Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Evil Shepherd - "Evil Through Darkness... And Darkness Through Death" (Album Review)

By: Richard Maw

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 12/10/2012
Label: Empire Records


























Overall, Evil Shepherd lives up to their name and give the listener a good quality album of Exodus/Bathory/Venom/Slayer/Possessed inspired mayhem.  Recommended.

“Evil Through Darkness... And Darkness Through Death” CD//DD track listing

1). Evil Through Darkness (3:41)
2). Dawn Ov The Antichrist (3:33)
3). Coronation Ov The Blasphemer (3:29)
4). Worship The Cult (4:00)
5). Christ Denier (2:41)
6). Awake The Beast (3:34)
7). Back From The Grave (2:42)
8). De-Baptizer (2:18)
9). NecroSorcery (4:05)
10). Devil's Packt (2:28)
11). Undead Revenge (4:14)
12) . Darkness Through Death (5:06)


Evil Shepherd is:

Vocals | Jonah
Guitar | Maes
Guitar | Lemmes
Bass | Tömmy
Drums | Sven

The Review:

Belgium. Not necessarily evil, but then again nor are shepherds. However, the aggressive black thrash that spews forth from this full length from Belgium's Evil Shepherd may make you re-consider your position on both. The ghost of Paul Baloff is alive and well as (the first half of) the title track sprints out of the traps. Retro production sounds coupled with a clear mix to draw you in straight away.

There is a distinctly black metal flavour to the riffing in “Dawn Ov the Antichrist”, which gives way in turn, to thrash. The vocals shriek in a mirror effect of the guitars and there is a great riff just after the minute mark. Tempo changes come thick and fast as the snare and bass drum utilise the old turnaround trick to good effect. “Coronation Ov the Blasphemer” starts with a rather unconventional thrash riff but gives way to a more Teutonic flavour. The vocals call and respond in an imaginative production touch while the riff at the one and a half minute mark reminds me of Venom- in that the band seems to teeter on the edge of falling apart but doesn't- exhilarating stuff!

“Worship The Cult” follows with a moody bass intro and sampling that leads into a great trad metal style riff- the Mercyful Fate influences come through loud and clear then lead into an all out thrash attack.  Christ Denier” brings more samples and then two minutes plus of high pitched screams, nimble riffs and thrashing drums. The chorus is memorable, too. “Awake The Beast” brings with it a dramatic opening riff with snarling and growling samples to set the mood. Again the chorus is simple and effective- there is a definite traditional grounding even in the more extreme sounds here. “Back From The Grave” continues both the excellent and oh so metal song titles and evil riffing with some good chops and changes too.

“De-Baptizer” clips along at a fair gallop and leads us into the final quarter of the album. “NecroSorcery” keeps the occult/anti-Christian/satanic themes going with a shift in pace to start then back to business as usual as the familiar Aura Noir-esque tempo kicks in. You will also hear shades of very early Slayer throughout the release- it gives the whole thing a very retro vibe coupled with the very “now” blackened thrash approach.

“Devil's Packt” follows and does not let up on the necro vibe or sense of drama that this genre gives the listener. Nice solos. The song title stakes are upped with “Undead Revenge” and the band starts as it means to go on; thrashing speed, galloping second riff and a half time change all happen within the first minute and there is no let up from there as the gears are shifted upwards again. The section from around the two and half minute mark on is simply a joy to hear- great riffs.  The five minutes plus of the (second half of) the title track “Darkness Through Death” closes things well with all the tricks and deftness that the band has employed previously being utilised in a kind of summation of their sound.

Overall, Evil Shepherd lives up to their name and give the listener a good quality album of Exodus/Bathory/Venom/Slayer/Possessed inspired mayhem.  Recommended.


“Evil Through Darkness... And Darkness Through Death” is available here.



Band info: Facebook