Thrash is a division of metal that is near and dear to my heart. Growing up in the 80’s I was lucky enough to be exposed to the big eight; Anthrax, Megadeth, Metallica, Slayer, Testament, Death Angel, Exodus, and Overkill from the beginning. While the big hair, colorful spandex, and everybody party attitude of most of the bands at that time was taking over the main stream, these bands were forging an underground movement based on speed, aggression, and lyrical content. This music would far out live anything the latter would produce. A surge of new thrash bands starting cropping up in early 2000’s starting a new wave of the genre. One of these bands was the UK’s Evile, who are set to release their new album, “Skull”, via Earache Records May 27, 2013.
Evile is not exactly breaking new ground in thrash with this album. If anything compared to their previous releases, they have lightened up a bit. Don’t get me wrong, Ol Drake is still cranking out some great riffs and blistering solos, Ben Carter is still beating up his drum kit, and Matt Drake still sounds like a combination of Tom Araya and James Hetfield. “Skull” could even be called “Five Serpent’s Teeth, Part II” because a lot of the songs could be interchangeable between the two albums. Oddly enough, it’s the lighter notes that stand out on the record. The vocal harmonies seem much more pronounced on this album. We’re not talking barber shop quartet, but the backing harmonies are much more noticeable versus the usual gang vocal. There are quite a few mid-tempo songs on this album as well. Tracks like ‘Tomb’, ‘What You Become’, and ‘New Truths Old Lies’ have their moments, but for the most part are much slower tunes than what Evile usually produce.
Overall, “Skull” is not a bad record, but it’s not a good record either. The similarities between it and the bands previous album are too numerous and are kind of irritating by the end the listen. Maybe if I played the two on shuffle together I would feel better about it. Either way, “Skull” is an easy continuation for Evile. Let’s just hope it’s not a rut they are stuck in for too long.