Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Evil Army - I, Commander EP (2013)
So yes, expect nothing here that sounds as if it could be dated past 1986-7. Evil Army is clearly a huge advocate of that proto-German sound, which explains the vocals which are a pretty clear imitation of Tom Angelripper and Mille Petrozza, with a harsh, sleazy bark which sounds like he smokes gunpowder and broken glass like crack cocaine; to the extent, really, that if I didn't know any better, I'd swear Rob Evil had a European accent much like his idols. The guitar progressions are pure, vicious speed metal in the vein of early Tankard or Iron Angel; dirty tones that sound like they were recorded in a garage somewhere, sound-proofed with aluminum trash can lids. Leads are spurious and sloppy, hardly the product of excess edits and overdubs, more of like someone would just rip out on a whim. The drums are brash and splash, without a lot of bass depth, but furious as they burst along to the unapologetic speed of the rhythms. Mostly though, this is just a feral sort of no-nonsense junkyard thrash which feels like a Teutonic interpretation of the Road Warrior films manifested into audio.
One of the tracks, "Ashes of the Nuclear Fire" seems a bit more muddy than the others, with a thicker bass end to the mix that pops along, so there's a whiff of inconsistency when listening through, but all in all, this is made for people who want a violent, thrash metal boot camp to the face, free of complexity, melody, and anything hinging on progress (which is both a strength and weakness, depending on who you'd ask). I wasn't in love with the material, if simply because I've heard it all many times before and there aren't any new ideas or ridiculously good songwriting to elevate beyond the median of quality, but it's good to hear that they're still putting out music. I know they took a hiatus for a couple years after Rob was incarcerated, and the bassist Bones had sadly passed away, which stuck a fork in their momentum; but the tunes here haven't really skipped a beat from their eponymous debut in 2006, and there's no argument that this is the 'real deal', or at least it was 25-28 years ago. Fans of records like Endless Pain, Finished With the Dogs, Sentence of Death, Zombie Attack, Obsessed by Cruelty, who seek that sort of authenticity should enjoy this, also those into more crossover-focused acts like Children of Technology.
Verdict: Indifference [6.5/10]