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Fire of infernal origin - 95%

IanThrash, February 1st, 2017
Written based on this version: 2017, CD, Witches Brew (Limited edition)

The Evil Dead is a strange creature, not because their music is overtly out there, nor because they consciously try to weirden up their sound. What's strange is the way that their vastly different influences mash together so seamlessly. Imagine a band playing Blackfoot songs while using Jon Nodtveidt’s chords and Blue Oyster Cult's melodies. Kinda hard to pull off, huh? Earth Inferno is one of those rare cases when the concept doesn’t look promising on paper but is really fucking good in execution.

This album feels like a natural step up from their previous work, Pronounced (the Evil) Dead, which became a personal favorite. The influences are the same but the way they are used is different. This time we got much more expansive songs that have a sense of grandeur, a lot (and I mean it) of riffs, and offbeat time signatures. Both the production and the scope of the compositions have improved.

The album starts with “Earth Inferno” and its black metal opening. Soon we have the first blast beats accompanied by some really neat twin guitars. Though the album explores many different genres (for example, the second track “Electric Evil Revisited” is a bluesy heavy metal opus and “Forlorn” sometimes feels like a mix of Megadeth, Maiden and Dissection) the focus remains the same: good hooks and lots of groove. The songs may get darker and faster, but the big and explosive chorus is almost mandatory.

One of my favorite things about this record is the way that it takes inspiration from different sources but avoids being overtly referential. This is not a work of nostalgia nor old school masturbation. There is sincerity within the songs crafted by Ian and Michel Regueiro. “Maragnon” might as well be a lost BOC track with its hard rocking, minor scale riffs and historical lyrics, but it definitely sounds like The Evil Dead and not like a tribute band.

Talking about lyrics, there are a handful of really interesting things in here. Ranging from personal struggles (“The Sulfur Heart”, my absolute favorite track) to outer space deities, from mythological heroes drenched in blood to infernal overlords trapped in the mortal realms of our planet, each song explore a different landscape of this infernal planet. The Evil Dead’s vocalist and main lyricist Alejandro Regueiro has a knack for mysterious lyrics that tackle very specific topics without being sickeningly explanatory or self indulgent.

Earth Inferno is filled to the brim with heavy metal’s ultimate and irreducible element: great riffs. That’s it - the be all, end all factor in the realm of distorted music. Of course there are a lot of great solos, twin guitar arrangements and multi-layered leads that spice things up, but these guys understood what truly matters when it comes to heavy metal. As I said at the beginning of this review, The Evil Dead is a strange creature. I have to be honest: for a moment I thought the creature was deceased. But as Hunter S. Thompson once wrote, they just might be “A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die." Go get this album.