Evile: Skull

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Evile: Skull
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Evile: Skull
Groove Metal, Thrash Metal
Earache Records
June 11th, 2013
Release length: 48:24
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Evile did originally start out as a Metallica cover band, and that history is no more evident than with their latest effort, Skull. However, despite not being that unique a group, their fanbase only grows in loyalty and numbers. This is easily one of the most anticipated albums for 2013, and given how close they get to emulating the most prosperous time of their obvious influence, it is understandable why. But, does Skull end up the lost mid-career Metallica replacement fans will love, or is it showing the lack of originality they can bring to the table anymore?

One thing is for certain, this is the closest they’ve come to emulating Metallica. This isn’t necessarily a good thing, but it doesn’t mean the music is bad. “Tomb” pushes the band into an epic musical world, showing shades of “The Unforgiven” as a basic foundation. The most impressive element isn’t that grander stance and solid performance for over seven minutes, but the slower, emotional guitar solo that hits shortly after that genuinely tugs at the listener’s heart strings with a strong Heavy Metal impact later on. And then there’s “Head of the Demon,” a slower paced track with plenty of chugging riffs. The vocals are well varied, adding some brief singing to the subtle, yet still clearly eccentric approach utilized. There’s a good deal of enthusiasm all around, met with a catchy chorus that throws in a solid Groove Metal performance. This added groove can also be felt on “Words of the Dead,” which can be compared to “Invite It” by Annihilator, sharing some technicality in some spots and and a consistant aggression. Finally there’s the most obvious of all Metallica worship on “What You Become.” Like the rest of them, this isn’t a bad track, but it’s impossible to ignore the “Enter Sandman” riffs and that appear throughout.

As for more original material, there’s always the start of the album. “Underworld” shows off the furious fretwork Evile possesses, setting this one apart from the others due to it. The harsher vocals match the speed of the material nicely, and the harmonization is spot on during the slower chorus. It also has a fantastic guitar solo that any Thrash fan will immediately respect. It also stays at a respectable length, never leaving you to feel like its beating a dead horse to increase the song’s lifespan. “Skull,” however, is a good deal longer, but it ends up an interesting twist. This one shows some solid Slayer worship all around, and the vocals do have some additional melody to them, especially in the hook-fueled chorus where the Metallica inspirations come back into play. There are some bridges that end up going on a bit too long, and honestly aren’t even all that vital to the track when they hit the first time about two-and-a-half minutes in.

Despite Evile sounding more like a carbon copy of Metallica, Skull is a pretty strong album that does show the band branching out a bit. There’s no song on here that ends up dull or boring, and their obvious influences are paid tribute very well to create a release even they would love for more than a boost to their egos. If you enjoyed the past two Evile albums, there’s no doubt that Skull will leave yet another lasting impression. But, if you’re against the many clones that have erupted in the past ten years, this is still an album of pure worship, and while done right with enough solid material to peak the most stout of naysayers, there’s nothing here you couldn’t find on Load, or even …and Justice for All.

01. Underworld – 4:37
02. Skull – 6:31
03. The Naked Sun – 6:04
04. Head of the Demon – 4:24
05. Tomb – 7:26
06. Words of the Dead – 4:16
07. Outsider – 3:37
08. What You Become – 4:54
09. New Truths, Old Lies – 6:35
Initial Pressing Score: 8/10

Evile (band)
Evile

Digital review copy of this release provided by Earache Records via Century Media Records.