Band – Malevich

Album – Trembling and Dowsed

Country of Origin – USA

Genre – Sludge/Grind/Indie/Electronica

Release Date – 4/26/2024

Label – Roman Numeral Records

Author – Hayduke X




I first met Malevich at a basement show in Muskegon, Michigan when they were touring for “Our Hollow,” the band’s second full length release. You can see a video of that set here. I’ve been a pretty big fan ever since, so I’m a little embarrassed with the lack of coverage I’ve provided for the Atlanta quartet. “Our Hollow” took the number 19 spot in my Best of 2019 list, but given how consistently the album has stayed in my regular rotation, that should have been higher. Beyond that, I mentioned their inclusion on a comp in a monthly round-up (see the interview below for more on said comp) and also as a point of comparison in another review. Until today, I haven’t actually given them a full review. Apologies, y’all.


The four tracks on “Trembling and Dowsed” all go in different directions, in one case, dramatically so. The promotional material I received describes them as ‘experimental blackened hardcore,’ which is as good of a description as any. My description of Sludge/Grind/Indie/Electronica above also fits the bill, at least for this specific release. Basically, the music created by this project is a Frankenstein’s monster of dark and bleak sounds, stitched together in a visceral melange of power and precision. 


Opening track Irène Jacob is a minimalist helping of sludge over waves of desolate electronica. The band’s multipronged vocal attack stays harsh on this one, but at least two voices are present. Red to Gold is more typical of past work, with a righteous sludge grind stew. The band makes no bones about their radical left political views (solidarity!) and this track shows that in full bloom, with lyrics including:


Let the blood flow from veins to fill pockets 

Life stream of capital from periphery to base 

Marked with red converted to gold


I Can Hear It Constantly, Without Relent is quite a departure from what they’ve written in the past, giving us dreamy slowcore with haunting clean vocals (in addition to some harsh ones). As with everything else they try, they absolutely nail it. I hope this continue to be incorporated into their repertoire going forward, while also hanging onto the nasty they are known for. The final track, Inalienable, jumps back to the brutal with the grindiest track on the EP. Another openly political song, they give us some hope with the final lyrics: 


Salvation in solidarity 

Our desire our hope our love in solidarity 


“Trembling and Dowsed” is wonderful and disturbing and brutal. The band, once again, makes me feel and think in visceral and important ways. If this is a taste of what’s to come, then I think I need to hear the new album immediately. Be sure to go back to check out the band’s prior discography as well. It is all very, very worth it. 

For now, press play, then go see them on tour (details above this sentence), and then go read my interview with the band. Michiganders please note that they are at the Regal Beagle in Ypsilanti on May 5th. Sell it out.



Hayduke X: Congratulations on the upcoming release of “Trembling and Dowsed,” and thanks for sending it over for an advance listen. I’ve been digging it a lot. How are you all feeling about it as we approach release day?


Malevich: We are really excited to get the EP out! So far the response has been really positive, especially to the different sonic spaces we explore on this release. 


HX: Does the EP have a singular connected theme? Or is it a collection of four songs that didn’t fit elsewhere?


Malevich: They’re songs that were written together. If there’s a theme it’s that we were exploring where we wanted to go musically after “Our Hollow,” which is also why the songs are so different from each other. We constantly try to do different things with the many influences that we pull from while still making it (hopefully) cohesive. For example, while we’ve been inspired by drone and ambient music since day one, “Irène Jacob” was our first real attempt to incorporate sounds akin to Tim Hecker or Ben Frost to the extent that we now use a sampler at our live shows. 


HX: Tell me about the lyrical themes of the different tracks.


Malevich: Josh wrote the lyrics with some tweaking by Sasha who composes most of the vocal patterns. We definitely continue the theme of contemporary life in what is often called late-stage capitalism, whether that be social alienation or actual physical violence. There’s a mix of critique and philosophical ponderings in there. Some songs are more socially-oriented while others are more personal. Red to Gold and Inalienable more obviously display disgust at imperialism and the violence that it brings on people in the pursuit of business profits. Irène Jacob is largely inspired by a combination of “Red” and “Blue” from Krzysztof Kieślowski’s “Three Colours” films and shares elements of feelings of isolation with the third track, which is easily our softest to date. 


HX: You have a lot of different musical influences throughout the EP, and really across your discography. How do you make so many disparate styles come together so well?


Malevich: Do they? We hope so and we’re glad that they seem to come together to you! It’s honestly been a constant concern whether we are able to bring about different things and have them still make sense as a whole. It’s harder when you’re the ones creating it so you inherently lack that third-person experience. We’ve always wanted to write albums, EPs, etc. that flow and are an experience within themselves rather than feeling like a bunch of songs slapped together. It helps that bands like Converge or even Deftones have proven that it IS possible but the anxiety is still there sometimes. 


