Evildead - Annihilation Of Civilization review


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Band: Evildead
Album: Annihilation Of Civilization
Release date: September 1989

01. F.C.I./The Awakening
02. Annihilation Of Civilization
03. Living Good
04. Future Shock
05. Holy Trials
06. Gone Shooting
07. Parricide
08. Unauthorized Exploitation
09. B.O.H.I.C.A.

If you ever want to broaden your knowledge of thrash and delve deeper than the releases that rose to the very top, then wrap your ears around Annihilation Of Civilisation by Evildead, a band whose success never matched their talent.

What the band do best is mid-paced slightly groovy tracks featuring bursts of speed that give the song an additional boost of power, giveing the listener the best of both worlds. This is best exemplified in tracks like "Future Shock", "Unauthorized Exploitation" and "Parricide", which catch your ear and don't let go until the track has concluded. "Parricide" in particular juggles the different rhythms around seamlessly and in such a manner that the track will catch your attention even if you were only casually listening to it.

The band follow in the path of Sacred Reich and Nuclear Assault in terms of lyrical content, focusing on socio-political themes throughout the record. While the lyrics do get a bit preachy, I can't help but say I enjoy them and to a large degree they compensate for Flores' delivery of them. Not the most catchy lyrics you will hear but ones that will keep the album reverberating in your mind as you mull over the topics they bring up. "Unauthorized Exploitation" stands out for the venom and conviction of which they rail against the music business as it was in the late 80's; what the band would think of the modern industry should make for a solid classic should they ever release a new album, given what they advocate for is ever more distant than before.

It is when you finish listening to the record you come to realize it has what so many bands strive but fail to do, namely create an album where none of the songs are duds and the skip button is not required. While this consistency comes at the price of the highs not reaching the stars at the cost of one or two weaker tracks, it is something that is worth noting, and credit given to Evildead for fully utilizing the whole run time of the album and giving you the listener forty minutes' worth of very listenable material.

Annihilation Of Civilisation features a classic 80's Californian thrash sound, strong guitars that have weight in the rhythm but can fly off the handle when it comes to the solos while having an audible and chunky bass guitar. Each element is balanced perfectly so that everything can be audible when it wants to be and has that charm that is often lost in modern thrash records. The only element I would fix is the drum sound; while it sounds great, it could do with being raised in the mix more and often finds itself buried underneath the rest of the band.

Standing out in what was an already crowded genre was something the album struggles to do; while the music is very strong. it lacks that uniqueness or twist that would lend it some degree of separation to their rivals. If you are a fan of thrash, that will not particularly faze you as it is yet more quality material to add to your list, but if you're someone who has only a passing interest or stumbled upon this by accident, then the album won't lend itself to differentiating it from other better-known bands.

The pitfall Evildead fall into is one that many a band following Slayer have also found themselves in, that being the need to push their sound to the extreme means songs are robbed of the chance to breath and develop character, as that is dropped in favour of the song flying by at top speed. Compare "F.C.I./The Awakening" with the next track "Annihilation Of Civilisation" and you have the perfect contrast to the other. While the former isn't bad by any means and the solos do punctuate the blur that the song becomes, it is less memorable than the latter, which slows down and the song can build itself up. While I'm not against speed, it is something that requires a strong identity to be able to viably pull off and that is something Evildead lack for the most part.

Flores is a mixed bag and someone who depending on your frame of mind is either an asset or a hindrance for the band. While he has a very strong voice, he has a very monotonous delivery style and often times rips through the lyrics as if he is rushing to the song's end. This in turn leads the songs to lose a level of identity they could have had, had Flores mixed up his delivery somewhat rather than merely rely on pace alone. Tracks like "Holy Trails" sound emotionless and flat vocally, with only the variation being the pace of which he spits out lyrics.

For fans of thrash who want to delve further, pick up Annihilation Of Civilisation should the opportunity present itself because you won't be disappointed. If you are only a casual fan of the genre and are unsure of where to go, start elsewhere and work your way back to this one; it won't ruin your opinion of the genre but it may delay your journey to the classics it has to offer.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Production: 8


Written on 16.10.2020 by Just because I don't care doesn't mean I'm not listening.

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