Evile - _Enter the Grave_
(Earache, 2007)
by: Yiannis Stefanis (7.5 out of 10)
It is true that the members of the Huddersfield-based thrash quartet Evile had managed to build up a good reputation long before Earache Records decided to offer them a contract, but the extended promotion for the band's debut _Enter the Grave_ was so intense and well coordinated that the only possible excuse for one not having heard of the band's name before would be that they had only just returned from a two year long trip in the heart of the Amazon River!

It's not every day that a young band gets a chance to work on their debut album with a producer of Flemming Rasmussen's status (see _Ride the Lightning_ and _Master of Puppets_) and much as I try not to get influenced by the music industry's marketing gimmicks, I was compelled to see what this ten track release was all about.

My fear that Evile would be nothing more than a Metallica hybrid was proven erroneous because, even though there are a few references to James Hetfield's outfit throughout this release, the band's music seems to be more influenced by aggressive representatives of the genre such as Exodus and Slayer. If classics such as _Fabulous Disaster_ by Exodus and Slayer's _Hell Awaits_ hold a prominent position in your LP/CD collection, then there is absolutely no reason why you should not appreciate these fifty five minutes of good quality American-sounding thrash metal.

However, do not allow yourself to believe that Evile are simply a cover band -- there are some really good ideas and moments of a high level of musicianship throughout this release which sound like a promise for much better things in the future. But for the time being let's just concentrate on what's on offer here.

After a nice mid-tempo opening riff, the first few riffs and melodic themes of the title track will provide clear insights to the mentality behind which these ten compositions were created. Numerous short riffs, simple guitar / vocal melodies, catchy sing along refrains and large portions of skill and youthful energy are amongst the main ingredients of _Enter the Grave_ -- an album that may not come across as the most innovative of its genre, but is undoubtedly the product of a bunch of musicians whose main intention is to pay homage to their musical heroes.

However sceptical you may be, there is no way that you will not be impressed by the Exodus-influenced tunes of "First Blood" or the Slayeric harmonic melodies of the epic "We Who Are About to Die" -- both of which I consider to be the album's strongest compositions. Ol Drake is one of the most impressive shredders that I have come across in recent years, providing this album with numerous solid riffs and flamboyant solos, especially in songs like "Man Against Machine" -- a composition which also features the kind of choral band vocals that made thrash popular in the first place, and which should be appreciated by every music fan.

There is a very positive attitude towards thrash metal by the record labels these days, and that, in my agenda, means that we should expect to come across a large wave of young and hopeful musicians eager to even sell their soul for a quick buck. What _Enter the Grave_ proved to me is that Evile are not one such band, and with that in mind, I will be looking forward to hearing more from them in the near future. For the time being, though, let's all enjoy one really decent thrash release!

Contact: http://www.evile.co.uk

(article published 9/9/2007)


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