With a couple of strong singles already teasing attention since forming in October last year, Indian metallers Against Evil now reinforce their potent emergence with a nudge on broader attention with debut EP Fatal Assault. Offering six tracks of old school inspired heavy metal loaded with a fresh and more modern breath, band and release make a highly promising proposition. Not one quite ready to explode into the widest global metal scene, but certainly something to noticeably stir things up.
Hailing from Visakhapatnam, Against Evil consists of guitarist/vocalist Sravan, guitarist Shasank, bassist/vocalist Siri Sri, and drummer Noble John. Their sound leans on inspirations from the likes of Judas Priest, Accept, Megadeth, Black Sabbath and many more, but as shown by the Simone Mularoni mixed and mastered Fatal Assault, finds its own identity through merging further potent spices.
The release opens with brief instrumental Battle Call, the piece a sparkling melodic enticing which barely lives up to its name but blossoms an anthemic whisper which becomes more vocal as the music evolves into the rousing entrance of The Enemy Within. The second track is soon striding through ears with spicy riffs and commanding rhythms as vocals share the scenic text of the lyrical narrative. As the EP in many ways, there is little truly surprising about the song yet it still casts an enthralling air which only gets keener as impressive guitar enterprise spins solos and sonic imagination.
The strong track is quickly outshone by Speedbreaker where initial contagious and snappy rhythms make the prelude to driving riffs and tangy grooves, all again wearing vintage hues on their persuasion to appealing effect. There is also a stronger snarl and intensity to the song from the off, which similarly incites the growling vocals, backed by great band shouts, and the web of thumping rhythms. There is something familiar to most songs upon the EP, a recognisable tone which only adds colour to the different characters within individual songs, here almost Motorhead like dirty rock ‘n’ roll tenaciously colluding with its heavy metal breeding.
Wings of Steel storms in next, its body sharing a Judas Priest meets AC/DC like tempest but one entangled with discord kissed grooves and fiery tempting from guitar strings. A more than decent incitement, it is also another surpassed by its successor, Bulletproof putting it in the shade. Sizzling hooks align with heavy riffs and beats to start the song off, they subsequently relaxing as the song flows through heavy melodic rock scenery into more ferocious metal aggression which in turn entwine as the song proceeds, their distinct differences becoming a pleasing creative blur over time. Though not quite as bone shaking as Speedbreaker, the excellent track stands aside it as the biggest highlight of the release.
Fatal Assault ensures a rampant close through War Hero, another pleasingly dirty and grouchy growl of a song with skilled and blistering exploits from the guitars around a powerful rhythmic spine and the ever compelling vocals. As all tracks it never truly feeds expectations despite its obvious influences and familiar textures. It is a trait which applies across the very accomplished and engaging EP, and helping provide a firmly solid base from which Against Evil can only spring to greater heights and spotlights.
Fatal Assault is available from July 20th @ https://transcendingobscurityindia.bandcamp.com/album/fatal-assault-heavy-metal