I’ll be the first to admit when I’m wrong. It’s not a pretty thing. In fact, I almost always make an ugly face when I have to. But nonetheless, I was wrong with my initial thoughts on Evile‘s new album Skull would be. I’ll be 100% honest, I originally despised Evile. There was just something about their sound that didn’t agree with my ears. I never gave them too much of a chance either, in my mind I didn’t have to step in crap twice to know that it stunk. So, it’s with slight hesitation that I picked up their new album. But, no matter how much I tried to hate the album, I simply couldn’t stop the sheer intensity of the album from overtaking me and dunking my head into the blessed water. That’s right, you are now talking to the converted. Let me preach to you o brother.
Though I usually stray from comparing with the biggest albums in metal history, I seriously can’t stop from doing it this time. From the very first note, Skull sounds extremely similar to Seasons in the Abyss, and not just with the major stuff like the guitars and vocals, but everything down to the small details like the ride cymbal and the reverb. But, it’s one thing to have album that sounds like Slayer, but it’s quite another thing to have an album that sounds like Slayer because you play so damn well. The intensity of the Hanneman/King combo is replicated in the faster songs by their gruesome twosome combo in Matt and Ol Drake, which are by no means a sloppy second, Evile has really come into their own, their technique and craftsmanship when it comes to creating fast and furious tunes that are at the same time catchy is something that deserves everybody’s attention.
And though Skull pulls heavy influences from Season in the Abyss, it’s in no way a rip-off of the album; Skull also manages combining elements from Master of Puppets, Youthanasia, and Fabulous Disaster, while still managing to seem strangely unique in its sound. Despite the clear influences, Skull is undoubtedly one of those albums that keeps you wanting and eagerly anticipating the next song with a venomous like fervour. Sometimes I feel as if nobody is listening to the classics, but it’s stuff like this that makes me feel confident that metal will be in good hands, long after the titans of today are long gone.
I’m not lying when I say that this album has had more spins on my iPod than anything else this year, I simply can’t get enough of it. There’s a certain infectious quality to it that makes you return to it again and again. And I’m sure, that after we’re all dead and gone Skull will be one of those albums that coming generations will refer to as a classic. It feels as if it were honed in the same fires that forged mighty blades in the 80s and early 90s, and in fact, it sounds as if Evile had been playing since then; the cohesion of the band on pretty much any track from “Naked Sun” to “New Truths, Old Lies” is practically unheard of in a band that has been along as short of a time as Evile has.
And though some people may say that the album sounds a little too familiar, I’d have to completely disagree, did Metallica sound too much like Diamond Head? Did Slayer sound too much like Venom? While there is a certain validity in those former accusations, it fails to recognize the point that all bands build upon the works of the predecessors, regardless of genre or era. Every band is going to sound similar to a band that preceded them. Thankfully though, Evile is not one of those bands that bring nothing new to the table, if nothing else but the breath of fresh air that they bring, they deserve our gratitude and applaud. Without a doubt, Skull is one of the most finely honed albums of 2013, you’d be a fool to miss it.