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Evil Never Dies
Released: 2013, Independent
This one got my attention right away. Produced by Andy La Rocque with guest appearances from Whitfield Crane (Ugly Kid Joe) and La Rocque himself, stated the promotion material. The album cover is so metal, so expected, and pretty cool to boot. Critical Solution is a Norwegian thrash metal band formed in 2005, picking up Metallica’s baton that was dropped somewhere around the BLACK ALBUM. There is a strong Metallica influence here but it hearkens back to glory days long past for Hetfield and crew.
For those doubting the Metallica comparisons, you can hear for yourself right off the bat as album opener “God of Anarchy” quickly reveals guitarist/singer Christer Slettebø’s vocal style channels Hetfield almost directly. “Sad Hill” is basically “Orion” with vocals. “The Burning Hate” is another worthy neck wrecker that opens with a Bay Area influenced riff, recalling Testament before chugging along at a brisk pace. Truth be told, I do not think I have heard a band trying to be Metallica this hard since Trivium, but that does not stop this from being an enjoyable affair, considerably more so than Trivium. To be fair, the band has much of its own stamp on the music as well so this is not a direct copy and actually less melodic than Metallica. As the album proceeds through to the middle and end you can hear more of the Critical Solution’s own individual style begins to take over.
Critical Solution executes admirably with passion and what is most impressive is that they have captured that vintage thrash production sound while sounding articulate and clear, an impressive feat no doubt aided by La Rocque. There are literally scores of cool riffs with songs that are simple, direct, and easy to latch onto. Included with the album’s eleven tracks are three cover songs to close the album. They are “Speed King” (Deep Purple), “Killed By Death” (Motorhead), and “Seek And Destroy (Metallica) the latter two featuring La Rocque on guitar. Whitfield Crane adds vocals to “Killed By Death.”
I find it refreshing to hear quality thrash coming from a country known more for its output of Black Metal. By album’s end, there is no denying that almost every song is worthy and a real treat for any fan of 80s vintage thrash and speed metal. For an independent release, I am definitely impressed and hope the band can continue to hone their sound and find a home with a major label as they are certainly more deserving than say Gama Bomb.
1. God Of Anarchy
2. Sad Hill
3. Crime Of Passion
4. Wallace Green
5. This Burning Hate
6. The Execution
7. Dead Man Walkin'
8. Evil Never Dies
10. Hell's Warrior
11. War Machine
12. Speed King (Deep Purple cover)
13. Killed By Death (Morothead cover)
14. Seek And Destroy (Metallica cover)
Christer Slettebø - Vocals, Lead Guitar
Egil Mydland - Drums
Tov Glesnes - Rhythm Guitar
Eimund Grøsfjell - Bass
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