EVILE may have been one of the bands that reinvigorated the recent Thrash movement into mainstream success, but their second album left some mixed feelings about the act and their ever-increasing epic sound. This third record, “Five Serpent’s Teeth”, should set the record straight about a few things as it combines the Thrash-focused intensity of their debut and the more winding mid-era METALLICA structures of the second album into a blend that will quench any Thrash fan’s thirst.
At its basics, this album still beats with the heart of the EVILE many of us have grown to love. It’s got classic Thrash riffs galore and the lead guitar work and solos wind around each song with rapid-fire fret intensity that only the Drake brothers could craft together. The UK act even throw in some new touches of chaos back into the music with “In Dreams Of Terror” (highlighted by its frantic pace and wicked fast drum work) and the more structured riff heavy tracks are always present with the catchy “Cult” or the mid tempo romp “Xaraya”. In many ways, the band reverts back to an older style with this record and how they approach the more cutthroat Thrash basics.
In other ways, the band is further spreading their proverbial Thrash wings on “Five Serpent’s Teeth”. Vocalist/guitarist Matt Drake extends his vocal work into straight-out singing at many moments including the sing-a-long verses of “Cult” and throws in some new-layered sounds on “Eternal Empire”. This new found vocal freedom is truly brought forth on the record’s ballad, “In Memoriam,” where the band find themselves hinting at a desire for expansion with their sound (not unlike how METALLICA did on “And Justice For All”).
As a fan of the band, “Five Serpent’s Teeth” creates the same feeling of awe that their debut dropped on my precious ears so long ago. It winds around with the complexity that the band toyed with in their epic stage, but finds a new found punch-energy that gives it that aura of derailment into ferocity. One that EVILE seems intent on perfecting with this release…their best one yet.
Songs to check out: “In Dreams Of Terror”, “Cult”, “Long Live New Flesh”.
(Online November 27, 2011)