There is nothing better in this job than being sent something for review which you are 99% sure will be awesome. It doesn’t happen all that often but when it does it just makes my job so much easier and more enjoyable as contrary to popular belief I don’t actually like having to be negative in reviews. I have liked everything that I have heard from metal titans Evyltyde to date so I knew when I pressed play on the album that this was going to be such an easy review to write.
Before I’m go any further though I want to apologise for the total lateness of this one. The album came out when I’d got such a ridiculous amount of things going on so I just didn’t have the time to try and get something written so it fell by the wayside a little bit. But now things have settled down a little and I’ve found my stride I thought it was about time that I caught up.
Based in London Evyltyde are Hannah Delany (Vocals) Danny Merton (Guitar) Paul James (Bass) and Isaac Marques (Drums). For those of you keeping score it should probably be pointed out that since this recording James has announced his intention to leave the band after the their current touring schedule concludes.
It gives me enormous pleasure to be able to say that this debut album is absolutely everything that I hoped that it would be. There were no nasty surprises just an old school metal band bringing the fucking noise.
After two tracks you pretty much know what you’re going to get with this lot, and that’s part of the reason that I rate them so highly. Some bands you want to try different things and experiment but Evyltyde know what they’re good at, know their audience, and appreciate that being a straight up, hard hitting, traditional metal band can sound awesome.
Opener Down Below is just a brute of a first track. I love the old school-ness of it and the album as a whole. Awesome vocals and real quality musicianship can still be cool! The gravelly central riff which rumbles throughout the track lays a great foundation for the solo which follows later on and the monster vocal from Delany who must have one of the strongest voices on the unsigned/independent circuit right now.
Kick You Down lays the metal attitude on nice and thick while Delany menacingly delivers her vocal through a cool little effect. When she says she’ll ‘Kick you down’ you better believe it. The next track What Have We Become is one of my personal favourites, it just hits so damn hard! It’s got some great Thin Lizzy style guitar work before launching into the most metal of metal riffs that is just an all-out assault on your senses. This is head banging central. I like everything about the track, all the different phases blend together really nicely and the track just kicks your ass. (In the best way possible of course)
The Metallica influence is heavy in more ways than one on Your Darkest Fears. Like that real old school Metallica, that For Whom The Bell Tolls kind of era just with a female lead. It doesn’t sound like a rip off though which is great, you can hear the influence without a doubt but this is still an Evyltyde song.
Everything slows down dramatically on Disappear and I think it really needed to. When everything sounds so massive and is at full throttle all of the time it loses its impact. These slower moments add much needed balance, giving the album a proper flow and the audience a minute to catch themselves. I like this softer side to the band too, makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It’s good to see that they’ve got this in their locker. The only downside is that I think the song is too long; there are points where it just meanders around for no real reason without any real impetus, but apart from that it’s pretty spot on.
The riffs are back on Chastity which opens with a badass drum intro which I wish more bands would do. The guitar work is also outstanding once again, honestly this dude Mr Merton can seriously play. But you can hear every nuance of the track, it’s mixed really well, you can hear everything including the bass knitting everything together. I’m sick of bands putting out tracks where you can’t even tell if that bassist was there! Living To Die is more of the same, it’s another quality track and while it doesn’t stand out as much as some of the other songs it more than holds its own.
The opening riff on Guilty sounds stupidly familiar but I have no reason why. I feel like a failure to my profession because I can’t place at all. The track overall sounds like 1986 never left, it feels like a real throwback and I’m all for it.
We are the quiet, the oppressed, the forgotten everyman, we must find our voice, we will ascend.’
That right there is the spoken word intro on penultimate track Avenge The Fallen which is without doubt one of the most badass metal tracks I’ve heard for some time. Old school meets Avenged Sevenfold and the two decide to cause hell. That’s basically this track. Everything about it is just so one point its unbelievable. Forget unsigned or independent this is one of my favourite tracks from the last couple of years full stop.
Final track Fly Away rounds everything off really well by again just being simple. There are slower section , into roaring guitars and back down again and that bookends the whole record incredibly well. Again it’s not a standout track in its own right but in the context of the album it works seamlessly and is more than solid.
This album is a throwback to when metal was experiencing simpler days and wasn’t just a race to see who was the ‘hardest.’ Its flaws are minor and it plus points are huge. This will be in your record of the year lists come December without a doubt, and if you disagree with that statement then frankly we can’t be friends.