Evocation – “The Shadow Archetype” (Metal Blade Records)
Old school. Modern metal. Death metal’s seen it all throughout its history but very few bands can bring the two together successfully – until now. Revocation were an old school Swe-death band from the early 90s who made their name through ferocious gigs and creating their own mix of what was then the Gothenburg and Stockholm styles of death metal. However, even with success looming, the band folded in 1993. Fast forward to 2005 and unending interest in the band results in them going back into the studio, releasing 3 respectable comeback albums to critical acclaim until 2013, when Evocation suffer another blow with original members, the Kenttäkumpu brothers, calling it quits. With the future of the band teetering on a knife edge, thankfully original guitarist Marko Palmén and vocalist Thomas Josefsson decide to soldier on with new blood – and what a great choice they made! “The Shadow Archetype” is an awesome album for authentically bringing back those aforementioned old school death metal styles, but also skillfully mixing it with the newer technicality found in today’s modern death metal. Even greater than this however, is the tasteful use of melancholic melodies throughout the 11 tracks here which definitely gives Evocation the edge in being a premier death metal band. The sheer mix on offer here is nothing short of a dream, from the HM-2 Boss drenched ‘The Coroner’, a fitting title for the 90s neck snapping brutality on show here, yet now blissfully topped off with subtle melodies adding flavor to Josefsson’s hoarse roars. If it’s death n roll you crave then ‘Condemned To The Grave‘ effortlessly takes you there with an abundance of fuzz, along with some overlaid metallic melodies to make for a very catchy groove. Slowing things down, ‘Children Of Stone’ patiently allows the massive reverb to soak in as session drummer Per Møller Jensen’s (ex-The Haunted, ex-Invocator) shows off his technical percussion – along with his blinding brutality – until the funeral doom melodies from the twin guitars of Palmén and Simon Exner take you to heaven – fantastic! Derived from Jungian theories on psychological archetypes, where we, unwittingly, inherit both good and evil from our predecessors, “The Shadow Archetype” is a fitting title to this superb album from this veteran band, the talent of which is matched by producer Tomas Skogsberg and Dan Seagrave’s spooky cover art!