Evile: Skull

UK thrash champions forge further ahead

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These are the end times for traditional thrash metal. The Big 4 will be history 10 years from now, and it will be down to a new wave of bands to fly the flag. But it won’t be enough for this new school of hi-tops-sporting oiks to simply regurgitate the same old riffs we already know and love: if that happens, thrash will be doomed.

And we can’t be having that. No, what we’ll need will be more bands like Evile, and specifically more albums like the pulverising Skull. Praise Satan and his fiery codpiece, for this Huddersfield foursome have delivered another monstrous set of tunes, probably their fastest and heaviest yet, and crucially they’re going forward rather than backwards.

While the three previous Evile albums sounded a lot like pre-1990 Metallica and Slayer, Skull sounds recognisably like Evile, from frontman Matt Drake’s millimetrically-precise picking hand to his brother Ol’s superb, melodic leads and the world-class rhythm section of Joel Graham and Ben Carter. That said, musical skill doesn’t matter a damn if the songwriting isn’t there, but fortunately, Evile have raised the bar once more with immense songs such as Underworld and Words Of The Dead.

If Skull doesn’t make you want to go running down the road screaming your head off and uprooting trees, there’s no hope for you.

Joel McIver

Joel McIver is a British author. The best-known of his 25 books to date is the bestselling Justice For All: The Truth About Metallica, first published in 2004 and appearing in nine languages since then. McIver's other works include biographies of Black Sabbath, Slayer, Ice Cube and Queens Of The Stone Age. His writing also appears in newspapers and magazines such as The Guardian, Metal Hammer, Classic Rock and Rolling Stone, and he is a regular guest on music-related BBC and commercial radio.