邪悪を讃えよ​(​Rites of Evil) by Evil

Release date: August 15, 2017
Label: Nuclear War Now! Productions

There’s this thing about Japanese innovation, where they’re famous for looking at products from other places and then just improving those. I’m not sure how much truth that still holds, but it definitely fits the bill for the band Evil, who just released their first full length 邪悪を讃えよ (Rites of Evil). The group sounds like an ultimate eighties extreme metal formation.

The biography already states the comparison with Bulldozer, G.I.S.M. and Sacrofago. While normally it’s better to find an own comparison, this one was just too head on to pass by. Blistering, furious thrash metal with the dark and raw sound of early black metal. The band is surprisingly young, having only started out in 2011, but they sound as if thrash is running through their veins!

So when the band gets going on ‘Joya/Nightmare Bells’, it’s time for lift-off with these Japanese speedfreaks. A bit of a build up, while you hear some bells toll (yeah, like they did in 1984) and we’re off with ‘Jubaku/The Curse’. The barked vocals give the tune a bit of a punky vibe with the rapidly spat words and constant ferocious riffing that just makes you bang your head in any capacity you can while listening to this record. The high-pitched wail halfway the track really finishes that oldschool vibe the band has going. The music on this album is highly accessible and never trying to be clever or complex. Speed is all that counts for the Japanese band.

The particular mix of black and thrash is immediately clear on ‘Kushi-zashi/Transfixion’, with a primitive sort of blast beat turning this song in something that may cause concussions in the future. You get tired just by listening to the frantic pace of that track, which is just a bit more than the rest of the album I feel. Evil sounds completely awesome, this record gets me completely pumped. Sure, that wailing scream that sounds like it comes straight from Slayer’s ‘Angel of Death’ is a bit cheesy, but it works! All in all there’s a lot about Evil that is probably on the cheesy side, but that’s what we know and love about extreme metal. Check out the jolly guitar parts in ‘Sword of Stupa’, simply amazing stuff.

I love how these gents just added a Japanese flavor to the. For example, the pentagram in the promo photo’s is covered with Japanese writing. It works, the complete picture is a mix of all these musical and visual influences. You would not say it by their aggressive, non-compromising sound, but the theme of most songs is actually Buddhism. ‘Bishamonten’ for example, is about the armor-clad god of war. Battering you with twangy, tight guitars, earthy, crushing drums and hoarse, biting vocals, this is definitely the dark side of that tradition. ‘Mugen-jigoku/Eternal Hell’ follows with a mid-tempo punk rhythm, showing that G.I.S.M. side they’re talking about.

Evil just has it all, everything you need from a raw as fuck black thrash album with a bit of a hardcore vibe and an evil sound. It’s as if the band has found a bend in the whole genre-development-tree we forgot about. No bullshit, just bang your head to this and find your inner calm. An album to get crazy with.

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