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Evildead - United $tate$ Of Anarchy review


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Band: Evildead
Album: United $tate$ Of Anarchy
Release date: October 2020

01. The Decending
02. Word Of God
03. Napoleon Complex
04. Greenhouse
05. Without A Cause
06. No Difference
07. Blasphemy Divine
08. A.O.P. / War Dance
09. Seed Of Doubt
10. Planet Claire 2020 [B-52 cover][LP/Digital bonus]

Worth the wait.

What a time to be alive; for Evildead, 2020 seems tailor-made to release their first album in twenty-nine years, aptly named United $tate$ Of Anarchy. We live in unprecedented and uncertain times, but one of the few things you can count on is for a thrash album to turn your worry and rage into fun and solid mosh fuel that will make your brain think while it smashes around inside your cranium.

For those who are unaware of the band, they are one of many classic thrash bands who went mostly under the radar in the grand scheme of things, well revered and known to fans of thrash, but not so much to the casual fan. For those in the know, United $tate$ Of Anarchy is the third album you have been waiting for: a worthy successor to The Underworld, and one that should hopefully draw more of a spotlight on a band who deserve greater recognition for their place in history.

If you are looking for a solid and hard-hitting thrash album that turns your anxiety and despair into something enjoyable, then Evildead have the tonic you are looking for. From the opening opus "The Descending" to the closing "Seed Of Doubt" (unless you have the bonus edition that has the superfluous "Planet Claire" as the final song), you have an album that will make you want to mosh in the smouldering flames of what we once called civilization.

Evildead's socially conscious lyrics find a wealth of inspiration and issues to seep itself in; for as bad as 2020 has been, it certainly gives the band plenty of room to manoeuvre. While political or social lyrics can feel contrived or cliché in thrash, the aptness of much of these tracks renders this a non-issue; rather than rage over hypotheticals, Evildead merely put truth to power. Tracks like "The Descending" and "Napoleon Complex" hit the nail square on the head in terms of relevancy; whether it ages as a solid snapshot of this moment of time or sounds dated further in the future, only time will tell.

What is timeless and something the band have not forgotten in the twenty-nine-year interim is how to craft a solid thrash track. While the band do not fly off the handle at breakneck speeds like they did on The Underworld, they still imbue each track with a power and purpose that is as intense, if not as fast as before. Songs like "Without A Cause" and "Word Of God" will get the pits moving without resorting to speed alone to get your blood pumping, with the band hitting you like a wall of sound.

The flipside to this reliance on using a wall of sound to hit hard is that on some tracks, "Word Of God" in particular, the music sounds compressed as hell; rather than sounding free flowing and open, this track doesn't sound great and it does diminish enjoyability to an extent. It is far from a deal breaker, but it does make enjoying each component of the sound a chore rather than something that can be passively appreciated.

Thankfully, the compression isn't a killer for much of the album, ensuring you can enjoy the musicianship on offer. The guitar duo of Garcia and Gonzales may not produce the most original riffage, but they do construct parts that are fun and engrossing; if you insist on hearing something that is unique you will be disappointed, but if you can overlook this then you will find riffs that will compel you to headbang and drive the songs along with power and precision. Tracks such as "No Difference" and the guitar workout that is "A.O.P./Wardance" will highlight how well these two can meld together.

The only member who appears to have aged is Flores; his powerful voice has (understandably) somewhat weakened in the near thirty years since the band's last release. Luckily for fans, it is only a slight reduction and doesn't diminish his impact all that much; to a degree, it benefits the tracks, as it means Flores' old machine gun approach of throwing reams of lyrics at you is largely traded in for shorter verses, which allow the words and parts to stand out more.

Time waits for no man, but thankfully Evildead's talents haven't been lost in the sands of time. United $tate$ Of Anarchy is a thoroughly enjoyable album and one that provides an awesome soundtrack to the disaster movie known as the year 2020.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 6
Production: 7

Written on 07.11.2020 by Just because I don't care doesn't mean I'm not listening.

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