Album review: Evile – The Unknown

Yorkshire thrashers Evile take a breather from bowing down to The Thrasher on satisfyingly chonky and doomy sixth album…

Album review: Evile – The Unknown
Nick Ruskell

Evile’s name has long been a kitemark of quality thrash. The Huddersfield quartet were part of that burst of bands around the late ’00s credited with ushering in speed for a new generation (alongside the likes of Municipal Waste, Gama Bomb and Toxic Holocaust) and giving the whole thing a youthful kick up the arse. Their last album, 2021’s excellent Hell’s Unleashed, their first with guitar whiz Ol Drake on vocals following the departure of his brother Matt, actually found them only getting faster with age.

The Unknown is a markedly different beast, and brilliantly so. In no rush to get where it’s going, instead it’s built on more heavy-footed tempos, chugs, and a powerful sense of dread. Were one to reach for a comparison to thrash peers, it would be to the simmering darkness of Metallica’s …And Justice For All, with shades of Harvester Of Sorrow in the opening title-track and stomping The Mask We Wear. But that’s too narrow. Frequently, the riffs are more in line with the mournful tones of Chicago doom lords Trouble and New Orleans sludge titans Crowbar than Megadeth. It’s a new set of clothes that fits Evile incredibly well.

There are still, of course, no end of killer leads and technical expertise that would break the fingers of lesser players. And when more normal service resumes on the speedy moments of Sleepless Eyes, it feels like being caught in a turbine. Vocally, Ol’s voice sounds more comfortable in its role here as well, a rich and deep vocal that slides nicely over the top of the melodic, brooding When Mortal Coils Shed.

It’s quite the change of pace, but one in which they are successful. After so long with such a good name, it’s wonderful to see a band with such a skill in their trade looking at news ways to do it. As it happens, for Evile sometimes slow and steady wins the race.

Verdict: 4/5

For fans of: Metallica, Crowbar, Lamb Of God

The Unknown is out now via Napalm

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