Hailing from the coastal metropolis of Visakhapatnam, India Against Evil connected the dots between classic heavy metal and power metal on their 2015 debut ‘Fatal Assault’ to great notoriety despite no huge metal scene around them. In the three years since the metal scene in India has seen a relative boost in all sub-genres and as the demand for world class acts rises Against Evil have stepped up their game and pushed beyond their early Judas Priest and 90’s Megadeth leaning sound into their own. Their second full-length ‘All Hail the King’ stretches it’s sphere of influence with an overall gain in speed metal, epic heavy metal, and shred metal influences going so far as to feature Jeff Loomis on “Sentenced to Death”. With a new found heaviness, an appreciation for heavy metal history, and militantly practiced skills Against Evil make notable contribution with ‘All Hail the King’.
Upon first listen my metal axe wasn’t really swinging until the title track kicked in and that isn’t a slight against the opener “The Army of Four” and it’s ‘Hail to England’ style setup and strong lead guitar work, but the vocalist really wakes up on “All Hail the King”. Siri Sri‘s tone is far more confident and well-backed by arranged backup vocals, two big changes from the first album that provide greater personality and sharper study of classic 80’s metal theatrics. Through the album he wails, croons and growls a good measure better than ‘Fatal Assault’ and ended up helping the overall quality of the record feel like a progression for their sound.
Because ‘All Hail the King’ is informed by modern influence as well as old it is hard to pin down a meaningful comparison. They’ve got a similar ethos as Ancient Empire in that they never go fully thrash/speed though Ancient Evil is generally more melodic. On one hand it suggests that I am out of touch with a lot of the standardized heavy metal that has come out the past few years, and likewise suggests that their sound isn’t entirely special considering how many ‘true heavy metal’ bands with a modern spin on 80’s metal exist. I also began to wonder if the record had a Christian message, which is a frightening sort of propaganda I can’t personally endorse.
“Bad Luck” and “Mean Machine” definitely still have that early Megadeth hard rock informed attitude and 80’s Priest delivery that tie into their previous record’s sound, but it is occasionally startling to see progression and throwback juxtaposed. ‘All Hail the King’ is at it’s best when diverging from it’s melodic focus as in “Sentenced to Death” where the kick of thrash within that song trumps it’s melodic lines doubly. I wouldn’t suggest that they become a full-assed thrash band, but following up thrash energetics with the Tygers of Pan Tang-like 80’s rock of “Bad Luck” suggests a slight lack of cohesive personality, or at the very least a dissonant pairing within the tracklist’s progression. If the tracks beyond “Sentenced to Death” were as modern feeling as the first half of the record, I’d be better sold on this album as a whole but that first half is catchy stuff nonetheless. It is an excellent next step for Against Evil in the development of their inspired melodic heavy metal sound and well worth listening if you’re inclined towards traditional heavy metal variations.
|Released||April 6, 2018|
|BUY/LISTEN on Transcending Obscurity India’s Bandcamp!||Follow Against Evil on Facebook|
Heavy Metal, Speed Metal
Hear the tyrants call. 3.0/5.0
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