Evil Army are a three-piece thrash metal band that hail from Memphis, Tennessee. The band, which was originally formed in 2003, consists of Rob Evil (vocals/guitars), Michael Murder (drums), and Tyrant (bass). Displaying lyrical themes such as violence, destruction, war, and death, Evil Army released debut album, ‘Evil Army’, in 2006. This was followed by a seven year wait before the release of 2013’s EP, ‘I, Commander’, a rather short 3-track 7” vinyl. October 2015 sees the arrival of the next instalment from this thrash metal 3-piece with the release of mini-album, ‘Violence and War’. At just 14:26 in length, spread over five tracks, it is, again, exclusively available on vinyl. Only, this time, it is on 12” vinyl with all the music pressed on a white wax side A, whilst side B is silkscreened with a black/white camo print.
The mini-album opens with ‘Army of Doom’, which launches straight into a thrash-fuelled onslaught of riffs, cymbals, and equally insane drumming. The vocals of Rob enter after 30 seconds and instantly remind me of Slayer’s Tom Araya. There’s some good shredding guitar solos between 1:35-2:08 and the riffs throughout really give you that urge to headbang. With influences that are clear to see, this is a good opening track which contains an unforgiving pace.
Similarly fast-paced riffs launch you straight into ‘The Assualt’… typical of the 80s’ thrash metal genre. A change in tempo/pace occurs around 0:27 and is followed by Rob’s vocals before things settle into a thrash metal pace, which is aided by a brilliant display from the rhythm section of Michael and Tyrant. I can’t help but nod my head in unison with the rhythm. Once again, the pace is relentless and the guitar-play is very good. Whilst I like the typical vocal style, I can’t help but feel that I’m listening to early Slayer, however.
‘My Rage Unleashed’ is up next as another display of fast-paced riffs and pummelling drums meet my eardrums, setting things in motion as the vocals join in soon after. There’s some well-timed changes during this number, which helps break up the continuous thrash onslaught whilst maintaining a good rhythm. After an incredibly fast 2 minutes and 40 seconds, you’re introduced to the next track, ‘Deathbreath’, by Michael’s drums before the guitars join in with a slower [than previous tracks] rhythm. A great riff comes in around 0:36, speeding things up a notch and threatening my neck with a stint of intensive care! Rob’s vocals enter after the minute mark as we embark on another fast-paced thrash metal adventure.
Before you realise, you’re about to begin the final track on this mini-album with ‘Violence and War’. At 1:50 in length, it’s the shortest on offer and the mini-album’s namesake. You’re met with drum beats at the beginning before another heavy riff joins in, thus launching things proper. Basically, this track is more of the same with some excellent shredding guitar solos during the second half. And it’s all over after just 14 and a half minutes!
Honestly, I struggled to find the words to describe this insanely short mini-album. I was just getting into the swing of things by the fourth track when, a track later, it all comes to a crashing halt… leaving me feeling disappointed and still full of rage that would’ve been released if there was another 20-30 minutes of metal. It truly is over far too quickly and I think that has been reflected in my review rating. ‘Violence and War’ is an angry, aggression fuelled mini-album with good pace maintained throughout all five tracks. The musicianship from Rob, Michael, and Tyrant is very good and played with consistency and high levels of talent and professionalism.
Whilst the influences are plain for all to see and there’s nothing new going on here, ‘Violence and War’ is a nice little mini-album that goes someway into turning back time to the 80s Bay Area thrash metal scene. This mini-album is a nice little “taster” of what I hope will be a full-length album release in the not too distant future. If thrash metal is your desire, then you’ll definitely want this mini-album in your collection. If not, whilst not an essential purchase, ‘Violence and War’, and Evil Army, certainly deserve your attention. So check ‘em out and join the Army!
VIOLENCE AND WAR
Review by Chris Palmer
2nd Oct 2015
1) Army of Doom
2) The Assault
3) My Rage Unleashed
5) Violence and War
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"Whilst the influences are plain for all to see and there’s nothing new going on here, ‘Violence and War’ is a nice little mini-album that goes someway into turning back time to the 80s Bay Area thrash metal scene."