Evile
Infected Nations

Of all these young retro, thrash “revival” bands, Evile was not one that I expected to take their game to the next level. No, I expected them to release a rehash of their debut, Enter the Grave, which in turn would be just another rehash of Metallica, Exodus and Slayer ideas and accomplishments. How wrong I was. Infected Nations is the sound of a band that has matured a great deal in just one albums time, truly coming into their own and jumping to the front of the current thrash movement.

Now the influence of the aforementioned bands is still present, it’s of a much less flattering (or ripped off if you prefer) extent than before. Also, the era of focus has shifted from the early years to the late 80’s/early 90’s, drawing from the likes of …And Justice For All, Seasons In the Abyss, Sepultura‘s Arise and Chaos A.D. Most of the material here is of a much more mid paced style that falls in line with those albums, and even shows hints of the progressive that may bring to mind No More Color/Mental Vortex era Coroner – seriously, I thought that on more than one occasion and it’s a nice surprise.

The riffing throughout the album is stout and pretty creative and much of the solo work is of mesmerizing quality. The real star here though is vocalist Matt Drake who has really found his own style and sound, and falls somewhere between Tom Araya and James Hetfield, but doesn’t really sound that much like either of them.

Opening with the title track and “Now Demolition”, the tone is set at a sturdy mid pace and immediately shows the new focus and direction. Both songs are well written tunes with smooth transitions between multiple change ups, and some fine ax work. “Nosophoros” brings the speed and the first hints of that Coroner influence I mentioned, even if it’s slight, and an absolutely jaw dropping solo. “Devoid of Thought” is much in the same vain, and “Time No More” rocks and rumbles with the gait of the first two tracks. “Metamorphosis” is where the Coroner vibe really comes into play, with many more change ups and tempo shifts, all seamlessly tied into a cohesive, near eight minute run topped with some eerie atmospherics throughout. This vibe continues through the mammoth album closing instrumental “Hundred Wrathful Deities” and is arguably the albums shining jewel musically. Starting slow yet heavy, there’s a certain haunting quality to it that gradually builds throughout, and climaxes around the 6-7 minute mark where everything fades out except the lead which is positively spooky sounding, then picks back up slowly to the end. You may expect it to just explode into a total thrash fest at any moment, but instead remains controlled and utterly epic.

I don’t really have anything negative to say about Infected Nations, other than a couple mid album tracks (“Genocide” and “Plague to End All Plagues”) seem to drag just a little, but this is a minor gripe because they still have plenty working in their favor. The production is also spot on, courtesy of Russ Russel.

Infected Nations is hands down one of the years best thrash albums, and also one of it’s biggest surprises. Some purists of the genre may scoff at the lack of full on blitzkrieg speed, but they’d be missing the point completely. Definitely worth looking into if you liked the direction many thrash bands took in the late 80’s and early 90’s.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Larry "Staylow" Owens
September 17th, 2009

Comments

  1. Commented by: Blackwater Park

    I’m really keen to get my hands on the non-beeped version of this. What I have heard so far sounds fucking awesome!


  2. Commented by: faust666

    exactly what BP said !!!


  3. Commented by: ceno

    I’m looking forward to it. Great review, Larry! Sounds very promissing.


  4. Commented by: Ryan

    Just gave them a listen. Kind of wrote them off with their debut, but I will be purchasing this next week for sure. Sounds excellent.


  5. Commented by: RevelationNo9

    Great album. Much, much improved over the debut. I was ready to write them off after the 1st album but this one they really brought it. Thumbs up!


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