Release DetailsLABEL Xtreem Music
RELEASED ON 5/15/2006
Evil Never Dies
posted on 1/2007 By:
Middle of the road and mediocre aren't key words you want attached to your music, but there's little else Hallows Eve offers here. With more than a few noteworthy thrash bands pilfering us metalheads of our hard-earned dough, Hallows Eve is facing some serious competition. The short and simple of it is that I'd much rather spend my time listening to something a little more passionate and dangerous sounding than Evil Never Dies, the group's fourth release and first album in 17 years.
The guys in Hallows Eve are technically adept. Some of the driving riffs here are pretty catchy, most notably on "Sweetest Tongue, Sharpest Tooth". The piano interlude included two thirds into the album is a bit of a gimmick, but it's an interesting and appreciated break in mood. I have a feeling that if most of these songs were kept to four minutes, they would have an easier time sustaining the listener's interest. As Metallica knows all too well, stretching what should be a few punchy 3-4 minute tracks into 7 minute snoozefests isn't a particularly sound approach. The solos are clean but often seem forced when attached to the ends of songs.
The overall sound is hard to break down because Hallows Eve touches on a number of genres, both in terms of the vocals and instrumentation. There are blast beats on "Looking Glass". Clean singing can be found alongside shouts and growling on "Monkey's Paw" alone. It's a pretty schizophrenic affair, and if you're a meat and potatoes thrash fan (think early Megadeth and Metallica as opposed to Cryptic Slaughter and modern Deceased) you're probably not going to "get this". While thrash is the ultimate influence and certainly written into this band's history, the juxtaposition between the traditional sounding "Sweetest Tongue, Sharpest Tooth", with its catchy, fist-pumping chorus, and the frantic underbelly of "Vampires Drink Deep" that flirts ever so subtly with death metal, can be jarring.
As much as many of us would like to shy away from this, there's something to be said about songwriting. Arrangement is everything. It's a pretty delicate balance. Too simple and we lose interest after the first listen. Too complex and most of us don't get through the first listen. The problem with Evil Never Dies is that most of its songs are too simple, too mundane, and too predictable. I kept waiting for something evil, but I am afraid evil is actually quite dead on this one.
As strangely delightful as this "return" for Hallows Eve can be (listen to the very novel "The Ballad of Mortuary Harry" for an example), the overwhelmingly mid-pace feel of Evil Never Dies keeps the album bogged down in predictability. I feel like Tommy Stewart and the gang are holding themselves back from producing something truly evil. The album is too safe and tongue-in-cheek to live up to its title.
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