Review: Evile - Five Serpent's Teeth

 In 1991, Metallica released their iconic self titled "black album" which saw the Bay Arena titans take their musical style in a completely different direction, dropping their aggressive thrash metal fora bolder, brasher and traditional heavy metal style. Because of the mass popularity and Metallica's love for this more traditional sound, there hasn't been an album from then that's really continued in the style of their fourth release ... And Justice for All. So if the guys in 'Tallica aren't going to, it's up to another band to present us with an album that we can hear the musical style of and think of it as being ... And Justice for All Part 2. These are probably the kinds of thoughts going through the minds of Huddersfield metallers Evile when making their third album Five Serpent's Teeth.

 Five Serpent's Teeth presents listeners with a dramatic and griping and heavier update to the thrash metal of the 1980s, which serves as a perfect callback to it's predecessors. Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth... elements to all these groups can be heard throughout the album with some unexpected results on the way. 
 Guitar work from Matt and Ol Drake is effective in conjuring up the primary source of the album's aggression and intensity which with their jagged thrashy riffs and wild licks present a real sense of menace and evil, best demonstrated in the intensely evil thrash belter carrying a definite air of Slayer in Eternal Empire. And Matt's vocals sounding like the perfect combination of those of James Hetfield and Tom Araya helps emphasize this vibe of general nastiness. Surprisingly, some of the slower broken down moments and wilder single riff moments carry a resemblance to such loved death metal acts as Nile and Cannibal Corpse, best seen in Descent Into Madness featuring blast beats and distortion so brutal and pummeling, it may as well be taken directly from Cannibal Corpse's Tomb of the Mutilated. All this makes the album filled with thrashy energy and power which suits the similarly dark and menacing lyrics the album contains.
 In the past it's been claimed that Evile are simply a novelty act who make a traditional 1980s thrash metal sound for the purposes of nostalgia. This is something I could not agree with at all. Though there is some reason to believe this claim, as Five Serpent's Teeth features backing vocals throughout by comedian Brian Posehn, there's nothing on this album that would qualify as humour. It's a very serious and dramatic release, oozing with emotion particularly on the track In Memoriam, serving as a moving tribute to fallen bassist Mike Alexander.
 So overall Five Serpent's Teeth is a perfect example of thrash metal which really carries the traditional genre style into this modern day. Does it serve as ... And Justice for All Part 2? It's possible, but really it stands up without any thought relating to that. Another way it could be thought of if you really want to compare it to classic acts would be to call it the result of the combination between ... And Justice for All and Reign in Blood. Either way, it's pretty obvious that thrash is definitely thriving.

Evile's Five Serpent's Teeth is out now via Earache. The band are on tour in the UK now and will continue throughout October.