HX: I Can Hear It Constantly, Without Relent seems like a fairly unique musical take for Malevich in its quieter, more subtle approach. What is the reasoning behind that?


Malevich: Honestly it just comes down to wanting to write a song like that. It was a challenge to ourselves in a way. All of us have a history of playing in post-rock or slowcore inspired bands and we still are in love with those genres. We wanted to incorporate more actual singing and piano, which were both done by Connor, and that song was the result. 

HX: I thought I remembered seeing that you were working on a full length. Am I misremembering? Is that still on-going? If so, why choose a shorter EP at this time.


Malevich: Oh we still are. We’re recording in August up at Machines With Magnets in Rhode Island, actually. This EP was recorded back in 2021 and has been sitting as we found a label to work with (huge shout out to Paul and Eeli at Roman Numeral!), Sasha did the artwork, and we got our ducks in a row. We spent most of last year not touring so that we could focus on writing the full length and now that we are done writing we are able to tour and whatnot, so it’s perfect timing really. 


HX: Tell me about the creation process of the EP.


Malevich: As with virtually everyone else it was our pandemic project. We took a while off when things were really weird, and when we got back together, Connor had his new house with a studio space. After writing and recording Impedance from the four-way split we did in 2021, we went into the EP with the desire to fully spread our wings and touch on genres and sonic territory we hadn’t been able to in the past. We wrote “Our Hollow” in our dirty basement and had shitty demos. Now we are able to write music with the backing of a full studio set up behind us. This gave us space to demo and experiment with layers and vocals in a way we couldn’t before. We wrote, recorded, and mixed everything in house, taking extra time to iron out all the details. 


HX: “Trembling and Dowsed” will be released by Roman Numeral. How did you end up with that label?


Malevich: Eeli reached out to us first! Both he and Paul, the two who run the label, have been extremely enthusiastic about working with us. Besides the fact that their roster kicks ass we have been so stoked to be working with people who have a genuine appreciation and respect for what we are doing. Paul does most of the graphic design for all of the releases on the label, which he is amazing at, and he was great for Sasha to work with. Sasha illustrated the artwork and had the entire concept, which Paul was absolutely down to help make happen. For Eeli’s part he’s been doing a great job at the press aspect of things and he also made the music video for Irène Jacob. It has truly been a collaborative project in every way. 

HX: Tell me about your upcoming tour with Aseethe. What can we expect at those shows?


Malevich: Both of us to play and for Aseethe to do better than us. Their new album is fantastic and we are stoked to tour with a band that we’ve been fans of for sometime. We’re also playing with a lottt of incredible bands on the tour. Cloud Rat, Nuvolascura, Eye Flys, Sunrot, Senza, Infant Island.. We’re also playing this incredible festival in Providence headlined by The World Is.. plus Frail Body, Hundreds of Au, and others. 


HX: I know Sasha once again created the incredible art. Tell me about that process and what you’re trying to convey?


Malevich: I went into this project with the intention to create art and packaging that stood out as a stand alone piece of art. To start, I had the idea of an outer cover with a custom die-cut that would showcase an internal image. I toyed with the idea of printing directly onto the record itself and showing that through the hole, but after discussing it with the label and the production team we settled on the idea of there being an internal printed piece. The external sleeve illustration was a mixed media drawing/painting made with graphite, ink, gouache, and pen. The internal print was drawn entirely digitally. As far as what I wanted to convey, I wanted an image (or set of images) that showed an arc from despondent loss to regrowth, all backed by the emotional tone of the songs. 

HX: What’s next for the band?


Malevich: Recording LP3 in August, touring the UK for the first time in September (very exciting), and just more touring. 


HX: What else should we know? What have I missed?


Malevich: We were recently featured on a compilation that helps raise money for Palestinian children enduring the ethnic cleansing that is still happening in Gaza. The proceeds have gone to MECA for Peace. If people want to check that out and give to something that actually matters, the compilation features other bands like Thou, Twitching Tongues, END, Terminal Nation, and dozens of others from around the world. 



Biography:  Hayduke X has been writing for MoshPitNation since June of 2016. He is also a contributor to The Metal Wanderlust. Prior to joining the MoshPitNation team, Hayduke published reviews on his own blog Rage and Frustration. In addition, he has DJ’ed an online metal radio show of the same name as his blog, written for, done interviews for Metal Rules, and collaborated with The Art of B Productions to create video interviews with a wide variety of bands.