evil invaders pulses of pleasureWith a name which pays homage to Canadian Thrashers Razor (The title of their 1985 thrash masterpiece album), it doesn’t take much to guess what these Belgian guys play for a living. Full of energy and classic 80’s attitude, Evil Invaders bring a classic sound with a modern twist to the table for their debut offering. Let’s see if it is as pleasurable as it sounds.

“Fast, Loud and Rude” opens up with a classic speed metal styled riff which is followed up with some dramatic whispered like vocals. What follows next is just a thing of pure beauty – a huge thrash styled riff and an epic air raid siren styled scream which signals the start of the song. Lightning quick riffs, dramatic traditional thrash vocals and solid rhythm work all hit at once and it’s impossible to resist head-banging along. Lead guitar wise, its twisting and fast paced with plenty of whammy bar abuse and quick licks which storm through the track and overall, it’s how thrash metal played right sounds! “Pules of Pleasure” has more of a dramatic rhythm guitar based intro. As the vocals which sound like an angrier version of King Diamond and Bobby Blitz’s secret lovechild give way to another frantic sounding solo, the full on thrash assault begins all over again. Relentless drums, powerful bass and solid sounding guitars grab you by the neck and the cutting leads just hit you in the face continually. The simple approach works fantastic and some bands who are set to release albums this year could learn a thing or two from these guys! The lead section in the middle of the song is a wonderful trade-off section between the two guitars before it hits a classic melodic lead section which turns into a harmony lead section (3:35 onwards) which is the best bit of the song.

“Eclipse of the Mind” is more dramatic sounding as it suddenly kicks in from out of nowhere. With the slightly echoed vocals and frantic sounding drums and riffs it hits a high intensity from the get go and generous helpings of dramatic wailing screams and gang vocal sections just keep it all up. It does eventually slow down round the middle of the song into a rather spaced out clean section which serves as the perfect build up for another shred worthy lead section which kicks everything back into high gear and shows how precise and technically proficient the guitar section is and as it ends, it leaves the song to fade out on a howl of feedback and drum fills. “Siren” comes in with a lead line which steadily grows in volume. The simple repeated lick joined by dramatic thundering drums and powerful sounding guitars and distorted samples starts to build the intensity steadily before it all goes off around 1:25. The classic low end thrash gallop kicks in and everything just falls into place. The trademark vocals, simple but effective leads and solid rhythm has that classic heavy NWOBHM influence for the thrash fan all over it. There is a great groove filled section round the 3:40 mark which will have you Scott Ian stomping around and sneering for no other reason than it just feels like the best thing to do and this section leads the song into its end which kicks the pace back up for the final burst.

“Stairway to Insanity” has a very Iron Maiden like intro with a melodic harmony lead and powerful bass sound to it. The vocals are more pronounced than raw sounding but they still carry all the power from the previous tracks and the wailing is delivered at the right time for maximum effect. The thrashy take on the NWOBHM styled riffing and leads works brilliantly and lead wise, its more melodic than shred like which is a nice treat. There are plenty of twin harmony moments in the huge lead trade off section of the song and they flow seamlessly into each other so its wankery with a purpose, not just for the sake of it. “Shot to Paradise” has a very Annihilator feel to it and that is never a bad thing. The precision of the band is impeccable and the fast pace just shows how good this group really are. Full of tricky riffs and lead fills, the guitars just don’t seem to stop and the rhythm section is as reliable as it has been all album. Vocally, its tremendous, bringing back that rawness of the air-raid siren styled vocals and the only drawback is that this one isn’t as long as the other tracks.

“Venom” has a dramatic styled intro which goes into the classic thrash gallop groove which is full of little tricky riffs and leads over it. Fast sounding, aggressive and hard hitting, the song lives up to its name by hitting hard and without mercy. It’s not as fast as the other tracks, but the speed of the riffs and leads makes it feel that way. The solos are more melodic and precisely delivered and the harmony moment over the bass round the 2:40 mark is the best moment of this short track. “Blinded (Intro)” starts off with a bass solo and some eerie pick scrape effects before the guitar harmonics and feedback joins in, creating the sense that something big is coming. A controlled melodic solo over some clean guitars joins in over the bass and it just sounds so fluid. It’s certainly a great teaser and when it transitions into closing track, “Master of Illusion”, it just fits perfectly. The NWOBHM feel with thrash influence returns in this track with a wonderful lead harmony and bass gallop to begin with before another blistering guitar solo leads into the song. Vocally, its dramatic and flair filled with the falsetto screams and the melodic leads and powerful groove in the rhythm just wraps it all up nicely. Like with the rest of the tracks, there is an epic lead section which takes up a good portion of the song, and given that it is the album closer, this is the most epic of them all. From 3:00 to 4:45 just needs to be heard to understand how great it is.

Evil Invaders have set the standard for thrash in 2015 with “Pulses of Pleasure”. It’s a classic sounding Thrash album with all the right elements needed to make it work. With other big thrash acts set to release material this year, maybe they could learn a thing or two from these guys. All I know is that I will be listening to this album A LOT!

(9.5/10 Fraggle)