Evile – Cathouse, Glasgow – January 17th 2010

Evile (supported by Warbringer and The Fading), Cathouse, Glasgow, 17.1.10.

It’s almost impossible to believe that this is the first tour The Fading have ever embarked on, and on the evidence of tonight’s showing it is certain to be the first of many. The Israeli band’s infectious brand of in-your-face thrash and pseudo-deathcore breakdowns shook the Cathouse to its core foundations, and the rapturous reaction of the crowd suggested that this is a good band with the potential to become great. Warbringer’s apparently loyal Scottish following undeniably enjoyed every last second of the Californians’ set, but for those less acquainted with the band, it was not a particularly impressive display. They are perfectly capable musicians, but there is a distinct lack of originality, and even a lack of relevance, in their somewhat dreary old-school thrash style.

Evile

Evile

Warbringer may fail to make traditional thrash metal sound fresh, but this, however, is the area in which the greatest strength of tonight’s headliners can be found. There is no doubt that Evile are one of the most entertaining and most accomplished live metal bands in the UK today, and this performance was definitely no exception. Matt Drake and his bandmates were on top form, tearing through a rip-roaring set chalk full of fast, ferocious thrash anthems, each of which are of a standard too high for most other bands of this genre to replicate. Material from recent album Infected Nations, which is reminiscent of Metallica circa 1986-1991, was well-received, but the standout moments came during performances of the more invigorating tracks from the band’s 2007 debut Enter the Grave. The likes of Schizophrenia, Bathe in Blood and the quite astounding We Who Are About To Die were simply made to be performed live, and judging by the myriad of bodies flying across the room, this was certainly as true an observation as ever before. Matt Drake really is a fantastic frontman, and his consistent banter with the fans who worship him made an already euphoric live music experience all the more enjoyable.

Evile must, however, be applauded not only for their impressive musicianship and energetic performance, but also for their phenomenal ability to recover from tragic circumstances, not just as a band but as individuals. In October last year, the band’s unanimously popular bassist Mike Alexander died of a pulmonary embolism of the lungs at the age of just 32 while Evile were touring with Amon Amarth in Scandinavia, leaving everyone connected to the band in a state of shock. Most bands would understandably call it a day if they had experienced such a traumatic turn of events, but it really is a credit to Matt Drake, his brother and fellow guitarist Ol Drake and drummer Ben Carter that they have had the strength and courage not only to continue as a band, but to go ahead with this tour just three months after Mike’s passing.

Evile

Evile

Recently recruited bassist Joel Graham has slotted into the band perfectly, and gave a sterling performance. Graham has had very little time to learn the band’s songs but he played with such vigour and enthusiasm, so he also deserves an enormous amount of praise. He is undoubtedly a more than welcome addition to Evile, but Mike’s memory will live on forever. A brutal rendition of Killer From the Deep, the classic track from Enter the Grave which was written by Alexander, was a fitting tribute to the man. It really is refreshing to see such a great band pull through such tragedy so quickly, and come out the other side stronger than ever before. In 2010, Evile are the only old-school thrash metal band worth caring about, and to say they proved it tonight would be an understatement.

     

About JJPorter

JJ is a 20-year-old student hailing from Scotland, who lives and breathes music. His favourite genres include a variety of styles of metal, as well as hardcore, punk, and just about everything in between. Contact JJPorter on Twitter or via Email.

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