now and after a decade long career their 3rd full length studio album and first for new label Another Century Records Malevolence should finally get them the recognition they so richly deserve.

Over the years the band has changed members as often as they’ve changed record labels, with lead singer Ashley Costello remaining the one true constant. The newest incarnation sees the band at the top of their game and producer Erik Ron was able to capture that rare lightning in a bottle moment for what is without a doubt the band’s best album to date.

Malevolence comes out swinging for the fences right out of the gate with lead single and video “Kill or Be Killed.” By the time it and the albums 2nd single and video for the title track “Malevolence” end, you’ll be left wondering why the incomparable Ms. Costello isn’t one of the biggest names in music today.

The album already has 3 videos, 4 if you count the lyric video for “Relentless,” which sounds like Beautiful Tragedy era In This Moment and the video for “Defame me”, which was brought back from the Epidemic EP for good reason, will no doubt draw comparisons to Evanescence and Within Temptation.

Killer cuts like “Left Inside” and “Save Myself From Me” find the band exploring their heavier side and if you didn’t think of them as a metal band before, by their conclusion you will. While “I’m About to Break You” and “Alone,” which are very similar to Paramore, have massive mainstream crossover appeal.

If you imagine Costello singing for the Deftones, you’d be pretty close to the sound of “Suffer” and speaking of crossing over, the sexual innuendo laced “Scream” crosses so many genre lines you’ll lose count.

Costello’s stunning ethereal vocals on “Your Ghost” show a maturity and confidence we’ve not seen or heard from her before and if the “Anthem of the Unwanted” doesn’t finally get this magnificent band the same respect as bands like Halestorm and The Pretty Reckless, there is simply no justice in the world.

Here’s the bottom line. Not only are the vocals stronger than ever, so is the song writing. A contender for the top 10 of the year list. 9 out of 10.

Eric Hunker