Evil Strikes Again

“We are Power Trio band that plays Metal as close to the glorious early 80’s years, just pure Metal, without nowadays trends.”

That’s the bio Colombia’s Witchtrap have written on their Instagram page, and… I mean, that’s job done, really! What the fuck do you need me for?

Seriously though – this is just what I needed right now. Simple, un-fucked-with, old school, high-energy Thrash/Death that kicks you again and again in the teeth, then shares a beer with you and has a good laugh about it.  A singularly focused, one-track mind for all things goddamn METAL, stopping at no point to apologize for their lack of nuance or subtlety.

No need to get too fancy about describing this thing. Do you like Sodom or Benediction? Maybe a little Midnight or Destroyer 666? Welllllll then you’ll probably like Evil Strikes Again a whole lot. And what a fun ride it is! Every metal trope makes an appearance here without a shred of shame: Murder! The Occult! Satan! (Actually, A LOT of Satan. I’m honestly surprised Beelzebub himself doesn’t make an appearance in the liner notes). They even throw in an anthemic subjugation against the crimes of false metalhood on a track called… uh… “Death to False Metal.” Succinct!

But don’t be fooled into thinking this is an entirely mindless exercise in being metal for the sake of just being metal as fuck – there’s plenty of genuinely inspired, even if not entirely innovative musicianship and songcraft on display here. The riffs alone on “Return to Hell” and “Born to Kill” are enough to keep you coming back, and the bridge/solo of “Madness and Poison” is legit one of my favorite minute+ stretches of metal I’ve heard all year – calling to mind the This Is Hell/Deathrace King glory days of The Crown and giving me a warm dose of nostalgia.

The band deserves a lot of credit for self-awareness, too. They know exactly who they want to be as a band and execute that vision to near-perfection. The vocals, the overall tone, their brash, tongue-in-cheek approach, it all lends itself to the experience. Just raw and messy enough to make for a heathenistic joyride, but musically deft and well-produced enough to avoid it being anything close to a chore of a listen. 3 and a half minute burner “Dealing With Satan” serves as a perfect example – it’s raucous, thrashy riffs would whip any crowd into an all-out frenzy. And it’s chorus, a metal anthem for the ages, might not inspire any critical introspection, but it sure as shit puts a stupid grin on my face:

I’ve been dealing!

I’ve been dealing with Satan!

And I owe it,

I owe it to metal! 

I mean come on! If that doesn’t give you a little laugh and get your head banging and horns raised, then you and I might have some differences that just cannot be bridged. But the song doesn’t just rely on its on-the-nose message and general fuckery to carry the load – it also features a solid-as-hell bridge and solo that offers a legit helping of musicianship to the table as well. The best of both worlds.

Anyway, I’ve probably gone on longer about this thing than is strictly necessary. This is metal for headbangers, thrashers and good-time-havers. It’s nothing you need to think a whole lot about – just press play and get ready to rage. I think we could all use some of this in our lives these days.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Steve K
November 19th, 2020


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