EVANESCE were apparently a band that were underappreciated are now sorely missed in the British underground. At least that is what the notes accompanying the album “Secure The Shadow” tell us and who are we to question? While I think it a bit overstated that EVANESCE could make an already well known scene somehow greater, I do enjoy the raucous and stripped nature of the music on “Secure The Shadow”, a record which was years in actually getting finished and distributed.
It is hard to tell actually whether “Secure The Shadow” has cheap production or a decisively more minimalist recording, but nonetheless it works. What a song like “Statues To A Fallen Angel” contains is a crude shipment of early Death Metal mitigated with a simpler straight Metal edge to it, conjuring a cross of OBITUARY and SAXON. Throwing in a bit of nice melody such as in the instrumental title track (apart from a spoken passage) at a slower pace mixes it up a good deal. The beginning of the song also sounds uncannily like a bar or two on the WOODS OF YPRES release from a few years ago. Then again, I tend to be a bit obsessed with WOY. “Into The Silent Morn” is a cut obviously influenced deeply by IRON MAIDEN, having both the vibrato picking and melody that IM so often use in their signature sound.
Let’s say one thing that is obvious: even though they were formed first and their name is different, a lot of people will confuse EVANESCE with EVANESCENSCE. I know that seems difficult to those of us who pay attention, but I think it is a likely scenario. However, being that there is probably about 1/10000th the amount of copies available of “Secure The Shadow” as any EVANESCENCE album; I doubt it will confound too many music buyers. One good feature though that could come out of such a mix up would be a that followers of the Female fronted abomination would end up listening to an album that has some quality music and a good rollickin’ spine of real Metal for once. “Secure The Shadow” isn’t making anyone’s top ten this year, nor will it be placed in the vault of Death Metal classics, but it is a good little number with enough punch and hooks to engage a metal fan for its duration.
(Online December 2, 2006)