MC Lukesta, on september 24, 2009 3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: Enter The Grave was an "old-school 80s thrash" album, despite the fact it came out 2 years ago. Now though, Evile has gone in a (slightly) new direction. It's still thrash but it's newer, maturer and more progressive thrash. And it's bloody good! The whole tone of the album is darker, in a kind of Lovecraftian way. All the songs are longer and contain quite a few tempo changes. A notable change is that Mike Alexander's bass is more audible and can be heard quite clearly on some parts of songs (notably in Nosophoros). More evidence that the band has matured in song-writing is the 11-minute instrumental Hundred Wrathful Deities. It also must be said, the band are extremely talented musicians and have got even better since Enter The Grave. // 9
Lyrics: The biggest change in the albums is Matt Drake's vocals. His voice is alot darker and sounds evilly strained at times. As with the music, the lyrics have also matured and aren't just about Rambo or draining virgin's blood (even though I thoroughly enjoyed those songs). The lyrics are quite political but disguised as supernatural (Lovecraftian) ramblings. // 8
Overall Impression: Overall, I love this album. Evile seem to have followed Metallica in respects to Ride The Lightning, but at times the new songs remind me of Kreator, which is no problem as the German kings are my favourite band. So BUY this album, or download it if really strapped for cash, but get this album. You won't regret it! // 10
UG Team, on september 24, 2009 1 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: Here's a simple comparison: Man Against Machine', from Evile's face-scouring debut Enter The Grave', had a dissonant intro on a clean guitar before thy metal was jacked, and this new effort begins with something similarly dark. The odd metre and menacing counterpoint of Infected Nation' say something very different though; they say certainty where before they said instability, they say impending doom where before they said impending riff, they say man where before they said boy.
This coming of age' continues after the first 40 seconds when that juicy Eb, fuelled by a hungry 6505, returns to the field. The first few tracks' big-bad-wolf attitude and resolute stomp have the sound of a band with greater tenure than Evile, a specific one when Matt Drake starts to sing. Let us address the elephant in the room by saying he does sound like James Hetfield and he furthers the very Justice-y vibe which originates from the pounding mid-tempo riffs and equally pulsating drumming from Ben Carter. Just like Enter The Grave', the songs are fairly long for thrash metal but once the novelty of Drake's new style wears off the length of Infected Nations' becomes far more noticeable. Each song has its merits and they crop up in the moment but memorability suffers at times.
Luckily this isn't the case with every song, as Genocide' and Time No More' put a steel-plated toe up your backside just the way they should and you can still feel the pain when the huge instrumental Hundred Wrathful Deities' wraps up proceedings. Ol Drake's solos are, as ever, a highlight and his well thought-out leads are always a welcome resuscitation during songs like Nosophoros' which leave little other lasting impression. They more than often are the thrashiest moments of their respective songs, though I'll leave it to you to decide whether or not there's a connection between the two. // 7
Lyrics: It was easy to be disappointed when this album's artwork was revealed because, awesome as it was, it did not depict Rambo fighting off legions of flying sharks. Maybe that's an unreasonable expectation for an album cover but it looks like Evile have forgone the silliness for a more seriously minded batch of songs. The swap to a Megadeth or Sepultura-style social commentary works well, although the lyrics aren't quite as daring as either of those examples. The domineering vocals hide what are actually pretty solid lyrics with both clear meanings and an enjoyable element of personality.
Unfortunately it is the vocals more than anything which make this album drag in places; Drake's singing is pitched, but not melodic and the repetitive phrasing and note choice means that the initial stranglehold the album has on you loosens pretty quickly. The closing instrumental actually benefits greatly from not having any vocals, and ends up being one of the most engaging songs on the album despite its length, which says a lot about the vocals and their edge-dulling effect on the music. Credit where credit's due, the performance is competent but the lyrics are what give this section an above-average score. // 6
Overall Impression: Maybe it's easier to think of this album as great music with intermissions, but at times it seems more like half-decent music with intermissions of greatness. Not at all helped by the wash of uninspiring vocals the album does fall short of lofty expectations but is still worth a listen or two. There's something inherently likeable about Evile which makes it all the more difficult to come to terms with Infected Nations', as it is a challenging album to listen to and is only dotted with quality songs, rather than filled to the rafters. They have at least proved to their detractors that they are not a flash-in-the-pan party-thrash band, but they've traded out that immediacy and fun factor for a more risky path that at this point in their career may just be a little too grand a step out into the great wide open. // 6
Nathan_393, on september 25, 2009 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Let's start with the production here: leagues better the band's at-this-point-infamous debut CD "Enter the Grave". The bass is audible, the vocals sound fantastically well-recorded, and the lead guitar tones are incredible. The rhythm guitar tones - where do we begin? Sheer thrash goodness. Matt Drake's right hand is developing perfect time and feels much more aggressive and tighter than it did previously.
As far as the quality of the music itself, the instrumentation is beyond impressive. The album opens with the rhythmically challenging title track, and the "typical" acoustic opening is handled beautifully here, sounding like early Sepultura at its finest. In fact, a lot of the sound on this disc sounds like it's been sprayed by a Max Cavalera scent (which I certainly don't think is a bad thing, since we're talking the Beneath The Remains era of the band). That and the band sounds like they've been listening to a little more Exodus as well, which certainly can't be a bad thing - and it also feels like there's some death metal influence, but it's hard to say as the album is in standard tuning (this is also a very, very good thing).
