Home Read Classic Album Review: Malefaction | Crush the Dream

Classic Album Review: Malefaction | Crush the Dream

The Winnipeg grindcore outfit bruise your brain and expand your mind at once.


This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


“There’s something about this that’s so black, it’s like, how much more black could this be? And the answer is none — none more black.”
— Nigel Tufnel, Spinal Tap

Truer words were never spoken. Of course, Nigel was discussing the cover art for the Tap’s infamous Smell The Glove album when he said that. But he could just as easily have been weighing in on the sound of Winnipeg grind-core brigade Malefaction.

I think Nigel would like the ’faction. After all, if there ever was a band whose amps go to 11, it’s these boys. Long one of the heaviest, most fearsome bands on the local scene, this nine-year-old quartet — singer Travis Tomchuk, guitarist Clint Chirella, bassist Mike Klassen and drummer Cory Koss — produce a giant, unstoppable onslaught of mayhem and destruction that makes self-proclaimed “extreme” bands like Pantera seem like pantywaists. Bottom line: Malefaction are not your father’s metal band … unless your father is Lemmy from Motörhead.

Malefaction’s decade of aggression reaches its cataclysmic zenith with their third album Crush the Dream, their first release for local label G-7 Welcoming Committee. With 23 songs crammed into just 25 minutes, this sucker is a supercharged assault on the senses — music as a combat sport, if you will. Opening track No Positive Impact explodes out of your speakers with blazing guitars, psychotically frantic drumming and indiscernible blowtorch vocals. The 64-second burst of insanity is as quick and devastating as a sucker punch; before you know what’s hit you, it’s gone and you’re on your ass. And being kicked by the next frenzied, blood-thirsty track before you even get a chance to catch your breath. My advice: Stay down. After all — at least you know the brutality will all be over in a half-hour.

What you might not realize through the blood clogging your ears, though, is that the ’faction aren’t a bunch of low-IQ bruisers. Their songs are equal parts brawn and brain. Crush the Dream expresses the band’s dissatisfaction with a litany of societal evils — insatiable corporate greed (People Before Profit), religious wars (Kill Over Faith, Dead World Harvest), environmental destruction (Bled), pro-life violence (F— the League for Life), familial dysfunction (Abused and Unloved), ethnic cleansing (Keeping Out of Harm’s Way) and racism (No Sympathy), to name a few. Make no mistake, this is a band with plenty to say, even if you need the thoughtfully provided lyric sheet to decipher a single syllable of Tomchuk’s primal white-noise shriek and subterranean bellowing.

Botom line: Crush the Dream is an album that will bruise your brain and expand your mind at the same time. How much cooler could that be? The answer, of course, is none — none more cooler.