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Released: 2011, Self Released
Reviewer: Robert Williams
Evil United hailing from Austin, Texas feature within their ranks, vocalist Jason McMaster (Dangerous Toys, Watchtower, Broken Teeth, Ignitor) bassist Donnie Van Stavern (RIOT, Pitbull Daycare) and drummer Jason "Shakes" West (Sebastian Bach, Murderdolls) who give the five-piece group of all-stars a unique, hard hitting sound and modern direction.
A short intro piece seeped in foggy atmosphere gives way to the pummeling synchronized modern tech-thrash of "Blasphemer". If you have followed Jason McMaster's storied career in hard rock and metal you can appreciate that with nearly each new musical project he fronts, his vocal approach is tweaked to appropriately accommodate the music. On "Blasphemer" we get super pissed, whacked out of his mind, higher register Jason and that certainly works for me. "Dawn of Armageddon" is aggressive and corrosive, with an early nineties crossover thrash metal feel. The vocal approach in terms of phrasing and delivery at times remind me of Rob Halford's work on his solo records.
"Rise and Fall of Earth And Man" is an over the top ass kicker, a dirty Texas sized adrenaline rushing thrash attack. Rapid fire vocal delivery is utilized and the rhythm section of bassist DVS and "Shakes" on drums hold their own, with their in the pocket, stop on a dime precision as a unit. Some tasteful and impressive fret scorching is also demonstrated by lead guitarist T.C. “Bird” Connally. "Taking Over The Grand Master" is another tightly constructed death machine, firing on all cylinders and taking no prisoners, as double kick drums and rhythm tracks sync up and let loose like thrash metal machine guns under the highly antagonized and frantic wailing of Jason McMaster. "Walking To Sodom" sounds old school with it's token creepy clean guitar intro accompanied by electric melodic leads finally segueing unto crushing metal. A bit different vocal approach demonstrated here, ultimately playing off dynamics and varying between somber clean passages and something more absolutely pissed sounding.
On the Thin Lizzy cover "Massacre" I can't help but hearing slight flourishes of the late, great Ronnie James Dio in Jason's verse sections. T.C. “Bird” Connally and John “JV4″ Valenzuela hold their own as well and put forth a most fitting tribute to Phil Lynott and co.
This is a fierce first effort from the seasoned veteran players in Evil United. Production wise this platter leaves little to be desired. Musically this release often incorporates a modern approach, similar to what you could expect if Roy Z produced the next Testament record strung out on amphetamines. Evil United should be a band to keep an eye on.
2. Dawn of Armageddon
4. Rise And Fall Of Man And Earth
6. Dark Serenade
7. 50 Year Storm
9. Lost Dream
10. Taking Over The Grandmaster
11. Walking To Sodom
Jason McMaster - Vocals
T.C. “Bird” Connally – Lead Guitar
John “JV4″ Valenzuela – Guitar
Donnie Van Stavern - Bass
Jason “Shakes” West – Drums
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