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Evile – Hell Unleashed Award winner

Hell Unleashed
by Thomas Kumke at 26 July 2021, 3:02 PM

EVILE hailing from West Yorkshire, UK have a more than 20 years long Thrash Metal history. Starting originally as METAL MILITIA in 1999, they renamed to EVILE in 2004 and since then released 2 EPs, 2 splits, and with “Hell Unleashed” their fifth full-length album. “Hell Unleashed” was recorded at the Backstage Studio in UK and was released via Austrian label Napalm Records. It has a length of about 42 minutes.

This is EVILE’s first album since eight years and it comes with a few changes. Most importantly, founding member Matt Drake left the band last year due to illness and his brother Ol Drake took over the vocals. When EVILE started in 2004, they were largely influenced by METALLICA and SLAYER. Their sound today is still very much inspired by traditional Thrash Metal classics, but it covers a broader range. The first feature on the album is the blistering pace throughout. The speed attack starts with “Paralysed” which includes incredibly fast guitar riffing, relentless drumming, catchy leads, and a cool lead guitar solo. The vocals of Ol Drake might be a point of debate, since his voice hardly varies in most of the songs of the album. The voice reminds a bit on Chuck Billy and comparisons to TESTAMENT may be inevitable. “Paralysed” is not only a high speed pummeling, EVILE smartly change pace by including a few breaks.

Where is Brian Posehn? “Gore” might be even faster than “Paralysed” and it has definitely more aggression and a very sharp riffing. A few notes during the break remind on SLAYER classics, but in general the lead guitar solo during the break is very comprehensive. Most importantly, US comedian Brian Posehn features on the vocals, but I have little ideas at which part he could have contributed. “Gore” was released as video and the YouTube link is given below.

 “Incarcerated” continues with the SLAYER vibes and a “Seasons In The Abyss” inspired intro that transitions into a “Dead Skin Mask” kind of part at the beginning, but after that the crazy speed takes over again. “Incarcerated” has many different facets along the six minutes way comprising of tempo and rhythm changes as well as a more complex textures. “Disorder” is the slowest song on the album, still faster than mid-tempo for many parts but also includes some classical mid-tempo parts. The lead guitars are one of the highlights here and the vocals seem to fit better to that type of song. The slowest song is followed by the fastest song: the horror movie-inspired “The Thing (1982)”. Driven by the speed, the tight riffing, a crunching bass, and the lead guitars, the track contains a number of mid-tempo breaks and some parts remind on TESTAMENT.

Purists might think that the cover choice of MORTICIAN’s “Zombie Apocalypse” is a strange one, but there is a notable tendency of Thrash Metal bands to fusion more and more with Death Metal in recent years. So, why not? It shows that the musical range of EVILE is not one-dimensional and “Zombie Apocalypse” is a great song anyway. While “Control From Above” cannot keep up with the rest of the album, the title song “Hell Unleashed” shows what “Hell Unleashed” is about: finest Thrash Metal without compromise with a good balance between crazy speed and flesh-ripping riffs one side and mid-tempo breaks with great lead guitar parts on the other side.

EVILE deliver a Thrash Metal album which is a mix of the inspirations from the all-time Thrash Metal Bay Area Greats and their own musical ideas. If “Hell Unleashed” has shown something to me, then that it is the deadly combination of aggression, speed and melody what defines excellent Thrash Metal. The album is predominantly driven by the guitars and the drums. The production is very clean and you can hear every instrument. “Hell Unleashed” is surely one of the Thrash Metal highlights of the year and should belong to the collection of every Thrash Metal fan.

Songwriting:  9
Musicianship:  9
Memorability: 9
Production:  9

4 Star Rating

1. Paralysed
2. Gore (ft. Brian Posehn)
3. Incarcerated
4. War Of Attrition
5. Disorder
6. The Thing (1982)
7. Zombie Apocalypse (MORTICIAN cover)
8. Control From Above
9. Hell Unleashed
Ol Drake – Vocals, Guitars
Adam Smith – Guitars
Ben Carter – Drums
Joel Graham – Bass
Record Label: Napalm Records


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Edited 18 August 2022

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