Survival of the Sickest

March 7, 2017


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The Pitch: Sweden's Evocation, with roots all the way back to 90's old school death metal and Gothenburg, make a triumphant return with The Shadow Archetype through Metal Blace Records.  FFO At The Gates, Amon Amarth, The Haunted

What I Like: What we get here is a nice cross-section of a few different death subgenres.  The guitar tone and some of the faster tracks like "Modus Operandi" are pure OSDM, the more melodic and sometimes technical guitar leads are classic Swedish melodeath, and many of the album's midpaced marches ("Children of Stone") certainly recall a certain Viking vibe of groups like Amon Amarth.  Add a more modernized production and it's a recipe for an interesting release.  It has a refined sound that still retains some of the grit of classics like Slaughter the Soul and One Kill Wonder.  The mix stood out to me in that the H-2 doesn't becoming an overwhelming wall, as it often does, and wash out the other instrumentation.  Quite to the contrary, even the killer bass grooves come through crystal clear.  And thanks to attention to dynamics with moments like the calming acoustic interlude "Blind Obedience" (also reminiscent of classic Gothenburg albums), the album maintains a nice flow.

What I Don't Like: There's not really much here that I haven't heard 100 times before.  Evocation earn some extra street cred for their history, and even that aside they know their genre well; but I've spoken out a number of times about the need for melodeath bands to really work their asses off these days in order to create something truly original.

The Verdict: This album is a testament that no matter how long you have been around the block, and no matter how many line-up changes and lengthy hiatuses a band goes through, they can always come back and kill it with a solid record if the work is put in.  The Shadow Archetype comes out this Friday, 3/10.

Flight's Fav's: Children of Stone, The Shadow Archetype, Sulphur and Blood