Hailing from Belgium, Evil Shepherd is a five piece, blackened doom/thrash metal band that unleashes all things demonic and unholy through the music on their latest album entitled “Evil Through Darkness… And Darkness Through Death,” released via Empire Records.
Made up of 12 crusty, dirty and downright devilish tracks, “Evil Through Darkness… And Darkness Through Death” is an album that although may not be anything special or innovative in terms of the musical direction it is going in, shows that Evil Shepherd are good at what they do. With a naked woman about to be sacrificed by a goat headed occultist as an album artwork to top it all off, “Evil Through Darkness… And Darkness Through Death” is a well rounded release, incorporating lots of elements from the dingiest of metal sub-genres to form a hybrid of dark metal that will shake the very ground you stand on the moment you hit play!
If you look at the track names on this record, you can tell Evil Shepherd are clearly going down the black metal route to try and get a reaction and shock listeners, having track names like: ‘Worship the Cult’, ‘Christ Denier’ and ‘Dawn Ov the Antichrist’ to show the dark and menacing side to their music, when in fact, compared to some black and doom metal bands out there at the moment, Evil Shepherd are not that brutal at all really.
One thing that really does stand out on “Evil Through Darkness… And Darkness Through Death” is the thrash metal styled guitar riffs that flow throughout the entirety of this album, giving it yet another dimension to the bands multi-layered sound. Tracks such as ‘Evil Through Darkness’, ‘Coronation Ov the Blasphemer’ and ‘Awake the Beast’ all have underlying cantering dual guitar lines that power them along, adding more life to the usually earthy, gloomy and sinister feel that a doom/black metal song gives off.
There is nothing wrong with this album per se, but at points it does get a bit repetitive. Evil Shepherd have tried so hard to combine elements of black, doom and thrash into their music, and although the result in places have been successful, there is only so much they can do before it starts to sound monotonous and boring. The thrash sound is working really well for them – more so than the doom ridden black metal style they also try to incorporate and perhaps by ditching it, Evil Shepherd would be able to concentrate on writing more interesting and unique material.
At parts metal heaven, at others boring as hell, “Evil Through Darkness… And Darkness Through Death” is definitely an album that deserves checking out, but whether it deserves to be bought or not is another question.