…And Ride The Master Of Justice For All Lightning Puppets
Alright, say you have a metal band and you need a title for your new album and it looks like all the epic shit has already been taken by all those kooky Norwegians– not to mention the million other metal acts that have come before you. So, what do you do? Call it Skull. Fuck it, you can’t get more metal than skulls, dude. Neo-heshers, Evile, did just that. The result is the band’s fourth LP and is certainly the biggest sound they’ve ever put out. Here’s the challenge, though: how do you keep thrash fresh? There seems to be a revivalist type of thing going on in the metal scene, so let’s see what Evile has for us.
First track “Underworld” opens up like an up-tempo “Damage Inc.” cover or something. Plus, Matt Drake on lead vocals sounds like a mashup of Tom Araya and James Hetfield. This dude is talking about underworlds and shit and it’s pretty metal so far. Then this Pantera-ish bridge comes in before some South of Heaven-era Slayer chugs with Dragonforce-y harmonized shit shredding about.
Title track “Skull” gallops around like some …And Justice For All junk. You’re waiting for Kirk Hammett wah-noodling to break out. “Naked Sun” is the same affair with snare abuse and constant crash hammering, except this guy doesn’t suck balls at drumming like Lars.
“Please,” you beg, “please deliver a mid-tempo track”…oh, “Head of the Demon,” perhaps? K, thanks. This one is a welcome break from the slight monotony of the last three. Also, there aren’t the same chug patterns and Chuck Schuldiner harmonies happening here. Oh, what’s this? An Opeth bridge? No prob, that’ll do.
How about a song that doesn’t start with guitars leg dropping you in the face? “Tomb” you say? Oh shit, more Opeth/early Metallica crooning? Wow, this guy has a really fucking good James Hetfield impression…like, impeccable. Is this “Unforgiven Pt. IV?” Alright, you’re losing me here, guys…we get it, you like Metallica.
What now? “Dyers Eve Pt. II”? Oh, you just called it, “Outsider” instead? All good. Hey, you got anything that sounds like Load or Reload? “What You Become” you say? Fuck…killin’ me over here, guys. Okay…final track…how about something that DOESN’T SOUND LIKE METALLICA…PLEASE. Really? More Metallica? Is someone getting trolled here? Where’s Ashton Kutcher? This is ridiculous. Okay, maybe this shit talking is a bit much.
Evile’s Skull, in all honesty, is a solid thrash album. It’s well recorded, well written, and well executed. There’s one problem, though: IT SOUNDS EXACTLY LIKE METALLICA…BIG TIME. Now, maybe you can discern the differences, or maybe you don’t give a shit and are like, “METALLICA RUUUULES,” but this guy’s Hetfield impression is fucking intense, man. Can’t say it’s bad– after all, old Metallica is pretty badass, but this whole revivalist thing is going a bit far. Perhaps just go with an alternate album title, too? Dude, how about …And Ride The Master Of Justice For All Lightning Puppets? Pretty thrash, bro!