Evil
Possessed By Evil

Anyone who really knows me, knows I like it fast, raw, dirty and just this side of sadistic… What? No, get your fucking head out of the gutter ya dork.

No, I’m not talking about my relations with your mom (heh heh), I’m talking of course of Japan’s young bringers of Blackened Speed/Thrash Evil, and their new LP Possessed By Evil.  Anyone looking for something simple, to-the-point, and doesn’t give a goat’s ass about a polished product, would be well-served to check this thing out.

At their core, Evil is a sort of celebration of our black and thrash metal forefathers. A good dose of Venom and Celtic Frost, some early Sodom and Dark Angel, and a big ol’ pile of Sabbat thrown together into a hellish cesspool, and you’ve basically got the gist of what Evil is bringing to the table. And it’s friggin’ fun! From the opening blast beat of “The Cycle of Pain,” to the closing notes of “Evil Way of Life,” the band take you on a full-throttle roller coaster ride of speedy riffs and dirty, snarling vocals dripping with leather-and-bullet-belt-clad attitude. Granted, the lyrics are all in Japanese so for all I know these guys are actually singing about puppies and unicorns, but the tone of the delivery carries the message just fine all on its own (seriously though, black metal band that only writes songs about playing with puppies. GOLD MINE).

Tracks like “Yaksa,” “Revenge” and “Hell’s Evil Bells” make no bones about what they want to be – putting the pedal right down to the floor and never lifting . But for me, the band is at it’s very best when they do let off the throttle just a touch, settling into upbeat, punky, “Thrash n’ Roll” paces on tracks like “Raizin” (my personal favorite) and “Enmaten.” They’re fun as all hell and see the band really settling into what seems like a comfort zone for them. Don’t get me wrong, the band is more than capable of going all-out blitz, but these songs somehow seem less forced and showcase the bands knack for creating some really catchy riffs. The band slows things even more, getting really down and dirty on “Bottom of Hell,” giving the album a touch of swinging heft and providing a nice little reprieve from the otherwise raucous affair. It’s a strong song and I’d love to hear the band throw even more of this to the mix on future efforts.

In all, this is a well-made, self-aware album that gets so many of the little details just right. From the production value, to the absolutely EXCELLENT cover art, to the perfectly-executed balance between legit musicianship and just raw, fuck-all energy, I really really dig what Evil is bringing to the table here. They’re striking while the iron is hot on a project like this, with traditional Speed and Thrash Metal really coming back into vogue again these days, and they’re hitting all the right notes to be a big part of it all. Put some more fun into your life and give “Possessed By Evil” a spin.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Steve K
February 18th, 2021

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