Evil Invaders – Pulses of Pleasure (Napalm Records)

Sunday, 22nd February 2015
Rating: 8.5/10

The lines between speed metal and thrash can be tough to delineate. Many agree upon “Fast as a Shark” from Accept as the launching point to the speed movement, so it’s great to take in bands from today’s generation willing to craft no holds barred material in that manner once again. Belgium’s Evil Invaders have gradually moved up the ranks thanks to an independent, self-titled EP plus their impressive live performances, winning over converts at 2013’s infamous Keep It True festival in Germany and on tour with acts like Destruction, Possessed, and Stallion among others.

Setting their sights on larger international waters, their debut album Pulses of Pleasure expands the Evil Invaders brand, which as a whole incorporates the twin guitar spitfire lead breaks of acts like Iron Maiden or Judas Priest, the blitzkrieg thrash and bash approach from Exodus and Overkill, along with their noted speed relentlessness that recalls classic Exciter or Razor. The first video/ single from the record “Fast, Loud ‘n’ Rude” has a lot of those stop / start, back and forth elements built into the arrangement that keep the guitar action chugging along, the double bass and snare hits like a steady locomotive barreling down the tracks and Joe’s wild, shrieking John C./ Agent Steel antics bleeding metal to the underground masses (check out his glass shattering ‘burn to the ground’ line). Following things up with a title track that will make the heavy metal maniacs who savored Exciter giddy (the solo work between Joe and Sam the type that put Murray and Smith on the map during their Killers to Seventh Son domination), Evil Invaders elevates their musicianship and dynamic abilities throughout these 9 cuts.

Not always playing at breakneck paces – enjoy the slower buildup for “Siren” or the “Back to the Village” like guitar salvos lobbied about during “Shot to Paradise” – the quartet genuinely possess reverence and affinity for all aspects of an 80’s scene that they were at best in single digits going through. Whammy bar action, high action taps, ripping fills, gang-oriented choruses when called for – these songs champion the best aspects of classic heavy metal and should give Evil Invaders a wide platform for touring partners in ensuing years. Ending the album with their best song to date, the very Maiden meets King Diamond-esque “Master of Illusion”, Pulses of Pleasure is a 42 minute treasure trove for people who remember the 1980’s scene and also want to see the movement survive with younger, skilled musicians carrying the torch.

An unstoppable force to keep your ears and eyes on – Europe continues to be the fertile breeding ground for all things heavy metal, so add Evil Invaders to your digital downloads or physical collection.

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