Shoot The Messenger


I have to admit, that while I criticize bands who look back in time and […]
By Julius "Dreadheart" Mikkelä
March 1, 2015
Evil - Shoot The Messenger album cover

I have to admit, that while I criticize bands who look back in time and try to reconstruct old sounds and styles, I do have a sweet spot for that late 70's/early 80's "classic" Heavy Metal sound that plays on that raw and unapologetic line between MERCIFUL FATE and JUDAS PRIEST. And one de facto resurrected band who just hit that sweet spot is Denmark's EVIL who has made a return this year with their first-ever full-length album, "Shoot The Messenger".

Now, most of you might wonder what I mean by "de facto resurrected", as well as just who the hell EVIL are. Well back in the glory days of 1984 a small Danish band called EVIL released an EP entitled "Evil's Message", which was one of the first and really pioneering Speed Metal records of all time and that has over time reached a semi-legendary status in both the Speed Metal genre as well as a groundbreaker for European Heavy Metal. However the band split up just a few years after the EP was released and never saw the light of day again - until now, when founding member Freddie Wolf decided it was time for a comeback even though he was the only remaining member.

A few things have happened in these 31 years however (shocking, right?), and most people probably wouldn't recognize the EVIL that released "Evil's Message" and the EVIL that now returns with "Shoot The Messenger" at first glance. The once pioneering Speed Metal sound has evolved and been replaced with a more Teutonic-à-la-ACCEPT sound that's heavier and Thrashier but not as fast and sonic. Some might call this a downgrade, but I... I love it!

And I think I was in love from the very first guitar riff in "Darker Side of Mother Nature", as that truly thunderous sound came over me. I don't know what it is, but the vast majority of modern bands just seem unable to recreate that power-surging thunderous sound that once upon a time carved Heavy Metal out of Rock and Blues, and that's what EVIL's all about. It's a blast-from-the-past, but with a modern touch and sound that's just so easy to fall in love and headbang frantically to!

While primarily (or at least originally) a drummer, Freddie really shows off an impressive multi-instrumental ability to create sometimes harsh, sometimes meaningful, sometimes melodic, often powerful while overall pretty silly - in that lovely old, nudging on MANOWAR-esque, self-aware but I-Don't-Give-A-Fuck way - songs with effective diversity and punch throughout the album. And the impressive vocal performance of Søren (formerly of ARTILLERY) really suits the music like a stud-covered leather glove. I can't say if the songwriting's really this good or if it's just me being love-struck with the music, but I can say I wasn't bored for a single second from beginning to end.

Really, I could go on, but I think I've made the sales pitch for this album already. While it's not on par with, say, the legendary ACCEPT's beyond-stellar resurrection with Mark Tornillo back in 2009, I can only clap my hands and repeat with a line from the last song off "Shoot The Messenger" (the stupid yet lovable "World War 666"):

EVIL is here!

9 / 10

Almost Perfect

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"Shoot The Messenger" Track-listing:

1. It's Here
2. Darker Side of Mother Nature
3. Shoot the Messenger
4. I Could Be Your Hero
5. Big Show
6. Keep It True
7. Move
8. World War 666

Evil Lineup:

Freddie Wolf - Songwriting & All Instruments
Søren Nico Adamsen - Vocals

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