Gig Review: Malevolence at Rescue Rooms

Words: Jake Longhurst
Photos: Rae Dowling
Thursday 15 February 2024
reading time: min, words

Arguably Britain’s best hardcore band, Sheffield’s Malevolence have been paving a trail for themselves that seems to be nearly impossible to miss, although why would you want to? 

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The Steel City has a reputation for some of the best music the UK can provide, with the likes of Oli Sykes and co in Bring Me The Horizon, the magnificent While She Sleeps, hard rockers Def Leppard, and even little indie bands like the Arctic Monkeys. However, none of these can quite touch Malevolence for one thing, and that is brute force.

Having taken on the challenge of a large UK tour recently and triumphed in stunning fashion, they’ve chosen to revisit the smaller venues that helped them get to the lofty heights they’ve achieved thus far, doing a victory lap of some exquisite gig venues to send them off, with Rescue Rooms marking the Nottingham stop on the tour.


Not a band to shy away from helping the community, Malevolence have their own label MLVLTD, and routinely take some of the small artists on there out on tour. One such band, joining them on this trip, was Rough Justice. The Sheffield group released their latest album in early January of this year to a flurry of excellent reviews, and proved themselves a mighty force in person too.

Rescue Rooms was full to the brim by the time they walked out onstage to open the show, and they received a rowdy response indeed. Nottingham’s hardcore faithful make a formidable crowd, so with a lineup like this it was hard to think the room wouldn’t be at maximum volume and effort – and spoiler alert, the audience gave it their all. Rough Justice had a great reception, some very solid pits, and some singalongs too, but most importantly they garnered themselves plenty of new fans.


The main support hail from somewhere that’s a little further than Sheffield, and take a bit more than an EMR train to get to. Pain Of Truth are one of New York’s finest, and of course represented NYHC flawlessly. Songs like Blood On Your Hands and The Test stirred up a fierce reaction that was thoroughly deserved, and the rarity of Pain Of Truth sets in the UK made it all the fiercer. The band played ferociously and had some serious action going on the floor, before they finished up with a one-two punch of LINYHC into their self-titled track Pain Of Truth to stamp themselves well and truly into the memory of all onlookers.

Finally came the time for the act we’d all been waiting for, the mighty Malevolence. Opening their set with the title track of their incredible 2022 release Malicious Intent, the thirteen song setlist was full of choices from that very album. Straight after came Life Sentence, one of the other songs off of Malicious Intent that made it into the set on the night, before going into a slightly deeper cut with Slave To Satisfaction and then their most recent original offering Waste Of Myself, that was released on The Aggression Sessions split EP with Thy Art Is Murder and Fit For An Autopsy. 


This far into their set, there was no sign of anything but rapturous moshers, crowd members singing along, and the band revelling in the chaos they were causing. As the set went on, they ran back a couple more deep cuts like Remain Unbeaten and Severed Ties, as well as the sombre Higher Place.

Nearing the end of the show, most of the band left the stage as a drum solo took place that then gave the band and audience a brief respite, before they launched into Keep Your Distance which naturally gave way to yet more chaos, and wrapping everything up with On Broken Glass. Nottingham’s hardcore fans had been sated, and Malevolence once again showed why they reign triumphant over the UK’s hardcore scene.

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