Evil - 邪悪を讃えよ (Rites of Evil) - (8/10)
Published on September 15, 2017
After a pair of demos and a split with Lurking Fear, with whom they share a drummer, Evil is a Japanese four piece from Tokyo. Much like their music, the band name recalls the primordial sounds of Bulldozer, NME, and early Bathory; a sound that’s not too dissimilar from fellow countrymen Abigail and Sabbat. The recently released their debut full length album Rites of Evil through Nuclear War Now! Productions, a fitting label for the band’s primal, first wave ridden, Teutonic-tinged madness.
Thrashing double kick rhythms and frenetic, yet sharp riffs are the order of the day. The riffing toes the line between high octane blackened thrash and rangy, primeval speed metal, with a fair amount of sleazy leads. Deep, barked vocals, and even a Tom G. Warrior deathgrunt, lead the charge, as quick fills and palm muted breaks make it impossible to stand still while the music is on. Though there are a ton of first wave histrionics, Rites of Evil brings a thrashier, more rampant sound that relies less on speed than it does on pure muscle. It makes for an album that offers the swagger of the first wave with the aggression of the early Teutonic thrash titans.
As much as Evil’s debut full length is wildly derivative and sounds like all of those greats from when the style was first coming into prominence in the early ’80s, it’s hard not to love what these guys are doing. Everything, from the imagery to the recording to the guitar tone, just oozes first wave worship. When mixed with the layers of Sodom and Kreator worship, Rites of Evil comes across as an honest and unrestrained love letter to the early days of extreme metal; and there is certainly nothing wrong with that.