Evile has made leaps and bounds from Enter The Grave in every way possible; don't let other reviews fool you. These boys have successfully made the transition from writing simple thrash metal to complex social commentaries filled with jaded, rhythmically incomprehensible guitar riffs and solo work that is reminiscent of Kirk Hammett in 1989 - if he were more progressive and less bluesy, and a whole lot faster. That's right. Ol Drake really steps it up on this release. And Mike Alexander, as I said before is audible - does this mean he's good? Occasionally, his line stands up, and his solo during Hundred Wrathful Deceits is absolutely wonderful - if only because of its place in the song and nothing else.
Be warned though: this isn't the Evile of old. It's much more mature. This is a good thing. The songs are much more comprehensive, the riffs more intense. Also a good thing. The songwriting in general has improved - the riffs are so much more elaborate, so much more interesting - and there's a beautiful eleven and a half minute instrumental that doesn't bore me. Picture Metallica work meets modern ideas.
These boys, musically, have climbed from Kill 'Em All style songs to Ride the Lightning/...And Justice For All quality. Easily a 9 from me as far as instrumentation goes. The work is wonderful - not flawless, but certainly beyond worth hearing, and it blows the pants off of anything that Megadeth has put out this year. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics are also leagues above Enter The Grave. Why? Because they're not singing about childish affairs anymore. They're singing about the world around them - politics especially. Not in any way that seems like a view is being forced upon you though (leave that to Mustaine), but in more of a Metallica/Lovecraftian way. Take note, metalheads of the future: this is how you want to write your lyrics.
Now, I will take an issue with Matt Drake's vocal style. I will give him points for being a far better singer than he was in the Enter The Grave days - in fact, saying he sounds like Tom Araya no longer applies like it used to - but he still hasn't hit the mark. His singing, especially during the choruses, isn't aggressive enough and doesn't seem to be melodic enough. It's comparable to Matt Heafy's singing style - which is unfortunate because although both singers have potential, neither of them seem to choose melodies that would add to the song in the way that Hetfield or Mustaine could in the 80's (or Joey Belladonna for that matter). I'll give him points for improving, but the 7 I give here is generous and based more on the massive improvement from Enter The Grave. If this were my first experience listening to Matt Drake, I'd be inclined to give this a 5 out of 10. // 7
Overall Impression: This album is such a massive improvement from Evile's debut that it's hard not to recommend it to anybody who enjoys a solid thrash metal album. It's probably the best pure thrash metal album to come out of this retro movement (although whether or not it lends more validity to the movement will be up to time to tell). One gets the feeling that if this band continues its positive progression, they could very well become one of metal's most important bands. And their career trajectory seems to be matching positively to Metallica's 1980's ventures at the moment, so it wouldn't shock me to see an even better album next time around.
It's hard not to recommend any certain song from this album, or to recommend certain songs in particular. The title track, Hundred Wrathful Deceits, Devoid of Thought, and Genocide are all worthy investments to hear where the band is going. But in all honesty, to get the big picture, you'll need to get the whole album and listen to it multiple times before it sinks in.
Pick this one up soon and show some support for arguably the best retro thrash band around! // 8
JD+Thrash=win, on june 11, 2010 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: In this review, I will try my best to refrain from comparing Evile to Metallica and just about every other thrash band under the sun as I'm sure that it's something that is going to plague them for the rest of their career. What I will say however, is if you can imagine the feel and atmosphere of Metallica's Call of Ktulu (sorry) stretched out to an albums worth of material, you have Infected Nations. I only use that song as a reference point however, as I believe the biggest influence over the album are Lovecraftian themes. This isn't a tangible thing that can easily be identified, yet it plays a massive role in the way the songs are pieced together. All the songs are dripping with menace and there seems to be a sort of unknown threatening presence that stays with the whole way through the album, much of this becomes apparent through the intricate riffs, the darkly esoteric lyrics and the slithering harmonies and leads. This is still a thrash album though and the band itself is showing massive progression as musicians and songwriters, turning what were once blunt instruments into precision crafted blades. // 9
Lyrics: Many people have had a problem with Matt Drake's vocals on this album, saying that they don't quite hit the mark. I strongly suggest that those people have their ears throughly cleaned out as Matt Drake's vocals are the defining factor of this album. The way he holds his melodies and the gruff bark that he produces adds volumes to the overall experience of the album. Songs like Now Demolition and Genocide benefit greatly from his vocal lines and in Metamorphosis where he sings "from roots we touch the sky" it actually sounds like he is a horrific monster rising from the depths to reek a plague upon the land. Indeed many of the lyrics of this album contain such vivid, world devouring imagery, which in themselves are metaphors for various social and political issues. Of course they aren't the most mind boggling lyrics in the world, would anyone hazard a guess at what Devoid of Thought is about?, but they are good lyrics all the same. // 8
Overall Impression: As I stated before, I dislike comparing this album to other thrash metal bands, because here Evile has managed to step out on its own and create a record that is still throughly a thrash album, but set them apart from other bands that they are too often compared to. No, this isn't Beneath the Remains crossed with ...And Justice For All, this is Infected Nations by Evile! It isn't a perfect album, far from it. It has its musical missteps and much of the album has arguably been stretched out longer than it needs to be. I'll even admit that some of those pseudo growls that Matt Drake threw into some songs were rubbish. But it is the ability for me to notice all those flaws and still love the album to pieces that makes Infected Nations a great record. This album indicates that the only way Evile can go is up and I cannot wait to see what they come up with next. // 8