Enter The Grave
posted on 11/2007 By:
And so the thrash revival continues! After a lot of positive build-up the UK’s Evile have dropped their debut full-length for Earache, and it’s a cracking album in many ways, but your enjoyment of it will depend greatly on how much you value originality in a band. On the one hand, if you don’t mind the fact that these guys are essentially recreating the classic Bay Area sound to a tea without moving an inch forward, you will probably get a lot out of them. However, if that nostalgic, stagnant approach appalls you, there’s going to be a problem accepting what Evile are all about. If you weren’t impressed by Christ Illusion, not convinced by the new Megadeth, or are still trying to get the taste of St Anger out of your mouth, Enter the Grave could well be the album to make you truly forget the nineties ever happened.
Musically, Evile cut it with ease. All the instrumentation is first-rate, with excellent variation in tempos and some scorching leads courtesy of Ol Drake. The vocals of Matt Drake for me are slightly lacking. The frontman’s Araya-like delivery is decent enough but doesn’t quite have the emotion or intensity to match the music. Evile have followed the trash rule book to the last page, and you can hear bits of so many of your favorite big names, whether it be prime Metallica and Slayer, to Megadeth, Exodus and Testament. It’s all just done so lovingly you don’t mind the blatant aping of their heroes. The Flemming Rasmussen production is as good as you’d expect it to be. I love the razor-sharp guitar tone, as well as the biting drum sound. The mix is impeccable, with the bass in particular shining through with great clarity and presence.
The songwriting is of a consistently high standard throughout Enter the Grave, and while there aren’t really any duds I was able to pick out a few favorites. The opening title track kicks things off splendidly in classic thrash fashion, touching on just about everything we love about the genre. "Man Against Machine" opens with a clean, moody intro before launching into full-on attack mode and ending with a lesson for the fringe-core pretenders in writing a real breakdown. Both the appropriately-titled "Thrasher" and "Schizophrenia" show the band at their fastest and most intense, and compare favorably with a young Slayer. Closing track "Armored Assault" finishes off the album with the same energy and head of steam it began with.
While it would be easy to criticize Evile for so blatantly copping from the classic thrash albums of the past, when it comes to the tunes, Enter the Grave has more than enough to keep me happy. I gladly recommend this album to the dedicated thrash fan looking for the real deal: strong musicianship, great sound, good songs. Original? Hardly. A fun and worthwhile listen? Definitely.
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