Evile have been gone from the modern metal scene long enough that their return is more new arrival than a return.
Once one of the leaders of the nu-thrash scene before semi-imploding and almost completely disappearing from the metal scene they helped spawn, original guitarist Ol Drake has returned and taken the place of his brother Matt on vocals, opening space for new rhythm guitarist Adam Smith and the rumbling return of the backbone in drummer Ben Carter and bassist Joel Graham.
From the outset the most notable difference is the heavier vocal tone of Drake. Think more mid-90s Chuck Billy almost death rattle and less James Hetfield rasp and roar of his brother. This brings an extra element of tough to the band’s already unrelenting thrash assault. Between opener Paralysed to the album titled closer, there is no let up in the aggression. This isn’t anything new in the thrash world, but it is a newer feather in the re-invigorated cap of this band. Gore see them band welcoming comedian (and famed metal head) Brian Posehn to the microphone, adding some great flair to a track that has some of the best guitar solos Drake has laid down, showing that the hiatus he took from the band wasn’t spent sitting back.
Evile have never hidden their love for the glory days of thrash, letting the inner Megadeth out on Incarcerated, a track that starts slow and easy with a spoken/croaked vocal intro and acoustic guitars, before the brake is released and their newly discovered chaos is yet again writ large, the music less about their heroes and more their own take on the beast.
As Hell Unleashed goes on, it just gets heavier and faster, something that doesn’t seem believable after the opening salvo lays down a pretty heavy gauntlet. It’s not introducing anything new to thrash or heavy metal more generally. But it will leave you with a grin from ear to bleeding ear, and possibly dribbling a little like a lunatic. I defy anyone to listen to Disorder and not bang their head. It rests comfortably in the middle of the album, where often a band will rest on their laurels or introduce a ballad as a breather before coming back hard towards the end of an album. No luck here if you are getting tired. Suck it up, there will be no standing around in the mosh pits this band will create.
4. War of Attrition
6. The Thing (1982)
7. Zombie Apocalypse
8. Control From Above
9. Hell Unleashed