Bloemfontein, South Africa: as USA death metal legend Malevolent Creation announces the release date for its thirteenth studio album – aptly titled The 13th Beast – we take stock in the fact that a South African musician features prominently in this new chapter for the band. Lee Wollenschlaeger, a Bloemfontein-based tattoo artist and local death metal stalwart, takes the role as vocalist and guitarist for The 13th Beast.
The 13th Beast: three decades of death metal
Malevolent Creation was formed in the town of Buffalo, New York by present-day rhythm guitarist Phil Fasciana and friends. Other longstanding founding members, although with periods of absence from the band, include Bret Hoffmann (vocals) and Jason Blachowicz (bass). Malevolent Creation appeared to cease existence for a brief period when Bret was found to be ill with cancer; from which he succumbed in July 2018, thirty-one years after forming the band.
However, Phil Fasciana demonstrates the persistent nature of death metal. Not accepting the end of the road, he recruited South Africa’s Lee Wollenschlaeger into the band.
“Lee was the missing link when I was searching for a new vocalist and guitarist. Each new member is a solid musician and songwriter sharing the same passion for extreme music MALEVOLENT CREATION has been striving for since 1987. I’m very proud of this album and look forward to present it live as well as songs from our massive back catalog, including stuff that hasn’t been played live in a long time. Or ever.” ~ Phil Fasciana
Lee returned home in September after a few weeks of recording for The 13th Beast. He will travel to rejoin his new band mates again in 2019 once The 13th Beast makes landfall.
“This is the biggest honour I could ever be given. The opportunity to front one of my all-time favourite bands, and an even bigger pleasure of jamming with such great people. We have created one of the most relentless albums of MALEVOLENT CREATION’s history. As a fan, I know we are going to shock a lot of people at how intense this new album is. Done in a way only MALEVOLENT CREATION can. I can’t wait to see all you guys on the road in 2019 and beyond” ~ Lee Wollenschlaeger
The 13th Beast: track list
01. ‘End The Torture’
02. ‘Mandatory Butchery’
03. ‘Agony For The Chosen’
04. ‘Canvas Of Flesh’
05. ‘Born Of Pain’
06. ‘The Beast Awakened’
08. ‘Bleed Us Free’
09. ‘Knife At Hand’
10. ‘Trapped Inside’
11. ‘Release The Soul’
A first song from the album will be released on November 30th, and The 13th Beast will arrive in full on 18 January, 2019, released by Century Media Records. Presales start on November 23rd.
Lee is not the first instance of a South African being recruited into an established international band. In 2012, Swedish Doom Metal band Draconian welcomed Heike Langhans, from Cape Town, into the band. In spite of very wary fans, Draconian released a monumental album in which the new vocals were widely well-received with Sovran in 2015.