Evile – Five Serpent’s Teeth (Earache Records)Saturday, 23rd March 2013
If our memory serves us correctly, the Blistering staff has never been high on Evile, supported by our “meh” reviews of their Enter the Grave debut and 2009’s Infected Nations. Perhaps we have something against British thrash, or British thrash bands that still think it’s cool to wear Affliction shirts. We’re not sure of either. Either way, the Brits have failed to resonate until now with Five Serpent’s Teeth, their third (and best) album.
With a blatant Metallica circa-1986 influence on their sleeve, Evile make things click with an array of feisty riffs and a production that is as beefy as they come. Said production totally makes the songs heavier, like during the “mosh” portion of “Eternal Empire,” which effortlessly segues into a totally-dominating tremolo-picked section which proves Evile has wrists of titanium. The guitar tandem of the Drake brothers (Oli and Matt) might be the best out of all the new/retro thrash bands, with an array of flashy and tasteful solos on the title track and “Xaraya.”
Unlike its predecessors, Five Serpent’s Teeth avoids a lot of the usual thrash pitfalls, especially when it comes to “In Memorium,” a track dedicated to deceased bassist Mike Alexander. This is where the band’s deft knowledge of all things Metallica-related comes in handy, as the song itself could be dropped right into the tracklisting of The Black Album.
Had Evile been around 25 years ago, Five Serpent’s Teeth would be an obvious “next level” album in the fashion Master of Puppets, Among the Living, and Reign In Blood were. However, this isn’t the 80’s and unfortunately, Evile remains stuck in the endless logjam of thrash bands who are all trying to find the holy grail of self-sustainability and commercial appeal.
(This content originally appeared on Blistering.com)