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Evil Days
August 2014
Released: 2007, Doolittle Group
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: JP

I’ve been on a bit of a Swedish Speed Metal kick lately due largely in part of a big buy I did from the Doolittle website. Heel is one of the little gems that I bought at a very reasonable price. Founded in 2007 the band is the brainstorm of ex-Insania (Swe) vocalist David Henrikson. In the liner notes of the CD he introduces the album by saying that after he left Insania he was down and out but came back again with his new band Heel. I’m glad he got back in the saddle because I liked those first two Insania albums with him signing.

Heel while not really possessing a name that is all that exciting, the title EVIL DAYS is good and the booklet has lyrics, photos and the aforementioned introductory essay. The 11-track, 55 minute CD is going to draw the inevitable comparison to Insania but for the most part EVIL DAYS is a more melodic affair, slightly less Power Metal oriented. The songs are all fairly classical in construction and arrangement, most of them running in the three to five minute zone. There is a good strong keyboard presence as well with a number of tunes carrying some good keyboard lines. The production is immaculate, clear, loud and lots of high-end. The songs are strong tunes with good choruses with the occasional sing-along power metal gang-styled chorus such as the one heard on the intro to ‘Northern Light’ which then drops into some of the better screams and high notes on the album. That track alone recalls some of the finer moments of a band like Freedom Call. Harmony and melody and compelling choruses are a hallmark of this album, more so then raw kill-power. For an album called EVIL DAYS it is all very squeaky, clean and happy sounding. The album ends with an almost hymn like power ballad with a glorious chorus for a fine finish. I feel this was likely a very personal album for Henrikson as the lyrics are heartfelt and emotional.

I feel that EVIL DAYS has some cross over potential and would appeal to fans of bands like Eden’s Curse and Silent Force as well as a more traditional Euro-Power Metal. I would like to see a little more fireworks, speed and perhaps energy integrated into the album, but as a debut it is very promising. It has been five years since Heel issued their second album, so I hope they are still going.
Track Listing

1. Heel
2. Blood Sacrifice
3. Evil Days
4. Paradise
5. Turn Your Back on Me?
6. No Longer in Darkness
7. Stay
8. Take Your Away
9. Northern Light
10. Can't Love Everyone
11. Always


David Henriksson Vocals
Marcus Elisson Guitar
Magnus Öberg Bass
Rikard Öberg Keyboards
Per Mikaelsson Drums

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