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Evil United - Honored By Fire Award winner

Evil United
Honored By Fire
by Tom Coyler at 31 July 2014, 8:22 PM

Some cheeses go down best with a fine wine, some meats are complimented perfectly by fruit sauces and some music is best served with an ice cold and foamy beer or six.

EVIL UNITED fit neatly into the latter category.  They have just released their second full album “Honored By Fire” and are kicking the asses off of most of the other bands to have surfaced in the last few years.  Every few years someone will pop their ugly head out of the woodwork and try to release an album that reignites the core sound of old school Metal.  Whether it's an old face trying to remind the world that he still exists and lost all of his money either up his nose or into his lungs a long time ago or a fresh new band that desperately want to sound like their heroes of old but are too afraid to stick anything anywhere so they just straddle a very bland red line of mediocrity instead, you can rest assure that like the changing of the seasons they will come around.

On the bright side, there are occasionally acts that give these business models the middle finger and get down to business.  Evil United are somewhat of a super-group, formed from bands such as WATCHTOWER, RIOT and MURDERDOLLS and with enough collective talent and experience to not only do it right but do it with balls and style.

First of all the guitar work is masterful and you can really hear that both T.C Connally and John Valenzuela have worked with each other before and have that unified playing style that just melts into one quad-armed super guitarist.  This is not an album of throw away riffs and borderline obsessive compulsively down picked open notes.  Far from it, every song has at least one riff on it that stands out and start to burrow its way into your head, threatening to never leave.  I got a little juicy over the guitar work on the instrumental piece “Ab Initio” and instantly wanted to grab a guitar and start reverse engineering it.  The guitars overall have a very new feel to them and it perhaps this element that stops Evil United from sounding too much like a shallow attempt at 30 year old music.

The shining point of the album and, in fact the whole band, has got to be vocalist Jason McMaster.  It's at this point that I should probably point out that I spent good while trying to figure out if these guys were taking themselves seriously or not because this would have swayed my overall opinion of them.  After half the album I had come to the conclusion that of course they don't, the music is brilliant and I'm sure they are very serious about writing good music but McMaster's vocals are such a parody of old school Metal vocals that it simply can't be taken as a deathly serious endeavour.  While he has a fantastic voice and a brilliant range, his tone and general delivery have such an edge of irony that it makes it all so much better.  I haven't seen these guys live but I can only imagine that they put on one hell of a show.

So grab a keg and have a party because EVIL UNITED probably are.

4 Star Rating

1. Dead Can See
2. Caesar
3. Ripping Flesh
4. Grave
5. Tombspawn
6. Ab Initio
7. Viking Funeral
8. Mind Over Pain
9. Ghostcrushed
10. Cottage
11. Bloody Water
12. 12
13. Outro
Don Van Stavern – Bass
Jason “Shakes” West - Drums
John “JV4” Valenzuela – Guitars
T.C. “Bird” Connally – Lead Guitars
Jason McMaster - Vocals
Record Label: MVD Audio


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