ALBUM: Enter The Grave
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Matt Drake - vocals, guitar * Ol Drake - guitar * Mike Alexander - bass * Ben Carter - drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Enter The Grave * 02 Thrasher * 03 First Blood * 04 Man Against Machine * 05 Burned Alive * 06 Killer From The Deep * 07 We Who Are About To Die * 08 Schizophrenia * 09 Bathe In Blood * 10 Armoured Assault
As some of you may have ascertained from the title this is hardly the stuff AOR dreams are made of. Formed in Huddersfield in 2004, Evile are a rare example of an English thrash band being able to stand alongside their American counterparts and for me their debut ranks as one of the best of the decade. With the Drake brothers leading the way the band was signed up by famed English metal label Earache after impressing at the Bloodstock Open Air festival in 2006. Luckily for Evile, veteran producer Flemming Rasmussen was recruited to produce this album, Rasmussen of course handling Metallica
's classic 1984-1988 body of work. Listening to the results you can tell the dividends it paid, this album belying the bands status as newcomers.
This is the type of thrash album that defines the genre, one which never relents in the speed category and would have been huge in the 80's. Instead it's paved the way for the band in the modern era and it's easy to see why. The riffs shred constantly and the bursts of speed seem never ending, one of the key ingredients in this genre. The subject matter and song titles are what you'd expect, with some gems including an ode to Rambo, 'First Blood' and the well worn theme of 'Man Against Machine'. Musically Evile take their cues from all the regulars.. Metallica
etc but from their 80's period, not the often shoddy work that followed from the 90's onwards. The best tracks for me are 'Burned Alive' and Armored Assault', with a scathing attack that has to be heard. The latter in particular is monstrous in its annihilation, ranking up there with the best. You can always tell a band that has the x factor when it comes to thrash and this has it in waves.
This caused a major stir back in 2007 and almost immediately Evile were awarded the title of U.K. thrash kings. They followed up in 2009 with 'Infected Nation' which was a worthy successor, proving the debut was not a one off. Sadly bassist Alexander died that same year while on tour, after developing a blood clot on the lung. This put a dampener on the bands progress, but to their credit they've ploughed on with replacement Joel Graham. In 2011 they released a third album 'Five Serpents Teeth', which for me is a major letdown. Somehow the band turned into complete Metallica
copyists and the level of thrash was kept to a shocking minimum. This turn of events is a complete reversal from the debut and I hope they recover from this ill advised nonsense. It's as if they decided to re-record the 'Black' album, complete with James Hetfield
on guest vocals. Have Evile decided they've outgrown thrash already? I hope not. If so then at least 'Enter The Grave' stands as an almost perfect statement of thrash at its best.
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