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Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Reviews: Empire Of Fools, Against Evil, Soulthern

Empire Of Fools: Devil Inside (Self Released)

OK! OK! I'll hold my hands up, I missed Empire Of Fools when they supported BlackWolf in Bristol a month ago, so I was more than happy to receive their new mini-album to review, as I have wanted to listen to them since to see what I was missing (I am a masochist like that). As the drums of Dean Stevens you immediately get brought into the Alt/hard rock of the Devon three piece, with shades of Audioslave, Stone Temple Pilots and RATM, Empire Of Fools play swaggering, riff heavy music that is deep in the alternative groove driven by Mark Pascall's Brandon Boydesque voice, his chugging guitars and his thumping bass (although not all at the same time surely?) he is aided and abetted in the guitar stakes by Steve Cobbin to provide the sledgehammer riffs on tracks like the thunderous Higher and the Southern rock vibe on the title track which is tribute to an evil woman (aren't all the best Southern rock songs about that though?). Empire Of Fools have something very rare in the rock business, they are individuals, they have their own identity they don't really sound like anyone, yes the have influences that show but with six totally different songs that cover a myriad of styles, from the cowbell driven rock of Down To Earth, the melodic thrust of Unstoppable, the percussive and chart bothering Hope and the heart rendering ballad of Dirty Mind, Empire Of Fools throw a huge amount in the pot and have created an EP that shows this bands many styles all together in one place; modern, unique and bursting with energy Empire Of Fools' debut can't come quick enough! 8/10   

Against Evil: Fatal Assault (Self Released)

India has seen it's metal scene explode in the last few years with many of the bands coming (deliberately) from the more extreme side of metal. However Against Evil literally go against the more evil sounding side of metal with some straight ahead traditional metal, hailing from Steel City (I shit you not) in Visakhapatnam, the band play a mix of true metal and classic thrash, The Enemy Within carries the shadows of Priest while Speedbreaker has the Teutonic stomp of Accept the band have a unique dual vocal delivery with both bassist Siri Siri and rhythm guitarist Sravan handling the vocals, one having a gruffer tone on Speedbreaker while the other has the cleaner register. The production is crisp allowing Shasank's leads to cut through the rhythm laid down by Siri, Sravan and drummer Noble John, fans of classic traditional metal will lap this up as it perfectly blends old and new with some perfect vocal delivery, a fist full of metal riffs  and songs that are all different and don't outstay their welcome, each one different, see Bulletproof which features both singers working in tandem and comes from the latter Megadeth songbook. India's scene is currently brimming with top quality bands and Against Evil are yet another to add to the list drawing just enough from their influences to get similarities but with enough of their own style to set them apart. 8/10

Soulthern: Demo (Self Released)

Brazilians Soulthern play old school metal in the style of the kings of NWOBHM, this four piece have bullet belts and are not afraid to use them, they also have a demo loaded with three fist pumping, head banging tunes that rampage in true 1980's style. Packed with searing solos, galloping basslines, metronomic drumming and high pitched wailing vocals, in fact due to the D.I.Y production this EP sounds like it could have come from the 80's, however the tinny production doesn't take anything away from this record in fact it endears me to it, it sounds like the kind of demos that Tokyo Blade, Angel Witch, Raven and Demon would have churned out to get a feature in Sounds back in the day. It has that raw power that made the NWOBHM so great, Soulthern have created an EP you would expect from a band hailing from the country that boasts the worlds most loyal and passionate metal fans. Raise your fist and yell!! 7/10

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