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Evile: Hell Unleashed

I remember hearing quite the buzz around Evile a decade or so ago. I'm a reasonable fan of thrash, as Megadeth are one of my favorite bands ever (and Rust in Peace is to me, the best the genre has to offer), but Evile play a style more reminiscent of Slayer or Arise-era Sepultura. These guys don't focus on on melodicism much, preferring to deliver jackhammer riff after jackhammer riff, with tempos generally racing at blazing speed. This being their first album in 8 years, thrash fans have been eagerly chomping at the bit for this one, and it's largely what I'd imagine they would expect, but with a few notable exceptions it's a very by the numbers thrash revival affair.

The music itself, as previously mentioned, is fast and aggressive with a myriad of riffs coming at you in rapid succession pretty much the entire time. The band definitely has chops for days; the machinegun speed of some of the riffs are incredibly impressive and the drums in particular feature some absolutely bonkers moments that to these ears are the most interesting parts of the whole album. There's not a lot to complain about in terms of individual performances, that is aside from longtime member and guitarist turned guitarist AND vocalist Ol Drake's singing. It's incredibly monotone and you'll have a hard time remembering a single hook or line from across the entire album. Yeah, I know catchiness isn't exactly the aim of this kind of thrash metal, but we can all hum or sing along to "Angel of Death". This, not so much.

The songs aren't terribly unlike Drake's vocal performance, in that they are sadly fairly uniform throughout. Speed and riffs for days, but there's so much going on so quickly that nothing really takes up real estate in your memory. Even after repeated listens, I struggled to remember much, just a flurry of aggression and riffs that were all much more appealing to me back when my friends and I were headbanging to Dead Embryonic Cells in the car many years back. There are highlights, though. The song "Disorder" shakes things up a bit with it's unpredictable guitar intro, tasty solos, and subtle and cool guitar harmonies throughout. It's pretty damn cool and has the headbang-inducing thrash breakdown of death that we all know and love. The title track is pretty nice as well, with the band laying down their best tune that follows the old-school thrash template on here.

Hell Unleashed, in the end, is a fairly unmemorable and by the numbers retro thrash throwback album with some great instrumental performances. The vocals are the bottleneck to me here, as the delivery is so monotone and forgettable that most things played underneath them are rendered impotent. There's plenty of blistering speed and intensity here, but sadly it's an album that I won't be returning to aside from when I want to show a buddy some tightly played thrashing guitar or drum riffs. Fans will obviously want to check this out (and will regardless of this review), but for fans of the classic titans of the genre, this will probably miss the mark.

1. Paralysed
2. Gore
3. Incarcerated
4. War of Attrition
5. Disorder
6. The Thing (1982)
7. Zombie Apocalypse (Mortician cover)
8. Control from Above
9. Hell Unleashed

Added: May 8th 2021
Reviewer: Brandon Miles
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 611
Language: english

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