For me, the most interesting aspect of writing reviews for DutchMetalManiac is the journey of discovery mixed with the thrill of lottery. At any given time, there are a few thousand releases waiting in our queue, and selecting what to review can feel a bit like throwing a dart at a random page of the phone book – unless you happen to spot a band you already know in the seemingly endless list. Well, today’s subject of discovery, Norwegian thrash/black metal trio Evoke, was one of those random dart throws. And boy oh boy, that’s what I call bullseye!
Only after I received all the files and information about their upcoming full length debut, Seeds of Death, did I realise that Evoke’s frontman Kato Marchant is also a full-time member of Black Viper – you know, the band that mixes speedy thrash metal with oldschool heavy metal, and delivered one of the best records of 2018 with their debut Hellions of Fire. In Evoke, Kato swaps the bass for the guitar, takes over vocal duties, and throws in plenty of black metal barking and attitude. And what can I say… it’s beautiful! Seeds of Death consists of 7 songs and has a run time of (only) 33 minutes, and the sound is as sweet and oldschool as the mustaches on Evoke’s promo band picture, and fits perfectly to this music.
Hans Magnus on bass and Wilson Urrustarazu on drums complete the trio, and together the three of them unleash a lightning storm of riff after awesome riff of speedy thrash goodness. No pause to catch your breath, no ballads, nothing but wall-to-wall thrashing filled with raw energy, attitude and skill. It is such a joy to listen to Seeds of Death, I am sitting here grinning like an idiot. Now to be fair, Evoke do not re-invent the wheel or surprise with complex songwriting. This is all about the riff – and the riffs are great. The guitar (and bass!) soli are overall very melodic while maintaining the frantic attitude of the fast and lethal riffing style of the band. The vocals are snarled and barked with a black metal or black’n’roll style, very agressive and energetic, and offer lots of opportunities to shout along.
To make it short: if you like your thrash fast and dirty, you could hardly do yourself a bigger favor than checking out Evoke’s Seeds of Death. I instantly fell in love with the bands sound and style. The quality of this record is especially impressive considering it is their first full length. I can’t wait for more to come!