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Happy Halloween bitches!!! - 84%

hells_unicorn, March 25th, 2012

England has definitely been making the rounds on the thrash metal scene of late, but they found a real winner in Evile. Spawned from bowels of Huddersfield, this band lays down the riffs like Metallica used to when they were actually worth a damn. Picture a somewhat groovier yet twice as effective answer to “…And Justice For All” and you’ll be on the right track for how their first little EP “All Hallows Eve” comes out. Granted, Matt Drake plays his part a little too well and comes off as damn near an outright Hetfield clone, but the band at least has the gusto and chops to back it up.

While the likes of Violator and Fueled By Fire are busy trying to break the sound barrier while somewhat resembling the spirit of early 80s Metallica, this band grabs on to the latter 80s model, with maybe a slight helping of early Slayer to go along with it, and the results are nothing short of brilliant. Guitarist Ol Drake ups the ante and actually outclasses Kirk Hammett at damned near every turn, offering a more varied alternative to the one-trick pony with a love for pentatonic scales that has been cutting heads with Metallica for near 30 years now.

For the most part, this is a band that has a tendency to keep things in more of a moderate pace, mixing a healthy amount of fast and slow to give the would be head banger a break from the all out assault on his vertebrae he’d normally be getting. The likes of “The Living Dead” and “All Hallows Eve” resemble latter day Kreator circa 1992 than they do much else, or maybe even “Seasons In The Abyss” era Slayer, resulting in a pair of songs that bring more of a chunky feel to the occasion. The former sounds dangerously close to “Harvester Of Sorrow”, minus the quirky clean sections, which are actually made up for in a haunting acoustic outro in “Torment”.

Perhaps the biggest surprise to be found on this independently put together masterpiece is the nod to Metallica’s “Of Wolf And Man” that occurs at the onset of “Killer From The Deep”, a song which is otherwise cut from the faster side of the coin and resembles a full out thrasher from “Master Of Puppets” once it gets going. In actuality, the only song on here that really attempt to outright thrash the jeans square off the listener is “Dawn Of Destruction”, which takes several cues from Motorhead and speeds from start to finish, adding in a little bit of a Nuclear Assault flavor to the riff assault just for good measure.

All in all, this is a solid first offering from a band that definitely has an eye for realizing their ambitions. While many of the younger thrash outfits seem hell bent not only for leather, but also for the outer reaches of the metronome, Evile has decided to make their mark in a much more subtle way. It’s definitely a winner for those who took more to the moderated approach of the early 90s with albums as “Horrorscope” and “Persistence Of Time”, a time when the crossover tendencies of the genre became a bit more pronounced yet hadn’t degenerated quite to the point of Pantera territory yet.

Evile - All Hallows Eve - 94%

Plodman, August 23rd, 2006

Ok – just a foreword before I explain in detail a little more about this EP; Why are these guys not signed?! I think from that you can gather that perhaps, it’s more than slightly above average in quality.

I’d better get to the songs in hand. The EP is just over half an hour long, pretty generous considering it’s only an EP, that’s longer than quite a few albums, so in terms of listening time they’re hardly ripping us off. But is it all filler? Or is it immense? The latter. The album kicks off with killer from the deep, an epic track in itself, beginning with the razor-blade sharp guitar tones slamming you in the face like a sledgehammer, before cranking up a few gears into a riff, well and what a fucking riff. Get banging your head, but be ready to check in for whiplash by the end of the album!

Next track is another highlight, takes no prisoners, and there’s a speedy little solo to introduce you to the song before the main riff kicks in. In this song Evile certainly show us how having 2 guitarists is a distinct advantage, using the second to add more depth and melody to the music. An interlude greets us about half way through, calming down a little before the gain comes back in slowly, topped with an ultra-melodic solo of the highest order. The song closes with a soft acoustic outro before the next thrash behemoth.

Third track, Prophecy, I’d have to put down as the weakest track on the album. Not to say it’s crap, oh no, it’s still far better than the vast majority of crap labelled as music in the industry. Catchy chorus too, can’t complain there, and the soloing is top-fucking-notch, hell this is the worst song on here and it still annihilates! Bang that fucking head!

Now here we have The Living Dead, the way this one begins, hinting at the riff to follow, is bloody ace. What thrash album is complete without a song about zombies?! Especially when it’s as good as this! A little pause, then the vocalist begins. Oh yeah thought I might add that the vocals are yet another highlight, his style fits the music perfectly, rough yet not quite shouting, and all are perfectly audible. “A life of death broke and decayed, They walk again to bleed the day” gotta love it. Song speeds up, and there is some beeeyuuuuwtiful soloing that really shows off Ol Drake’s guitar talents. The staple riff comes back, and the eerie haunting moans of the living dead can be heard, this is how samples should be used. Followed by some more melodic leads, over Matt Drake’s screams of ‘the living dead!’.

Final full song on here, the title track, begins with a decent riff and a little solo. Hell these riffs are infectious as hell, if you’re not banging your head I ask why?! Also, amazing gang-vocals are used in this song, besides from the crystal clear production, there’s nothing to separate this from the thrash greats of the 80s. After the second verse, up goes the tempo, and it’s really time to make the neck ache. In comes an epic solo that is carried effortlessly by the sublime riffing. You would have thought by 2003 that this stuff wasn’t original any more? But somehow these guys prove us very wrong.

Finally, to finish off the album, torment, an acoustic instrumental that fades in, the calm after the storm so to speak, a nice way to finish off the album. Not one flaw with this, expertly done. I’m giving this EP such a high score because it really does deserve it, considering it was self-produced it manages to shine so well and all of the member’s abilities are on show. Well done to the guys in Evile, and they’re even better live. The energy! One of the best thrash albums (Ok so it’s an EP, but I’m going to class it as an album since it’s long enough) to come out in a good few years, oh, and their ‘Hell demo’ is even better!