Evil Conspiracy – Prime Evil

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It might not be an encounter with even an inkling of tearing up the metal ‘rule book’ in its makeup but Prime Evil from Swedish heavy metallers Evil Conspiracy is one seriously enjoyable proposition to revitalise weary ears. A feisty mix of flavours from classic and power metal to thrash and melodic escapades, the band’s sound makes for a magnetic and inventive incitement in a debut album which hits all the right notes in its thoroughly rewarding stomp.

Hailing from the Kumla/Örebro areas of Sweden, Evil Conspiracy emerged in 2002, evolving from a band called Legions which had just lost some of its members. A quartet of demos were released between 2003 and 2006 to strong responses, whilst live the band were soon earning a good reputation for their performances. Their first show saw the band support Lost Horizon but in no time they were drawing strong and eager crowds and support, resulting in Evil Conspiracy being one of the headline acts at the Wretstock festival whilst in early 2004 they supported Dionysus at the release party for Anima Mundi in Örebro. A few personnel changes have come with the years, especially vocally, but with the line-up of vocalist Fredrik Eriksson, guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist Andreas Mäkelä, guitarist Patrik Mäkelä, bassist Martin Giaever, and drummer Veikko Heikkinen, Evil Conspiracy set about creating their first album with its release recently coming through Sliptrick Records to whom the band signed last year.

Prime Evil is an immediate incitement for ears and appetite, the opening Intro a short but atmospherically engaging proposal. The guitars spread suggestive melodies as around them brooding ambience brews, this in turn inviting dramatic rhythms and intensity to step forth until it all winds down leaving the listener ready for the fiery contagion of Rule the Ruins. Thrash seeded riffs rigorously roam as gripping hooks leave their mark whilst along the lure the excellent and grouchy tones of Eriksson entice and impress. Group harmonies add to a mellower but no less anthemic chorus whilst the spicy enterprise of the guitars are courted by the ever presence temptation of addictive hooks and spiky grooves. The track is an excellent proper start to the album and quickly backed up by its title track with its own unique collection of tangy grooving and virulent persuasion. A rich essence of Bay Area thrash lines the rampancy and snarl of the track but equally its sonic endeavour and imagination has a power/heavy metal adventure as the track twists and lurches from landmark to landmark with a creative infectiousness which is Anthrax like.

There is no letting up in energy and enjoyment as the prowling predator that is Scars with Pride takes over. The vocals simply draw full attention as does the roaming throaty bass enterprise of Giaever, whilst the guitars spin an evolving web of voracious and in turn seductive invention as the song explores a mellower landscape, though its walls still snarl and grab at the senses from time to time. It is a captivating encounter setting up the broader metal tapestry of Fallen From the Sky, another song with a growling, inhospitable nature at its core but engaged in an exploration of melodic beauty and eighties harmonic resourcefulness. It does not quite find the same levels of persuasion as its predecessors but still makes a compelling and rewarding proposition before being outshone by The Plague. Jagged, carnivorous riffs saw away at ears initially, their intimidation matched by the menace of the rhythms before it relaxes a touch for a melodic saunter. All the time though glimpses of the predation it opened with flirt with the passions before emerging in a raucously addictive and anthemic chorus. Simply it is a lithe beast of a song with raptorial imagination and a malevolent heart.

7-2 provides a slab of enticing power balladry with rugged exploits next whilst The Beast of Flesh and Blood and Tools of Evil uncage their individual contagions of multi-flavoured and skilfully crafted old school infused metal. All three, without igniting the fires as the first half of Prime Evil achieved with personal tastes, have easy control of body and satisfaction with their individual catchy anthems. The third especially has the knack of deceptively involving the listener at certain points, if not quite maintaining that potency for its whole length, but enjoyment is only topped up by each and the following Father of Lies.

