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British glimmer of hope - 77%

Felix 1666, March 8th, 2018
Written based on this version: 2011, CD, Earache Records

No doubt, the greatest and most influential thrash bands originate from the US of A (Metallica, Slayer, Exodus...) or from Germany (Destruction, Kreator, Sodom), while the thrashing comrades from the United Kingdom either were not able to surpass a certain level (Xentrix, Slammer, D.A.M.) or they died a sudden death after a few albums (Sabbat). Evile from Huddersfield do not have the potential to dethrone the kings of the genre as well, because their mature form of thrash has many parallels to some outputs of Metallica (but not to the shitty ones like "Load"). This fact prevents a high degree of originality. Yet we know that uniqueness is no value in itself.

Evile's compositions lack insanity and unrest, the guys rather perform a dignified form of thrash. Fortunately, this does not exclude some speedy outbursts. The title track, for example, has some rapid and pretty intense sections. The whirling guitars during these parts give the song a vehement touch, while the well-defined chorus puts the emphasis on catchiness. Speaking of this feature, the group does not only score with catchy choruses ("Eternal Empire"). The band members have written very memorable riffs, too. "Cult" has bone-dry riffs, grows constantly and develops earworm qualities. This mid-paced piece combines melodic elements with an aggressive undertone. Exactly this mix and the clear, vigorous voice of the Hetfield-esque lead vocalist characterise a song that invites the listener to a casual headbanging session. Old dudes like me appreciate the fact that they do not need to overstress their neck musculature during this session, but on a more serious note, this is one of these songs which prove evidence that thrash metal is not only based on high velocity. This finding connects "Cult" with most tracks of Armoured Angel, although the legendary Australians and Evile do not have too much in common other than that.

The album profits from a very good production. "Five Serpent's Teeth" unites the best of two worlds. On the one hand, it scores with metallic robustness. The transparent, crunchy and mighty sound leaves no doubt that this metal band knows for what it stands for. On the other hand, they offer a mix that does not deter open-minded rock fans to give it chance. It's a modern yet organic sound, very well-balanced, voluminous and without any major deficiencies. Of course, these keepers of the Holy Grail who think that formations like Napalm Death or Agathocles are too commercial will say that the full-length sounds f**king polished, but we do not need to believe every word they speak.

Just believe ME, I am telling you the truth. Well, my very personal truth. Some call it just opinion... fools! However, I can assure you that there happens a lot on this album. The songs definitely do not lack substance and they avoid repetitiveness despite the luxurious playtime of 53 minutes. They are not progressively devised, nonetheless, one must invest time in order to decode the material completely. But it is definitely worth the effort, because lukewarm or lacklustre songs have not been recorded. I don't say that each and every cut hits the bull's eye, but even the credible ballad for their deceased bass player does not fall by the wayside, songs like the rasping "Xaraya" show the power of mid-paced pieces and the very direct "Long Live New Flesh" marks a brilliant, blustery closer. I am sure that the four dudes took care of every detail during the recordings without killing a certain spontaneity. In this light, I have respect for the professional ethics of these guys. The thrash scene of the UK will stay in the shadow of the greater communities, but Evile are a glimmer of hope.