Evildead – “United States Of Anarchy” CD / LP (Steamhammer / SPV)
Battle Helm Rating
Named after Sam Raimi’s cult film “The Evil Dead”, Evildead were formed in 1986 as a side project of Agent Steel guitarist Juan Garcia and Abattoir bassist Mel Sanchez. With a style similar to their peers at the time including Testament, Vio-lence, Dark Angel and Sacred Reich, it wasn’t long before they were signed to Steamhammer / SPV, issuing 2 full length studio releases and a live album before breaking up in 1993, despite penning songs for a 3rd record. However, after renewed calls over the years to reform, Evildead began playing selected festival shows and even toured Europe to please both their old fans and a new generation eager to sample their music. This paved the way for a comeback album and the “United States Of Anarchy” is the result, renewing the collaboration of Steamhammer / SPV, Ed Repka’s artwork and the band themselves, who essentially comprise the line up from 1989’s debut “Annihilation Of Civilization” and bassist Karlos Medina from 1991 sophomore “The Underworld”. From the 9 tracks here it’s pretty clear that Evildead are keen to re-ignite the 80s thrash spark, right down to that old school sound courtesy of legendary producer Bill Metoyer (Slayer, Flotsam and Jetsam, Sacred Reich, D.R.I., Corrosion of Conformity, Trouble, Hirax and Armored Saint)! Opening up with ‘The Descending’, the riffs just fly out from the twin guitars of Garcia and Albert Gonzales (Anger as Art, Faeost, ex-Rise, ex-Death (live)) much as Metallica did in their glory days before building to a monster groove that hooks in just as deeply as vocalist Phil Flores (ex Abbatoir) shouts out the rhyming lyrics of ‘…the filthy rich, that breed in power, they laugh at us, from ivory towers..’, while drummer Rob Alaniz (Anger as Art, Noctuary, Winterthrall, ex-Abattoir, Faeost, Fat Halen, H8torade, Necrophilia, Riseinc., T.U.B.B., Tdomayki, ex-Bitch, ex-Krieg, ex-Rise, ex-Despise You) hammers in his kicks beats to add to the thrash rhythm. Hitting jet speed on ‘Blasphemy Divine’, the whirring blur of riffs contrasts superbly with neo classical finesse before another massive thrash groove hits, and as the guitars roar and chunder, Flores chants ‘..our father who art in hell, all kneel who serve you well, salvation came too late, for the sinners that you create..’ – superb! Ending with ‘Seed Of Doubt’, the longest song at just under 5 1/2 minutes, there’s plenty of time for Garcia and Gonzales to show their technical brilliance as jumping licks meld with catchy riffs in addition to some epic solo work, as Flores rams home the chorus message of ‘..eeee-vil..plant the seed of doubt..’, not that you’d have any after listening to this excellent album. Needless to say, it’s great to have Evildead back again!