Evil-Lÿn – “Disciple Of Steel” (No Remorse Records)
Formed in 2007, Evil-Lÿn soon rose to prominence in true metal circles, playing at Finland’s Jalometalli Festival and Up The Hammers in Greece before recording their 2012 EP “The Night Of Delusions”. Since then however, there has been a complete line up change with only founder guitarist Anssi Salonen remaining. Immediately noticeable is that now there is a male vocalist in Lasse Heinonen who replaces Johanna Rutto and definitely adds a macho rough n ready style to galloping, epic music inspired by the likes of Maiden and Manilla Road. Named after the sorceress in the “Masters Of The Universe” movie (!) expect the music to be none the less colourful although thankfully not comical largely thanks to the excellent twin guitar work of Salonen and new axe-meister Lassi Tiainen, driving prominent power riffs and huge melodies all of which add to some seriously catchy but equally muscle bound material as evidenced on the 8 excellent tracks here. From the hammering of ‘Tengel’ where Timo Hanhijoki’s power drumming literally lifts the song off the ground, in come the wailing tremolo guitars and Jarkko Tasala’s cool bass slides as Heinonen roars out the passion backed heartily by the rest of the band before the twin solos lay you right out on the floor. Slowing things down to heavy levels on ‘Last King Of Thunder’, the brooding atmosphere with plenty of deep guitars, Hanhijoki’s drum rolls and not in the least the epic vibe graced by Heinonen’s soulfulness reach right into your soul thanks to the sterling musicianship of the new veterans on board. It all comes brilliantly into play on the power metal ballad ‘Shadow Soldier’, quietly flowing in its first half with heaps of warrior passion and stirring melodies, but gradually building as Hanhijoki’s drums start to become harder along with the riffs before Tasala’s bass heralds a galloping Maiden-esque second half where long power solos from Salonen and Tiainen really show their strength through steel on this excellent album. Despite their name, Evil-Lÿn clearly prove they’re nothing to laugh at and are back to reclaim their heavy metal glory in no small measure!