Death metal holds a very important place in my life. To the ignorant clan of most humans, it might sound as simple noise, but to me it’s the shroud of power, which has for a long time guarded me from all the routine shit in this rotting world. Death metal itself has survived the test of time and evolved further to become technical, brutal and fast. While I do enjoy what the present has to offer irrespective of its ocean of types and schools, it feels like a majority of the bands have traded its soul for mere showoff or skills or pretentious brutality. And it is something, which has seriously started to dishearten me.
So as usual, I sit down to listen to a new Death metal album. This time its Evocation’s latest offering ‘The Shadow Archetype’ and I do not knowing what to expect. Would it be a forgotten tale similar to what I have faced recently, or would it be a something worth remembering? Now forgive me if I tell you it was only the first time I was listening to Evocation’s music. I knew they were a death metal band from Sweden, but never really had heard any of their material.
Just hoping to get blown away by the end of the record, I begin with “Into Ruins”, a perfect opener for their live set. It sets the mood and atmosphere for something epic and makes way for “Condemned to the grave”. It’s a decent track with good headbangable riffs and great groove. The sound has a somewhat mixed old school + new school vibe. Definitely a good track to mosh to. “Modus Operandi” is where the dynamics begin to appear. Its more of a death-thrash and far more chaotic than its predecessor. The track is morbidly atmospheric and molds fine with the grim vocals.
“Children of stone” opens with a low tempo rhythm and suddenly blasts into a combo of Thomas Josefsson’s growls and fast picked palm muting, with a haunting riff lingering in the background. Then comes the blast beats, and by now I am sitting on my chair banging my head, my horns up high. Now that’s what I am talking about. I like this. The track punches various surprises throughout its lifetime. “The Coroner” is another one of their vicious offerings followed by the title track, which opens with a surprisingly somewhat industrial sound, and moves further to being a decent death metal track.
Past halfway into the album, in my opinion, it is a good record. Its tight, demonstrates good musicianship and is absolutely headbanger friendly. The production is great ensuring it sounds how it is intended to. “Blind Obedience” is an atmosphere laden acoustic guitar driven interlude. Just after the calmness, in your face hits the sheer brutal magnificence of the track “Survival of the Sickest”. It’s a dense on atmosphere, ever changing beauty of a track. This is one of my favorites on the record.
Well, it looks like most of the punch is packed in the latter parts of the album. “Sulphur and Blood” is yet another impressive belter of a track. The mixed bag of old and new school tones, riding on an ample layer of groove is a listeners delight. Moshers! This awaits you. Destroy the arena. “Imperium Fall” is a solid intermingling of death and thrash metal attack. Yet another powerhouse. The Second half of the album absolutely slays. This brings us to the last track on the record. Its has got to be epic and it is. “Dark Day Sunrise”, a chaotic and fitting end to the album.
The amalgamation of old and new school tones, backed by a dense groove is what makes this record an absolute phenomenon to listen to. While some tracks have been executed with the traditional raw passion of death metal, others stand out as extremely successful experiments. It’s not a record, you would remember until the end of time, however, it is surely going to impress the metal masses, who are going to hold it above most of the other death metal of the modern era.