When you read up on a band to do a review and you see Death Metal and Florida mentioned, you can’t help but feel you know what to expect from the album. These expectations are further raised when your band consists of Malevolent Creation members Gio Gercera (guitar) and Gus Rios (drums), along with Kult Ov Azazel’s Xaphan (guitar), Kamelot bassist Sean Tibbetts and Hateplow’s Lenny Wambrandt on vocals.
The band in question is The Evil Amidst and their album opens with title track ‘Lords Of The Nine’. The first thing you hear is some echoing noise, which sounds like something out of the film ‘Alien’, whilst a lone bell tolls away in the distance. Then the music comes in and you are introduced to the duel guitars of Xaphan and Gercera with a nice clean sound, before the distortion hits and the chaos starts. It is once the vocals of Lenny Warmbrandt and the blastbeats of Gus Rios come in that you really know that this is a death metal album.
The band mix things up and throw a few surprises you way at different points throughout the album. ‘Decreator’ is similar to the opening song in that it has a start recalling the echoing noise. This slowly builds into a black metal sound. They also have the acoustic and clean instrumental ‘Amid The Ruin’ which adds a new dimension to the album showing that not everything has to be down tuned, distorted and menacing.
The high standards that they set themselves have easily been achieved. The production of Brian Elliott and Eric Rutan makes sure that the sound is clean while still leaving some of that old Florida sound. The album, despite some slight deviances, is an unashamedly old school death metal album at its core, and this is understandable due to the history of the members.
The fact that The Evil Amidst have added a couple of different influences to this release instead of just trying to be sicker, faster and more brutal than other bands show the experience and maturity of the band. This makes “Lords Of The Nine” far from generic. This album shows great promise for future releases, but given the history of everyone involved, that’s hardly a surprise. A very worthy release and one you really should check out if you like straightforward gimmick free extreme metal. With the album having just nine tracks sand a relatively short running time there is a definite feeling of less is more. It is an album that leaves you wanting to hear more, and that is always a good sign.