Album Review: EvilDead – United States of Anarchy

For such a diehard thrasher it feels rather shameful to admit EvilDead have escaped my speakers for so long. I’d heard a few tunes from classic duo of albums, Annihilation of Civilization and The Underworld, when getting into thrash metal as a teenager and never followed it up. However it came to my attention that the band have returned with their third LP United States of Anarchy and I figured, it’s better late than never to dive into their raging trio of albums. Beginning of course with the new record, it’s exciting to hear what the cult thrash legends have in store nearly two decades since their last LP.

The album opens with lead single “The Descending” showing that the band mean business straight off the bat. The thrashing riffs are straight to point and catchy with infectious gang shouts in the chorus. There’s always been a lot to be critical about in politics and EvilDead have never hidden their comments. With a historic US election that’s got everyone talking, the lyrics are certain to be shouted along to by thrashers everywhere. Second single “Word of God” follows, keeping the raging pace with some cool harmonised ideas giving a slightly melodic feel to the chorus and solos. “Napoleon Complex” brings the tempo down a little giving a punky vibe with lots of power chords, thrashed up with pounding drum work.

Approaching the middle point of the album, “Greenhouse” brings a killer mix of more slightly more technical riffing in the chorus balanced with more straightforward crunching stomps. The punky power chords return beneath the shredding solo. Sometimes metal solos however impressive, insane shredding can some pass by as blur. The solos EvilDead present here are a little more subtle, balancing flashy segments with more understated ideas (at times embellished with harmonies) overall making for memorable lead guitars alongside the hooky riffs. The solo in follow-up “Without a Cause” is a perfect example, shining through the barrage of sliding power chord riffs. Despite the serious socio-political commentary, EvilDead are known to show their sense of humour and it’s here on United States of Anarchy. The intro to “No Difference” is a complete tonal shift into lounge style jazz complete with walking bass and finger clicks. It certainly catches you off guard but definitely makes you crack a smile before the crushingly crunchy riffing that follows. The harmonised chorus melody and shredding solo is another stand out.

The rip-roaring thrash returns in “Blasphemy Divine”. Probably the overall fastest track on the album, the riffing is more deathrash in style and certain to get bodies flying in the pit before the slamming mid-section. Follow-up “A.O.P/War Dance” brings a cool tempo shift in the former section with a swinging instrumental rhythm before the all-out rage in the latter section. The song has a darker feel in the more technical harmonised verse riffing and the chorus arpeggios. Penultimate number “Seed of Doubt” is a final killer blast of thrash with a lot of tempo shifts seamlessly blending together. The song has a slightly more epic feel building to the melodic outro section, where the drums gradually break down from more complex work to a more straight up beat before the track fades. EvilDead’s fun side returns on United States of Anarchy’s closing track, a B-52’s cover. “Planet Claire 2020” is a cool rendition of the kooky classic which overall does an awesome job of recreating the synth, feedback and vocals effects of the original on guitar. The main riffing of the original translates well to EvilDead’s crunchy metal style making for great cover and a fun end to a solid record.

EvilDead have released a killer album with United States of Anarchy. The songs have a good mix of more straightforward riffing that’s certain to get the head banging and more technical moments showing off the band’s skills – all while remaining relentlessly hooky throughout. The album overall has a good seamless flow between all the riffs and songs overall and doesn’t get old on repeat listens. In the old-skool days, EvilDead had an awesome punchy sound and it returns in this more modern production. It maintains that killer fuzzy crunch guitar tone with more prominent bass from Annihilation of Civilization, but overall more balanced and chunky. The shouted vocal style is in keeping with the band’s punky side and works well spitting out the socio-political lyrics. United States of Anarchy is apt considering current world events and EvilDead couldn’t have picked a better time to soundtrack this state of affairs with their new slamming songs.

United States of Anarchy is out now via Steamhammer.

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