posted on 8/2006 By:
Dig the bigass high tops and skin tight blue jeans out of the back of the closet–it’s time for some old school thrash. The second submission from Evile shows that this British outfit is moving in the right direction along the course set by their first effort, All Hallows Eve. These guys started out as a thrash cover band, and their first album sounded like they were still struggling to break out of that cover mode and find a voice of their own. Hell Demo shows some forward progress. Make no mistake, the band’s vintage thrash style is highly derivative of the giants of the US 80's scene (Testament, Exodus, Overkill, Metallica, etc.), but these days the material sounds less like blatant hero worship and more like a gang of young thrashbeasts looking to recapture the spirit of the genre’s glory days by using the common vernacular and well worn formula of the period. Derivative? Yeah. Out muscled by the original masters? Yeah. A lot of fun anyway? Fuck yeah.
In this era of thrash dominated by death or much worse, melody poisoned, watered down tripe, it does the old ears good to hear the style played from its original blueprints. Hell Demo is dominated by fist pumping, neck abusing, speedy thrashers that live and die by the almighty riff. Guitar work is the band’s strong suit and Ol Drake, along with brother Matt’s rhythm work, fill each track with stacks of riffs, plenty tempo shifts, and scores of quality, frenetic leads. The rhythm section and the vocals get the job done in a competent, utilitarian fashion, leaving the guitar work squarely in the spotlight.
The five new tracks here give the EP a good balance, with "Death Sentence" and "Russian Roulette" offering up a muscular, midtempo potent chug driven by muted riffing and chunky rhythms. "Death Sentence" in particular, sounds Exodus inspired, as does "Thrasher" which lives up to its name with its single minded breakneck ferocity. The lyrics about hunger for life in the pit are goofy for sure, but in a fondly nostalgic way that recalls the equally goofy anthems of the old days. Rounding out the set are "Enter the Grave" and "We Who Are About to Die", the most well rounded, developed, and enjoyable songs on the set. The latter is the stronger of the two, and does a nice job shifting between a clean opening and alternating a comfortable gallop and hammer down sprint, while maintaining a flow that feels very natural and not a bit forced. The speedy breaks and excellent leads make all the difference here. Evile aren’t going to be "the next" anybody, and there’s little danger that Hell Demo will threaten the playtime of any of the classic thrash albums in your collection. I’m sure this band isn't trying to do either. But Hell Demo is a fun listen and will be a welcome sound to those that like their thrash the way it was meant to be.
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Five Serpent's Teeth
Enter The Grave
All Hallows Eve EP