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EVILE, Camden Underworld 13 February 2010

Photos by Noel Buckley

Evile, photo by Noel Buckley

Tonight's show sees Huddersfield thrash heroes Evile wrap up a short five show UK tour and close the second chapter in their career. It's been a chapter full of ups and downs, as frontman Matt Drake freely admits.

On the upside, the band have released an outstanding thrash album in 'Infected Nations' which has seen the band's profile, as well as the music, grow considerably. The massive downside, of course, was the tragic death of bassist Mike Alexander.

For the last few months of 2010, Evile undertook a huge and gruelling tour schedule in North America, lasting three months with barely a night off. Hard work for them, but the audience tonight benefit as the band sounds sharp as a razor and tighter than a knat's ass.

Evile, photo by Noel Buckley

The band hit the stage with two killer cuts from the first album, 'First Blood' and the title track 'Enter the Grave', before delivering a lethal double dose of 'Infected Nations' material in the shape of 'Plague To End All Plagues' and 'Metamorphosis'.

The band have had a great reception already up to this point, but when the thrash anthem 'Thrasher' kicks in, things move to a whole new level. Whereas there had been a few sporadic stage divers during the first four songs, 'Thrasher' instigates a stagediving frenzy.

With this being England, though, the old English trait of forming an orderly queue is being observed, and the young stage divers, most of whom don't look old enough to get served at the bar, politely enter stage left and dive back into the crowd one at a time.

Evile, photo by Noel Buckley

With this gig marking the end of the 'Infected Nations' chapter, its time to get a sneak preview of a new track from the next album, due to start recording in April. The band won't as yet reveal the title of the album, but the new song has the working title of 'Bitch' for tonight at least. Still a work in progress, it doesn't have any chorus vocals yet, but sounds pretty good and along similar lines to the first album stuff.

The Metallica-esque 'We Who Are About To Die' gets the crowd chanting along, before Evile launch into warp speed for the frenzied 'My Parasite', cueing another round of stagediving activity. The awesome 'Infected Nations' closes the set.

The one and only circle pit of the evening greets the encore of the Dave Alexander-penned 'Killer From The Deep'. An intense end to an intense gig.

Evile are one of the very best new generation thrash bands around today. Their material is exceptionally strong and intelligently constructed, and live it is delivered with precision and flair.

What's also endearing about this band is that they come across as down to earth, lacking the macho bravado bullshit that a lot of their American and German counterparts go in for. The music does the talking for them.

The third album is due out late summer according to the band, and if it continues the progression that the band made from the first to the second album, Evile could move from strength to strength during chapter three of their career.

Review by Jim Rowland

Photos by Noel Buckley

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