Evil Invaders - Pulses of Pleasure - (8/10)
Published on March 4, 2015
Already this year, the thrash metal scene has seem quite a few younger bands step up for their sophomore or debut efforts from previous releases. Add Evil Invaders to that quickly growing list. After a stint on their first self titled EP that appealed with good intentions, but lacked the sound and punch to really make a statement, these Belgian speeder metallers signed to Napalm Records for their debut Pulses of Pleasure. The gigantic leap from their rough EP to this debut record is massive. The idea behind Evil Invaders is the same…the results are stunningly better.
The sound that Evil Invaders brings to the table on Pulses of Pleasure is quite similar to the core idea of what they had before – which I’m sure a majority of the readers here probably haven’t heard. Take the foundational values of Mercyful Fate, subtract the Satanic themes, inject some Bay Area thrash speed and energy, and you get what Pulses of Pleasure is about. The thrashy speed and punk vibes are wrapped in an unrelenting NWOBHM inspired melodic attack from the guitars and vocals, but the entire thing smacks a bit of that modern band pulling a throw back sound overall. The results are a ton of fun.
Perhaps the biggest leap of quality from the EP to this debut is in the production. While the rough and raw feel of their previous release hindered the band, a sharper sound and mix does them wonders. The endless melodic leads and killer shrieking high notes in the vocals pierce through the faster and thrashier rhythm sections without losing the bottom or high end. A song like “Eclipse of the Mind” requires that all the layers be audible and with anything less in the production it would have sounded like a jumbled heap of audio. The balance in the sound and the vicious attack on it are ten fold better for the debut.
Pulses of Pleasure could have used a bit more diversity in the writing of the album to create a more impactful record overall because by the time the melodic intro pops up with “Blinded” and leads into the epic closer “Master of Illusion” with its Iron Maiden melodies and galloping rhythms, one can be a little worn out from the sheer speed of the band’s attack. Yet, that’s really the only thing that holds back this debut from launching these thrashers right up to the top. Evil Invaders most certainly succeeds at what they set out to do here.
Once one has grown accustomed to the sound and the eager approach to maximizing all of the elements, Evil Invaders seems pretty effective at delivering the goods. Pulses of Pleasure might not be perfect, but it’s one hell of a launching point to introduce the band to a slew of hungry fans. It’s just enough speed, melody, and ferocity to make sure that they find their way into your listening queue on repeat.