The penultimate song is the most diverse on the album in many ways, its melodic and progressive enterprise a fascinating enticement which if anything does not go far enough in its boldness, ultimately preferring to embrace a more classic heavy metal croon. Nevertheless again you can only say that satisfaction is thick as the final encounter takes to ears. Earth and Flames is similar in make-up if not presence to the previous song, aggressive and seductive in simultaneous persuasion and a thrilling end to a thoroughly enjoyable offering from a band you can expect to be talked about in much broader circles from hereon in.

Evil Conspiracy might not want to re-invent the metal wheel but they certainly have the intent to give it a colourful coat of voracious rock ‘n’ roll paint, a success found in the heartily recommended Prime Evil.

Prime Evil is available now via Sliptrick Records @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/prime-evil/id974680961

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RingMaster 28/05/2015

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M-Pire Of Evil – Crucified

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    Crucified is a mixed bag of tracks which combine to make a pleasing and satisfying encounter that without lighting any hunger driven fires in the passions certainly brings a smile to the face. Unleashed by UK metallers M-Pire Of Evil, the band formed by former members of the legendary Venom, Jeff “Mantas” Dunn (guitar) and Tony “Demolition Man” Dolan (vocals & bass), the album thrusts eleven heavy metal/thrash powered aggression fuelled tracks through the ear, their offerings made up of new material and revisited tracks from the five year period the duo played together in the black metal masters. It is an album which works much better than just a simple best of… album or one simply copying of past glories, but when the best material on the release is arguably the new songs there is a sense that it missed the opportunity to make a mark like its predecessor the acclaimed Hell To The Holy.

With drummer Marc “JXN” Jackson carving up the ear with his intensive rhythms alongside the founding pair, M-Pire Of Evil turn M-Pire Of Evil - Crucified - Coveron a furnace of insatiable riffs and heavy handed rhythms wrapped in a sonic enterprise which twists its skilled creativity around the assault. Opening track of the Mausoleum Records released album, Temples of Ice, originally from the album of the same name, swaggers in with an expressive groove  wrapping plundering of rhythms and a predatory atmosphere. Once Dolan unleashes his scowling tones upon the song the track surges with a thrash crafted hunger through to the senses, its switching gait as infectious as the melodic flames searing the ear from the guitars. It is a strong and enjoyable track which like all the subsequent re-inventions makes a valid declaration for their intent and presence.

The following Parasite, one of three visits to Prime Evil of 1989, is an excellent confrontation, a destructive spiteful fury which brings a Motorhead like rapaciousness for an unbridled treat but whether you can say it improves or does enough with the original is debatable, though such its strength it is hard to mind this slight failing. As the likes of The Waste Lands bred Kissing the Beast, the rabid Carnivorous with its corrosive riffing and delicious groove, and the excellent Black Legions bleeds its intensive destruction over the senses the album gets better and better even if still yet to truly spark any passion or find a true cutting edge to its spiteful snarl.

Both Need to Kill and Wolverine chew with accomplished craft and expected power though still the feeling of a lost opportunity shows its head across what it has to be said is enjoyable savagery. It is with the appearance of the three originals that intrigue is truly piqued and fed, starting with the title track, a song which prowls and courts the ear with less intensity but more expressive passion and inventive imagination. It is an enthralling song with the guitar captivation more about adventure than aggression and the melodic wash of sonic persuasion an impressive ally.

The closing pair of Demone and Taking It All grip attention with a stronger lure than in the earlier part of the album, the first with a punk infused thrash tempest which charges up the emotions with anthemic toxicity and the second with an air of exploration to its breath. The track is the best on the album, a ferocious consumption of ravaging riffs and belligerent rhythms ridden by the mutually voracious vocals. It is a fine climax which in many ways accentuates the feeling of a missed chance by the band to create something more memorable than it is.

Despite that Crucified is a an album which leaves only enjoyment in its wake whilst bringing a heavy metal energy to tracks which already have a place in history through their original creators. It is a strong interlude in what can be hoped is more original adventure from M-Pire Of Evil ahead.

www.mpireofevil.com

7/10

RingMaster 17/05/2013

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