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Hello hello! It’s been a minute since I’ve written one of these, but it’s a welcome, albeit short-lived, return as Connor is pre-occupied this weekend lighting a set for an experimental short somewhere in San Jose. That being said, I want to briefly reiterate that we’re now publishing our podcast episodes on a biweekly basis, as opposed to the previous weekly frequency. With that out of the way, let’s shift focus to the album of discussion in this week’s installment.
Evil is a black/thrash metal quartet from Tokyo that has existed since 2011. I was an apex curmudgeon when I saw their band name land in our promo inbox and essentially wrote them off for a couple of days because… well, in retrospect, my reasoning was supremely doltish, but I found the name so generic that I figured the tunes couldn’t be terribly intriguing. However, don’t let the simplicity of their name fool you as it did me. After a day or two of plundering the deluge of soon-to-drop albums, I struggled to find a record that hooked me, and thus, I decided to spin their sophomore LP, aptly titled Possessed by Evil, for the hell of it (pun partially intended). Not even ten seconds into the opening track, “The Cycle of Pain”, I realized I had made an utmost critical error.
Possessed by Evil is an excoriating cluster of belter after belter. Be it the searing melodic leads, galloping drum rhythms, or the infrequent, but exhilarating power metal shrieks, each track exudes contagious energy that only evaporates as the album’s final track lopes into a blistering sunset. Twinges of black metal permafrost most tracks, imbuing streaks of malice amidst otherwise electrifying compositions. And although we did not have access to lyrics prior to recording this episode, we perceived a narrative-driven momentum felt through the ebb and flow of the album’s track sequencing. All that being said, we had quite a few words to exchange over this LP.
We are much too early into 2021 to stack this record against others that will come out in the months ahead, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this floats somewhere in the reaches of my year-end list, at least as it pertains to releases that are an absolute detonator to listen to. I’ll halt my word vomit there and urge you to spin this record if an iota of what I’ve said piques your curiosity. Thank you all for your support and we sincerely hope you enjoy our rambling!
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You can snag a physical copy of Possessed by Evil via the Nuclear War Now! Productions Bandcamp page (cassettes and CDs; vinyl coming later). Be sure to follow the quartet on Facebook to stay in-the-loop on new developments from them.
If you’d like to support us beyond listening to our podcast, you can do so by becoming a patron on our Patreon page. There you can read all of our notes for each album review episode we publish and gain early access to every episode before its official release.
Also, if you’re keen on chatting music, shooting us some recommendations, or talking about other forms of media (videogames, films, etc.), please feel free to join us on our Discord server. In two weeks, we’ll be dropping an interview with the bass-propelled Aussie hardcore punk trio, Rattleback. Take care until then.