EVIL (jp) 

"Possessed By Evil"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Any country that's worth a fart and sixpence will have a metal band named EVIL. This is Japan's version, who look like the Nipponese version of BLASPHEMY but who draw more influence from the ancient days of German thrash. Those who seek comfort in metallic nostalgia will find "Possessed By Evil" another warm fuzzy purchase. Outside of that restricted target group, praise will be harder to come by.

The production is a pleasant surprise, capturing the warm analog frequencies and realistic drum sound of days gone by. I'm also glad to hear the vocals are not the sort of exaggerated ball-piercing shriek favored by many Japanese extreme bands. Just a scream now and then to conjure up elder days of DESTRUCTION and SODOM. The lead guitar work is more like straight heavy metal with a blues feel more than the usual thrash type solo. EVIL reminds me a bit of a more primitive MIDNIGHT because of that. 

The band does their best when indulging in fast, raw rifferama like "Yaksa", "Paramount Evil" and "Enmaten" that owes a lot to old SODOM. When they slow things down, like on the title track, they start to sound pretty average. Truth is, this is so much in the vein of tons of other retro-thrashers that it's not going to stick in the brain too long, but at least these guys do it with conviction.