Album Review: Evile - The Unknown
Formed in the early 00s, Britain's Thrash Metal titans Evile are known for revitalising the genre whilst maintaining the core 80s sound. Having had a rather turbulent yet successful history consisting of both tragedy and numerous line-up changes, the band have returned with their 6th studio album The Unknown.
Vocalist and lead guitarist Ol Drake says of the record:
"We're really excited to start revealing the next page in the Evile chapter. We've taken a completely different approach on this album and I looked inward for inspiration; I've opened myself up like I never thought I would. We've always been at 500mph, like on the previous album (Hell Unleashed) and this time around we felt we wanted to try the polar opposite - some slower-than-we've-ever-done tempos with more melodic vocal hooks, and give Adam some freedom on the leads/writing. I've been working on my vocals since diving in the deep end in 2021, and we've worked hard for 2 years on this, so I'm excited for everyone to hear the fruits of our labour. We're really proud of what we've all accomplished with this album. This is the one I hope can catapult us to more ears and places we haven't been before to play for people who are constantly asking us to play in their area.
First up is the title track, "The Unknown." I wrote the basic lyrical content and concept back in 2017 when I was out of the band. The song deals with my fears and anxieties of becoming a Father for the first time and all the doubts and worries which come with the responsibilities it brings."
The record opens with the title track; a hauntingly melodic mid-tempo stomp with catchy hooks, groove-laced solos and dark undertones. Ol Drake's vocal ability is impressively showcased here with silky smooth cleans and rough melodies. 'The Mask We Wear' and 'Monolith' carry on in the same pattern with stomping, groovy riffage and punchy drums however the latter has a slightly doomier edge to it.
'When Mortal Coils Shed' is an emotive and somber ballad yet still heavy on the melody and riffs. However things take a drastic turn all of a sudden with 'Sleepless Eyes' with furious shredding and thunderous drumming as it explodes out of nowhere; a great example of thrash metal doing what it does best. 'Out of Sight' supports the intensity of it's predecessor with a vocal style similar to that of 90s Metallica. 'At Mirror's Speech' takes both the stompy, mid-tempo pace and the sheer intensity of the thrashy middle tracks to provide a crushing blow to the senses.
'Reap What You Sow' is addictively catchy, incredibly thunderous and an absolute head-banger of a track. 'Beginning of the End' is an apt title for the penultimate track of the record and begins with a chaotic, rambling crowd as it smoothly glides in to heavy basslines and heavy groove-laced riffs. Strong vocal melodies and massive chant-worthy moments really capture the band's impressive talents. 'Balance of Time' closes the record with fevered ferocity for one final push as it charges forward with flying solos, intense shredding and thunderous drums.
The Unknown is a monster of a record full of groovy melodies, impressive vocal abilities and addictively catchy hooks and riffs. A thrash record through and through which doesn't rely purely on speed. Evile have produced an artistic approach to a well-loved genre and is just beginning to pave the way for the future.
Release Date: July 14th 2023
Released By: Napalm Records
FFO: 90s Metallica, Megadeth, Pantera
01 - The Unknown
02 - The Mask We Wear
03 - Monolith
04 - When Mortal Coils Shed
05 - Sleepless Eyes
06 - Out of Sight
07 - At Mirror's Speech
08 - Reap What You Sow
09 - Beginning of the End
10 - Balance of Time