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Spann Report: Evile at Central Station

by Chris Spann on 18 January, 2010 | 1 comment

Thrash metal seems to be experiencing a resurgence at the moment, and Evile are certainly one of the bands at the forefront of the revolution – So the fact that they were playing in Wrexham on a cold Friday night was a rather exciting one. Friday night was the second night of a European tour, along with Support acts Warbringer and The Fading.

It was the latter of the three who opened the show, to an admittedly tiny crowd. This didn’t seem to bother the Israeli metallers though – lurching straight into a full-on assault that combined both melody and straight up brutality in a way that is reminiscent of In Flames’ ‘Reroute to Remain’. The crowd didn’t seem to eager to bang their heads to begin with, but as the band continued to tear through their set, the reaction to their songs got better with each one. Despite looking rather cramped on Central’s quite small stage, the band gave off a rowdy energy that was certainly contagious – and the fact that the band were tighter than the proverbial camel’s backside certainly didn’t hurt either. If any criticism could be levelled at the band is that their sound could be considered somewhat generic, but on stage at least, the band put on such a confident performance it’s hard not to enjoy the show.

Next up were Warbringer, who it must be said, are terrifying. Fast doesn’t even come close to describing their music; ‘Slayer driving a rocket powered bulldozer’ is probably closer. Vocalist John Kevill is a fantastic frontman, stomping about the stage like Municipal Waste’s Tony Foresta and spouting inspired but insane invective – telling the crowd that the band had come all the way from LA to ‘kick us in the f**kin’ teeth’, for instance, or opening a song by telling the audience that it was about them starving to death. Warbringer do have a weakness however, and that’s the fact that they never, ever let up musically – and as much as you might like getting your face smashed against a wall, it can begin to test you after about half an hour or so. Still, Warbringer definitely have that magic something that means the difference between a good thrash band and a great thrash band, and were great fun to watch bouncing around the still-cramped stage.

And then came Evile, a band who very nearly didn’t do this tour after the death of their bass player, Mike Alexander, in October of last year. They open the set in typically unassuming style, vocalist Matt saying a few words about their deceased friend and thanking everyone for coming, before completely shifting momentum as they launched into their first track, a heavy, groove laden riff-fest that felt for all the world like someone had dropped a sonic breezeblock on your head from a great height, and let you know that the band had arrived. The band quickly confirm that you don’t need to play at 200mph to be heavy, and that you don’t have to leap about the stage when you produce such solidly consistent thrash metal – The music very much does the talking for them. Matt eschews the usual trappings of a metal vocalist between songs as well – There’s no claims to be doing it for Satan, or demands to start mosh pits here, just an amiable Northern chap who obviously still can’t believe that his band have got as successful as they’ve become, and that’s truly refreshing. Often, bands feel an urge to come across as Gods of Rock who the audience struggle to identify with, but Evile come across as the sort of chaps you might share a few beers with at a festival, and are all the more likeable for it. Unfortunately, the band were plagued with technical problems from the off; monitors not working, mics feeding back and more, but the band pushed through in a great show of professionalism, even slipping in a Metallica cover ‘for no reason other than we want to’ that drew a big noise from the unfortunately small audience. Every metal band deserve a good metaphor, and Evile are like being hit in the chest repeatedly with a hammer – sometimes fast, sometimes slow, but it’s still the same hammer, and it’s still just as hard. All in all, a great night seemed to have been had by all, and although my ears probably won’t thank me for it, I had a blast.

Read Chris’ interview with Evile frontman Matt Drake: wrexhammusic.co.uk/spann-talk-evile-vocalist-matt-drake



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Chris Spann

Email: spann.chris@googlemail.com

Chris is a freelance writer and a guest author on wrexhammusic.co.uk. View Chris' blog here: www.chris-spann.co.uk
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