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If Japanese old school crossover blackened thrash metal is your thing, then Possessed by Evil by, yep, Evil, might just be up your alley.
Sounding like the offspring of Venom and Sodom if it were raised by Godzilla, Evil clearly have a lot of fun on the album showing off the talent they honed by listening to the greats. The more you listen to it, the more you find to like – the bass is muscular and reliable, the aggressive vocals match impressively to old school black metal, and the leads are performed with glee. The tracks have an uplifting quality to them, which is emphasised by the constant pace and the reliable song structures we grew so fond of in the 80s.
Naturally, due to the genre they are dabbling in, the album does have its patchy moments: the mix can be very spiky – the bland drumming undeservedly takes centre stage and the leads are either too quiet or too loud – and though the songs are composed neatly and every riff, drum roll, and snarl is precisely where you’d expect it, the album lacks a little conviction and sounds like a refined demo than an LP.
Despite their artfulness when playing at speed, the slower moments can take you by surprise with how good they are at creating tension and atmosphere; The Gates of Hell and Possessed by Evil creep along splendidly and offer an additional dimension to their playing we should hope to see more of in future.
Only their 2nd LP in 8 years, looking over their discography furrows a brow once you see a 3rd demo, 2 live albums, and a split album in between their only 2 full length releases, but here’s to hoping they can cash in on the promise this LP delivers. Nicely executed with some decent riffs, the album is a safe entry into the canon, and if you like your throwback metal with a pinch of charm, give them a try.
Release date: March 26th, 2021
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