Am I evil? Yes, I am.
Evile play thrash. Pure and simple. No more, no less. The band, engulfed by tragedy in the very recent past, gives it their all tonight with new bass player Joel Graham along for the ride. The Underworld is straining with the numbers in attendance from old boys to the barely pubescent. ‘Killer From The Deep’ with its frantic riffing and relentless rhythm sparks no less than fourteen recorded instances of crowd members attempting to fly from Evile’s stage to the band’s obvious delight. Next up is ‘Now, Demolition’ consisting of satisfyingly crunchy riff, two guitar solos, a bellowed chorus from front-man Matt Drake and a running time of around seven minutes. ‘Nosophoros’ from latest album ‘Infected Nations’ pummels the increasingly frantic throng of teenagers dressed like its 1986. Honestly, there hasn’t been this many white hi-top trainers, sleeveless, patch-covered denims and scraggly hair in one place since ‘Heavy Metal Parking Lot’. ‘Enter the Grave’s’ Ancient Rome referencing epic ‘We Who Are About To Die’ keeps everyone’s blood pumping. With it’s eerie, ringing guitar intro, massive power chords and evil(e) riff it’s already a classic and a crowd favourite.
Throughout the gig Matt Drake jokes with the crowd at one point dubbing the back and forth ‘hell yeahs!’ from the pit as “ridiculous” with a massive grin on his face. Lead guitarist Ol Drake incongruously sports a Beatles t-shirt and looks like a cross between Dimebag Darrell and Ian Anderson from Jethro Tull but nails every solo and guitar hero pose as he and Joel Graham constantly swap flanks. Holding everything down is drummer and musical lynchpin Ben Carter. No doubt about it, Evile are beyond tight. The only major criticism one can draw out of the revival of thrash in the 21st century is the slavish, at times, traditionalism of some of the bands. With Evile, it’s ‘Ride the Lightning’ era Metallica that you’re most reminded of but they are a young band and the new songs played tonight are definitely more distinctive potentially paving the way for their own ‘Master of Puppets’.