Evile – Five Serpent’s Teeth

Two years after the tragic passing of their bass player, Mike Alexander, Evile have returned with their third album “Five Serpent’s Teeth.” Since their first album I’ve said (and I’ve read it elsewhere too) how Evile occasionally sounds a bit like Metallica. Whether it’s the Hetfield-style edge on Matt Drake’s vocals or the style of thrash they are playing, it is unavoidable that comparisons will be made. Their first album “Enter the Grave” was even produced by Flemming Rasmussen who produced three Metallica albums. A darker similarity just occurred to me in that they have both lost bass players to tragedy.

I consider the Metallica comparison a mere side note though, as most of the time they do not sound like Metallica, they sound like Evile. There are just moments that make you think of Metallica. On “Five Serpent’s Teeth” I think of “Justice” era Metallica due to the thrashy yet precise clean sound of this album. Anyway, I think it’s cool they remind me of Metallica. It’s not like there are a bunch of Metallica clones running around. If there are, I haven’t heard them.

So I’ve been looking forward to this album and I sure wasn’t disappointed when I heard it. They are headed in the right direction, each successive album keeps getting better and this one in my opinion should earn them a solid place in the metal hierarchy. This is a top-notch thrash album. The production is clean and all the instruments sound great.

I wish more people sang like Matt Drake. Evile proves that you don’t have to use harsh screams and growls to be heavy; if only more young bands would take that to heart. Sure, there’s a place for harsh vocals, and I like them too when done well, but they seem the rule on metal albums anymore; so real non-sugary clean-ish vocals is a much welcome breath of fresh air. The Great Ones – Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax, Testament, and even Exodus to an extent have all had relatively clean vocals. Sure, they are “old” and so maybe the kids these days prefer harsh vocals, fine. But I’d still like to hear more bands make heavy music with singing. There is such a void between syrupy power metal and death metal, more music between those two extremes would only make the metal scene stronger.

There have been so many good albums released this past week that I’m constantly torn about what to listen to when I’m not reviewing. “Five Serpent’s Teeth” is definitely on the short list of new releases that is getting heavy rotation on my iPhone. I feel like I say this all the time (which is probably because I’m totally biased and when the choices are up to me I review only the albums I like, hence I say this all the time) but you really should get this album. I cannot get enough of it. I don’t see any U.S. tour dates listed yet, but I’m sure they’ll get over here eventually. And when they do I am there. In the meantime, get this album and play it loud!