The Evil Amidst - _Lords of the Nine_
(Metal Matters, 2010)
by: Aly Hassab El Naby (5 out of 10)
Every year, millions of tourists around the world marvel upon the great Pyramids of Giza, the Acropolis in Athens and the Great Wall of China; and they wonder how it was all done without any of the sophisticated machinery and computer simulations used by engineers nowadays. Engineering as a scientific discipline was much simpler in its earlier days of constructing civil buildings and water distribution networks. In modern times, engineering specialties have become so vast and complex, it's becoming more difficult to pin-point the differences between some of them. This growing divide, my dear reader, has found its way into our favorite genre of music to the extent that death metal from Florida is considered by some to be a thing of its own now. The evolution of metal doesn't look like its stopping anytime soon, but it does give us the thrill of stumbling upon new and exciting music.

Metal Matters Records brings us the self-financed debut from Miami's The Evil Amidst. Title track "Lords of the Nine" offers an engaging guitar solo, albeit accompanied with a collection of average riffs. The riffing gets better on "Of Ice and Skin" and "Decreator" but one can't help but draw parallels to the brand of death metal that is the staple sound of Florida's Malevolent Creation. This similarity is of course the result of having common members with the iconic group, but I honestly wasn't expecting it to be that stark. Other tracks, like "Onward Into Fire", "Flesh of Thorns" and "Lord Serpent Rise", do have their moments of excitement, but none of these moments provide that catchy element that will have you coming back to it.

It is common to have bands in this very competitive genre releasing a couple of albums before finding their signature sound. The Evil Amidst have a very clear idea of what they want to do, and they're not shy of showing the influences of their past. _Lords of the Nine_ bears a striking resemblance to the works of Malevolent Creation and one may feel an urge to dismiss The Evil Amidst as another copy-cat band trying to make a name for itself in this world. I'd recommend it if you're an obsessive collector of underground death metal that's not particularly outstanding; but for the casual, passing-by listener, you're not missing much.


(article published 27/1/2011)

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