2018 has been a big year for all things doom. Sleep, Orange Goblin, Boss Keloid, King Goat, YOB and Ghost have all released some big albums which touch on all aspects of this riff laden monster of a genre. The Evil, a four piece from Brazil look to add their name to the list above with their own offering, simply titled “Evil”. Heavily influenced by all things occult and cataclysmic, The Evil originally released this in the later stages of 2017 but have since had it re-released on a larger scale by Osmose Productions. For those familiar with this album already, hopefully these words do it justice. For those unfamiliar, prepare for evil.
Normally I would launch into my obligatory rant about pointless instrumental tracks which open an album and how they are normally best incorporated into the track which follows them, but the opening sample based offering “Voices From The Deep” is one of the exemptions to this circumstance. In occult-themed metal, theatrics and dramatics are a huge part of the overall sound and the appeal of the genre, so the need for these interlude moments, transition tracks and short sequences are key components to the flow and progression of the album. The short sample based track helps build the anticipation and subtly steers the atmosphere in the direction the music intends to take it in, and when “About None Guilty”, the first actual track of the album starts, it has the effect intended.
With a very heavy Sabbathian/Sleep influence to their sound, combined with vocals which hit home in a similar fashion to those Ian Gillan could belt out back in the 70’s, “About None Guilty” is a colossal track. The huge low end focused sound, haunting atmosphere, dramatic vocals and pounding groove combine to form a superb opening attack of simplistic but highly effective doom. Straight forward rhythmically, minimalistic in terms of composition and executed in such an effective manner, it has a heavy impact, both atmospherically and volume wise. “Screams” has some real harsh fuzz and drone influences in its intro, and from there, it compounds the heaviness generated in the previous track, adding even more weight to the haunting atmosphere. With the vocals jumping from powerful cleans to powerful wails (think ‘that’ section in Child In Time by Deep Purple), it goes from haunting to unnerving and oppressive and at times, oddly hypnotic. In all, it is again, a great track.
“Sacrifice To The Evil One” is the first of two 10 minute-plus length tracks and it continues to build on what the previous two tracks have offered. Rich doses of Sabbathian influences, huge walls of fuzz and distortion, atmospherically charged sequences, dynamic vocals which add their own melodic progression and some fantastically heavy and evil riffing are packed into this musical beast, the highlight being that moment round the 3:50 point where the band ‘get their Volume 4’ on and deliver a fantastic riff-driven break which has some great intense atmospheric manipulation going on in there. “Satan II” is more focused on the sinister and heavy aspects of the riff delivery, focusing more on the lower end of the register, along with the dramatic and flair filled vocal delivery. “Silver Razor” is the other 10 minute-plus length track and much like the previous one, it has some fantastic atmospheric sections and plenty of chugging riff moments. With the vocals being more instrumental in the atmospheric impact, going from seductive and chilling lows to haunting chants adding to intense riff-prominent sections, it is a dramatic track from start to finish, and again, it has that moment where the band churns out another ‘V4’ moment which is the signal for serious headbanging!
“The Ancients” closes the album and honestly, if you didn’t get all the Black Sabbath influences in the band’s sound up until this point, then this song pretty much says ‘HEY! WE’RE REALLY INFLUENCED BY BLACK SABBATH!’. Dramatic and ominous feel style vocals, simplistic arpeggio verse, massive walls of noise chorus, massive climax ending… The band might as well have just covered ‘Black Sabbath’. This track is pretty damn similar in near enough every aspect it might as well be a “re-imagining” of the iconic, self-titled track by the fathers of heavy metal. It’s a solid slice of atmospheric doom and a good way to close the album, even if it is very familiar feeling.
In all, “Evil” by The Evil is a great slice of atmospheric doom. Yes, it might borrow heavily from the Black Sabbath playbook in places, (some places more than others!) but it takes the concepts and ideas and keeps true to them. Simplistic composition with maximum effectiveness in execution and impact, heavy, oppressive atmospherically and gratuitous dues paid to all that is evil, this is one doom release worth selling a soul in order to listen to.