Evocation – S/T

evocation_072306_evocation“A Wind Has Risen” begins the album as a solo bass melody. Distant winds howl and sweep across your face as the cold begins to numb your senses. In all but a minute (and 8 seconds), you question the validity of your life. You mourn those before you and those who will come after you. You lust for the soil to consume your lifeless corpse. When all but the slightest glimmer of hope is left you are struck with the opening chords of “Through the Darkened Peril”. You convulse and the deepest fears within you are now manifest in a puddle of vomit as you uncontrollably revel in all its glorious putrescence. Your blood thaws from its frozen state but what deems you worthy of life now? Was this just another attempt at understanding why those you love die? What deems you worthy of life? As you lose all this blood I feel very little remorse. You always wanted this… so please, stop trying to get out of it. You’re stressing your arteries… Trust me, I can see them all. It’s disgusting. You’re disgusting. I confess, after all, the sight of blood makes me nauseous. Alas, blood fiends, this is the purest form of death metal. This band was one of the many who slipped through the cracks (God Macabre anyone?) during the rising infatuation with, specifically, Swedish death metal. We are privileged to have these recordings today as they truly set the standard for real death metal 14 years after being put to tape. All the youthful flair and excitement of the golden age of death metal is preserved in these anthems. Executed with incredible tightness and awareness of what riffing, passion, and energy can do to differentiate the elite from the imitators. Not unlike “An Evil Shade of Grey” in its transitions between the trademarks of death metal riffing, this album touches upon every nuance all the while maintaining a true feeling of what this genre is about. Like a plague falling from the sky – a disease to end all life it falls through the atmosphere killing birds in flight and infecting the earth with a feeling worse than anything you could have ever imagined. The first seconds of “Through the Darkened Peril” open with drums firing away in true Dismember fashion as menacing chords are patiently held before menacing into a riff Unleashed wished they could have wrote. The vocals introduce themselves to the ears with sincere, energetic, and thoughtful placement within a song. All this just an introduction to the sheer brilliance that lies throughout this album. “The Ancient Gate” is a perfect example of how Evocation introduces a riff and transitions quickly leaving you begging to hear it again until you are bombarded with a completely different riff that leaves you in splendorous, jaw-dropping awe. A perfect clear and raw production to these songs adds greatly to the atonal melody adorning these riffs. The solo at 4:20 of “Where the Headstones Shine” comes forth like an excavated body impossibly inhaling a second breath of life in a foreign era while, 17 seconds later, it kills itself in tribute to one of Evocation’s many mournful and simple acoustic interludes. One couldn’t possibly begin to describe the magic of this collection of songs. Words seem to lose meaning when describing something greater than what they can convey alone. Recently Evocation has reunited, begun playing the old tunes live and, as of May, have been recording their debut album (this release being a collection of the two demos from ’91 and ’92). We can only hope they continue with the same passion they had in their youth. In any case, buy this release. If you are a death metal fiend, your collection is incomplete without it. If you are new to the ancient art of authentic death metal, this would be a great place to start. Until the new album surfaces, let us hold high the horns of death and praise Evocation for delivering giving us some of the best death metal in existence. – TRA

~ by martyworm on January 3, 2009.

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