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Evile - The Unknown review

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Band: Evile
Album: The Unknown
Release date: July 2023

01. The Unknown
02. The Mask We Wear
03. Monolith
04. When Mortal Coils Shed
05. Sleepless Eyes
06. Out Of Sight
07. At Mirror's Speech
08. Reap What You Sow
09. Beginning Of The End
10. Balance Of Time

It's a risk, but not a Risk-level risk.  

Having re-established themselves as not only a going concern, but one of the leading lights in the British thrash scene, Evile find themselves in the position to take stock of their career and take their time in choosing a path on which to move forward. With their fanbase in tow, The Unknown does as it says on the tin, moving the band in a direction that you would not necessarily expect from the group, highlighting a sense of maturity and of growth in songwriting prowess. The Unknown is going to be a divisive and controversial record, something the band aim for by design, yet it's a risk the band want to take and, damn, if they don't make a strong sonic argument. 

Seemingly chafing at the constraints that thrash can impose on bands, The Unknown channels the same energy through different means, with a dark and heavy brooding atmosphere replacing the relentless energy of thrash. Evile challenge both themselves and listeners with an album that is far from what you would expect off the heels of Hell Unleashed. The band decide to throw listeners in at the deep end, with the album opening with the four tracks that are furthest removed from the band's roots, with "The Unknown" not the barnstorming out of the gates track you would otherwise expect to open up a thrash album. 

The fact that Evile open the album with the most challenging cuts shows that the band aren't shying away from the change of direction, although I admittedly found myself pondering whether the band had shot their careers in the foot with this change of direction as "The Mask We Wear" and "Monolith" plodded mind-numbingly on. The Unknown started to conjure up memories of another British thrash band who altered their sound, namely Xentrix's Kin, and no, that's not a good thing. However, the pieces fell in place once "When Mortal Coils Shed" hit and the album found its footing. 

Ol Drake sounds far more confident behind the microphone, whether due to the shift in style or having more experience under his belt at this stage in the band's career; tracks like "Beginning Of The End" see his strong vocals fit perfectly. Indeed, this change in style allows the group as a whole to spread their wings that bit more, with Carter in particular able to try some different ideas now he hasn't got to keep the tempos at top speed. 

While the album finds itself drifting back into their old sound once it hits the halfway point, it doesn't fall into the 'by the numbers' sound that Hell Unleashed had a tendency of doing. Songs such as "Balance Of Time" and "At Mirror's Speech" balance the band's desire to grow with enough of their old sound, such that fans will find themselves enjoying them more than another regular track. The band is aided by the solid production that allows each element to breathe and work together as a cohesive unit, rather than a whirlwind of sound. 

The Unknown is either going to be an enjoyable evolution for some, or the point you jump off the Evile train as it trundles in a direction that's not for you. Sometimes risks are worth taking, and dammit if Evile don't reap the rewards for doing so.

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

Written on 10.07.2023 by Just because I don't care doesn't mean I'm not listening.


Comments: 5   Visited by: 70 users
13.07.2023 - 16:31

They got my attention in the previous record because of hell is unleashed aggressivity and the vocals. So far, haven't seen nothing good from both departments in the new singles.
19.07.2023 - 14:40
Rating: 5

I feel like this is a perfect example of the downside of having multiple writers on the site; with me, someone with less of an interest in thrash, giving Hell Unleashed a reserved thumbs-up and low 7 score for Hell Unleashed, the 'official' reviews for this site now claim that this album is somehow better than its predecessor. I'm honestly a bit baffled you've reviewed this so favourably; it's surely going to be one of the worst albums released this year by a band of note
19.07.2023 - 15:06
I'm deliberately avoiding this album. The general consensus seems to be that it's pretty bad. I usually make my own opinion regardless of what others think but this time I'm really getting the feeling that listening to this album is a waste of my time.
Bow to the King Hercules!
22.07.2023 - 09:38

Instead of Risk, I would compare it more with Metallica's self-titled, and generally Metallica from the '90s, who Evile are blatantly ripping off in the first four tracks. I am actually surprised that you do not mention this at all. Anyway, as someone who finds that era of Metallica to be utter dogshite, and never really enjoyed Evile in general, I find this album borderline unlistenable.
03.08.2023 - 18:03
Rating: 8

Another great record from Evile 👍

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