Release DetailsLABEL Merciless
RELEASED ON 10/1/2004
posted on 6/2006 By:
This album should technically be reviewed in some sort of classics section as this album is comprised of two demos that were recorded in 1992 and only eventually re-released in 2004, but here it is in our mailbox and I feel it is my duty to introduce you readers to another lost classic of the Stockholm death metal era.
Formed in 1991 and recently reformed and recording a new album, Evocation are like Gorement, Therion and God Macabre in that they were overlooked by the likes of Entombed, Grave and Dismember despite the fact they played the same style of haunting, midrange, mid tempo death metal that those bands made famous. Also, members of Evocation were in Cemetery whose Evil Shade of Grey is also considered one of the genres' second tier classics. As a result, Evocation has a pretty tangible early Cemetery feel and sound, especially the Tomas Skogsberg produced guitar tone.
To be truthful, a majority of the tracks on this LP could have indeed fit nicely on An Evil Shade of Grey or even Left Hand Path as is essentially the same sound, pace and atmosphere, complete with Cemetery’s slightly more progressive, hokey, synth sprinkled sound. If the opening riff of “Through the Darkened Peril” (after the classic 1993 windswept, spooky intro) doesn’t take you back to Dan Seagrave covers, tight jeans, denim jackets and vinyl, then you simply have no appreciation for THAT sound or era. The classic rumble at 2:36 of “The Ancient Gate” (complete with “oooh”) is pure Stockholm gold that shows that while acts like Bloodbath and God Among Insects have captured the tone perfectly, the song writing in 1992 was just fresher and more original with no real standard to copy or clone - these guys were doing it from scratch. However, the material does lack that 'instant classic' vibe that albums like Left Hand Path and Like an Ever Flowing Stream exuded the second the needle hit the vinyl.
Tracks 5-8 sound a bit different as they are from the band's second demo, and the sound is a bit clearer with too much cymbal and treble, but the song writing is still there in all its classic glory; the moody almost doom gait that surfaces in “Where Headstones Shine” is pure gold, and the menace that seeps from closer “Spiritual Affinity” is again just a classic moment from the era that relied on songs and not speed, though there is some competent blasting.
Of course, the modern, young death metal fine weaned on the likes of Nile and Decapitated may cringe at the relative lethargy and restraint of the songs on this release especially compared to today’s blast heavy, complex death metal bands, but personally this type of sound IS death metal to me and always will be.
Fuck, I’m old.
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