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Evil Drive – Demons Within Award winner

Evil Drive
Demons Within
by Thomas Kumke at 12 April 2021, 5:02 PM

EVIL DRIVE hailing from Finland were formed in 2013. Starting their career with their debut EP in the same year, 2 more full-length albums followed in 2016 and 2018. Their style fall certainly into the melodic Death Metal genre although they are influenced by a large variety of Metal bands ranging from IRON MAIDEN to SLAYER. “Demons Within” is the new full-length album and it is the first album after two line-up changes with Antti Tani on drums and Matti Sorsa on bass. The album was released via German label Reaper Entertainment which has predominantly Death, Thrash, and Black Metal bands among their current roster. “Demons Within” has a length of more than 42 minutes.

So EVIL DRIVE are back with their third album and they continue to establish their melodeath sound to become a serious force among the next generation of melodic Death Metal bands. This is a very positive thing. They have vastly improved since their debut “The Land Of The Dead”, especially regarding the songwriting and the vocals of Viktoria Viren. There might be some who may argue that they are just another ARCH ENEMY type of band, but they are much more than that. Listening to “Demons Within”, it is easy to recognize their role models, especially when it comes to the lead guitars and the vocals, but EVIL DRIVE understand it very well to create their very own sound and combine the classical melodeath with a few Thrash Metal elements. Starting with “Payback”, the guitar riffs are sharp, aggressive, and fast. The opener is one of the heaviest songs on the album, the lead guitar solos are melodic but maintaining the vicious dynamics of the song. While “Payback” surely has those Thrash Metal influences, “Breaking The Chains” is a typical melodeath classic with epic choruses and lead guitar harmonies. The comparison to ARCH ENEMY is inevitable as it is for a couple of other songs like “We Are One”. In fact, I could imagine that “Breaking The Chains” could fit on any of the more recent ARCH ENEMY albums.

Speaking of role models, as a life-long IRON MAIDEN fan, the opening riffs and the lead guitar solo of the title song are surely inspired by them. EVIL DRIVE smartly combines here the traditional Heavy Metal vibes with modern melodeath sound to create an excellent title track that has everything in it: catchy rhythm and guitar riffs, epic and melodic breaks, top class extended lead guitar solos of highest technical quality and the vocals that are just perfectly suited to the sound. The title song was also released as video and the YouTube link is given below.

Rising From The Revenge” is perhaps one of those songs that describes EVIL DRIVE best: the outstanding capability to maintain the balance between the more aggressive and fast thrashy rhythms, the epic sing-along melodeath choruses, and the extended lead guitar solos which forms a mix of melodic but still aggressive sound. A similar thing could be said about “Too Wild To Live Too Rare To Die” or “Lords Of Chaos” where the former song has clearly more melodic inspirations while “Lords Of Chaos” has a bit more darkness in riffing and one of the rare moments of very fast guitar riffing, drums, and lead guitars. Another one of the more aggressive and dynamic songs is “Bringer Of Darkness”. This is probably my favorite song on the album, especially because of the aggressiveness in sound and Viktoria Viren`s outstanding vocals.

There is always one song on every album which does not have the edge and that is here “In The End”. I am not sure why many melodeath bands need to have a ballad on their album, I could live without them. Also I am not sure why Viktoria Viren has a clean vocal part here. She has a fantastic voice, but it simply does not fit onto the album. However, EVIL DRIVE make amends with the final song to conclude a great album.

With “Demons Within”, EVIL DRIVE deliver an outstanding melodic Death Metal album and prove that they are ready for the bigger stage. Their sound has evolved and their songwriting has vastly improved. Although their music is inspired by a few role models, the band created their own style and character with their own distinctive sound driven especially by both guitarists and the unique female vocals. The production of the album is excellent. “Demons Within” is surely a contender for the melodic Death Metal album of the year and it will be exciting to see how EVIL DRIVE continue with their Metal journey. The sky is the limit.

Songwriting:  10
Musicianship:  9
Memorability:  9
Production:  9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Payback
2. Breaking The Chains
3. Demons Within
4. Rising From The Revenge
5. We Are One
6. Too Wild To Live Too Rare To Die
7. Lords Of Chaos
8. Bringer Of Darkness
9. In The End
10. Ghost Dimension
Lineup:
Viktoria Viren – Vocals
J-P. Pusa – Guitars
Ville Viren ­ Guitars
Antti Tani – Drums
Matti Sorsa – Bass
Record Label: Reaper Entertainment
     


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