Thursday, October 15, 2009

Evil One - Evil Never Dies (2009)

It's difficult to take a band seriously when the first song on their album has lyrics like 'we're back, to kick your ass' delivered in a higher pitched, heavily accented vocal style. But somehow, Evil One have written enough decent thrash riffs on this album to make up for it, and the deeper you listen, the more you realize they aren't bad at just writing songs, with good leads and occasionally catchy vox. I prefer the mid range of Frédéric Botta to his higher range, which often veers out of control and borders on silly (it reminded me of a lot of bad Italian power metal from the 90s).

Overkill's "E.N.D. (Evil Never Dies)" remains the best song to wear that title, but Evil One's "Evil Never Dies" nonetheless opens this album with some pure old school speed metal and the aforementioned cringeworthy lyrics. "Thrashback" opens with a pummeling, burning riff reminiscent of Overkill and Annihilator, and has a nice fist banging breakdown, though the lengthy acoustic segment feels out of place. "Feel the Pain" is a doomy track, and I like the filter effect on the vocals, as well as the melodic, faster paced rhythms that come later in the track. Some of the better songs on the album include "Perverse Morality", the melodic anthem "Suprématie" and the balls out "The Conqueror".

I have no complaints about the mix here, the guitars are old school sounding and powerful but never intrude over the drums and bass, nor is Botta too lout in the mix. Everything sounds just right. The album was mastered by Jeff Waters of Annihilator who also makes an appearance on the album. Evil Never Dies does have enough riffs to please the 80s diehard, and a balance of melody and aggression; it's simply one of those albums where I wish they had taken one more listen to edit some of the vocals. That said, I did bang my head a few times here, the band clearly loves the old school influence and it's not bad for a listen or two.

Verdict: Indifference [6.5/10]

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