Thrash metal from the U.K.

Voyages Evile - Enter the Grave (Earache Records) 2007

1. Enter the Grave (4:30)
2. Thrasher (3:09)
3. First Blood (4:20)
4. Man Against Machine (6:21)
5. Burned Alive (5:54)
6. Killer from the Deep (4:40)
7. We Who Are About to Die (7:43)
8. Schizophrenia (4:18)
9. Bathe in Blood (6:22)
10. Armoured Assault (5:38)

2007 seems to be they Year of Thrash. Tons of new bands with quality, traditional thrash metal releases this year. Particularly, the UK thrash scene seems to be experiencing a revival with bands like Gama Bomb and Evile. Releasing their first full length release, "Enter the Grave" is top quality thrash metal produced by Flemming Rasmussen (Metallica, Artillery, Morbid Angel) at Sweet Silence Studios in Copenhagen, Denmark. What we have here is ten songs of pummeling metal with a big nod to the Bay Area thrashers. At times I heard a heavy Forbidden vibe going on in the music, although there is no doubt that "Kill 'Em All" and "Ride the Lightning" are big influences on the Evile guys as well. While many bands are putting out overly long albums with 14-16 tracks, that tend to get boring, Evile have kept their album to ten tracks. This is good because while the album features some choice thrash riffs and some good musicianship, the songs overall tend to sound very similar to one another. Of course the production is quite good, as one would expect from Rasmussen. He manages to capture the bands raw aggression without over or under producing. However, thrash in not necessarily about production. It's about attitude, aggression, and pure heavy metal. Evile achieve these goals, so grab your denim and leather, and crank it up. Long live thrash metal!

Evile - Infected Nations (Earache Records)  2009

1. Infected Nation    (5:33)
2. Now Demolition    (5:46)
3. Nosophoros    (5:29)
4. Genocide    (7:42)
5. Plague To End All Plagues    (5:55)
6. Devoid Of Thought    (5:37)
7. Time No More    (4:00)
8. Metamorphosis    (7:40)
9. Hundred Wrathful Deities [instrumental]    (11:41)

With Evile’s sophomore release, it seems as though the band are trying to shake off the "retro-thrash" tag that has been pinned on. While there is no doubt that the band remain squarely in the thrash metal camp, they have tried to find a sound of their own. The songs and riffs are a great deal more complex and the overall feel is a bit more melodic than the debut. I certainly applaud the band’s attempt to step out and forge a path of their own. On my first listen, on the very first song I was already impressed by the guitar work. The downpicked riff, together with some fast double bass work on the title track is quite impressive. As well, Ol Drake's solos throughout the CD are very well done. One change that I found disappointing at first was Matt Drake’s vocals, which are stylistically different than the debut. Where he had a raw Tom Araya sound on the debut, on "Infected Nation" he goes for an atonal hardcore yell. I must confess that at first I was a bit put off, but within a few listens began not only growing accustomed to the new vocal style, but actually enjoying it. Hundred Wrathful Deities is the most obvious attempt to break free from the "retro-thrash" tag. While many may prefer the faster, more straight forward thrash songs, I thought this epic length instrumental was the highlight of the CD. While it's a lengthy number I never found myself bored or wanting to turn the CD off. It features, a slower, more melodic side to the band, yet the song is still heavy. Overall, "Infected Nation" is a big step up from "Enter the Grave".
Thrash on!

Following the release of "Infected Nation" Evile bassist Mike Alexander tragically passed away.

Five Evile - Five Serpent's Teeth (Earache) 2011

1. Five Serpent's Teeth (5:45)
2. In Dreams of Terror (5:20)
3. Cult (5:01)
4. Eternal Empire (5:45)
5. Xaraya (6:15)
6. Origin of Oblivion (5:06)
7. Centurion (5:57)
8. In Memoriam (5:57)
9. Descent Into Madness (4:35)
10. Long Live New Flesh (5:28)

With Evile's third full length studio album the band continue to deliver riff-heavy speed metal and thrash. Clearly for this release, Evile studied at the James Hetfield school of riffing. "Five Serpent's" is packed full of meaty riffs that would have fit nicely on album's like "Master of Puppets" and the slightly more progressive "...And Justice For All". A song like "Centurion" easily could have fit on one of those two platters. There is even a somber ballad titled "In Memoriam" that has a feel not unlike "Fade to Black". Matt Drakes vocals even have a similar flair to that of James Hetfield. However, where Metallica haven't released a solid album of this quality since the aforementioned "...And Justice For All", Evile have put together an album that is absolutely infectious.

The band blend together mid-paced tempos with some fast, thrash passages to give the overall album a progressive feel, even if the songwriting isn't all that complicated. As well, Evile have managed to write some of the most memorable songs of their catalog. If a song like "Cult" doesn't get the self-respecting metal fan to bang his head, then that metal fan's spoon has fallen out of his bowl. The song features a one-word, shout-along chorus that is sure to be a concert favorite. Despite the obvioius and prevalent Metallica influence that Evile wear on their sleeve, there are other influences present as well. A song like "Origin of Oblivion" melds together the melodic sensibility of Metallica with the speed and intensity of Slayer. Throughout this album Ol Drake unleashes some chaotic guitar leads that are surely inspired by the noisy guitar torture tactics of Kerry King. 

"Five Serpent's Teeth" easily tops Evile's previous albums "Infected Nations" and "Enter The Grave". They have managed to take the positive elements of both of those albums and combine them to make this one solid album. Sure the Metallica influences are overly apparent, but so what. Put this side by side with Metallica's most recent studio record "Death Magnetic" and Evile comes up the winner.

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