Reviewed: May, 2021
Released: May 14, 2021, Doc Gator Records
Reviewer: The Elitist Metalhead
I was always told, “Never judge a book by it’s cover.” Those are tough words to live by, sometimes. I’ve bought many a metal album based solely on album art and/or logo. Most of the time my instincts were dead on but sometimes I was sorely misled. Then I discovered Against Evil from Visakhapatnam, India and now everything has been turned upside down! I mean, look at that logo and album art, it screams modern thrash…and not one of the better ones! Well let me tell you, I’ve never been so happy being so wrong. Instead of some parody of a parody pizza and beer thrash band, I got blown away by some of the best heavy/power metal I’ve heard in some time. Come to find out that END OF THE LINE is actually their second full length since forming in 2014 so I got some catching up to do….but in the meantime, let’s dive into this unexpected slab of molten metal!
They jump right into it with “The Sound of Violence,” which is their first single and video. Not your typical album opener, it had enough power to win me over instantly. Not relying on coming out of the gate with all of their speed and rage they opted for a more mid paced song with the double bass consistently driving the song. As I said before, this was not what I expected, at all. Thirty seconds in and I was headbanging and throwing horns! Every true metal cliché in the world just pummeled me in four minutes and I could never have been happier. Catchy chorus’s with gang shouts, massive riffing and blazing solos. Then as soon as it was over, “Speed Demon” commenced to pummel me with it’s speed and serious riffing. The melodies are infectious and the chorus was huge. The vocals shift from a gruff Chris Boltendahl sound to a more melodic clean, almost prog metal voice. All I know is that I am two songs in and both are incredible metal anthems! What have I stumbled upon?
As I move through this album they just keep coming, song after song of killer metal. “Out For Blood” has special guest Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big, David Lee Roth, Talas, etc) on the bass and is a serious 80s throwback song and is the most “pop” sounding song on the album….but it’s still metal AF! Which leads me to the beast that is “Call To War.” Cliché? You bet! Killer? Absolutely! This song is epic from start to finish. Not a speedy number but a galloper that relies on killer riffs and catchy melodies. This song is huge and borders on epic, even though it’s less than five minutes long. Of course no metal song is complete without the godly solo and this one is no exception. In fact, this album is loaded with really tasty and brilliant solos. Songs like the title track or the epic anthem “Metal or Nothin'” have those solos that take the song over the top and add to the overall brilliant execution of this album.
Some of my best discoveries happen by accident and this is no exception. From the first notes of the album I knew this was going to be something special even if it was not what I thought I had signed up for. END OF THE LINE is a brilliantly done heavy metal album through and through with killer riffs, godly solos, and huge epic choruses. Are they bringing anything new to the table? Nope, and they don’t have to. Instead they created a huge album that is everything heavy metal stands for, and that is good enough for me.