Hailing from Kotka, Finland is what I can proudly say, is a band destined to be the next big thing, Evil Drive. Forming in 2013, it was not long after that they were able to secure a deal with Mighty Music to release their debut album THE LAND OF THE DEAD which came with much praise throughout the metal community. Now, at the end of the month they are set to release their sophomore album RAGEMAKER upon the masses through Reaper Entertainment whom offered Evil Drive a three album deal.
This release was a last minute addition for me to review. I am really thankful that I was asked to give this one a listen. At first I thought I would just give it a spin and do a first impression review of it. After the first run through I was ready to listen to it again. And again. And again. Sometimes you can hear something for the first time and honestly like it and then go back to it sometime later and not have the same feelings for it. This is not the case with RAGEMAKER.
For a first impression run through, Evil Drive have a sound and style very similar to Arch Enemy. What intrigued me with that first run through were the songs themselves which are very well written and executed. Being that I was on a small day trip for work, which meant approximately 5 hours in the car, I put RAGEMAKER on shuffle and listened to the entire time. Not something I can do with many albums. I found myself becoming more and more impressed with each spin of the album. Not one track on this release ever came off as boring. In fact, I found myself looking forward to hear them over and over. Again, this is a tough feat for many releases that come across the desk.
Going back to the similarities of Arch Enemy, which the metal community world-wide is all too familiar with leads me to the musicianship of the band. Right there with them! Amazing! This is a five-piece where each player has a distinct roll in each song that the listener can actually single out. The production is damn near perfect. The searing guitar work of Ville Wiren and J-P Pusa are second to none. The fact that there are so many solo fills, which are missed a lot these days, are enough the melt your face off with an intensity one just does not get enough. I’m talking Gus G. / Marty Friedman-like. It’s unclear to me who is who in these riffs, but it is a matchup like no other. Viktoria Viren’s vocals are of the thrashy guttural style which fit perfect with the music. The track ‘Legends Never Die’ showcases the fact the she also has the ability to sing extremely well with clear vocals. Round that out with a rhythm section that is as tight as one can be, you have the makings of a great band.
So with each listen of this astounding new outing, there are many other nuances of their influences throughout. Just because I mentioned Arch Enemy twice now, does not mean I want you to think that is all they sound like. There is so much more going on here. Comparing to a few Iced Earth, Death Angel, Gamma Ray, Helloween, Stratovarius, Kreator….and the list goes on.
Lyrically, Evil Drive seems to offer up a loosely based concept album with RAGEMAKER. A loose concept of how the current state of the world we live in is pretty messed up. A world that is truly becoming a ‘dark and scary place’.
If you are a fan of melodic death metal, thrash and power metal, Evil Drive is a band for you. Their style cannot really be put into a single genre. Well, actually it can. That is if we can add ‘take your breath away amazing’ metal to the ever growing list of genres. That’s my two-cents, now it’s your turn to be blown away!
Intro (The Rage Is Rising)
The System Is Dead
Fight To Die
Legends Never Die
Fire Is Her Name
There Is No God
Run Through The Dark
Killed by Killed (Motörhead Cover)
Viktoria Viren – Vocals
Ville Wiren – Guitar
Juha Beck – Drums
Marko Syrjala – Bass
J-P Pusa – Guitar