"Five Serpent's Teeth"

By Dr. Abner Mality

With the recent departure of Municipal Waste to Nuclear Blast, it's fair to say that Evile is the standard-bearer for Earache Records these days. That means there is a lot of pressure on them to produce great albums. With "Five Serpents' Teeth", they've licked the pressure and delivered another great thrash metal album sure to thrill long time devotees of the art of mayhem.

Evile obviously molds itself after the first three Metallica albums and they do as well as humanly possible to match up to those classics. The songs here have not only the speed pf early Metallica but also that epic, almost progressive feeling of songs like "The Four Horsemen", ""Creeping Death" and "Master of Puppets". There are also touches of Megadeth and Death Angel to their attack, but it's Metallica that's their unvarnished heroes. "Five Serpents Teeth" is also the comfortable mid-point between the pure raw thrash of Evile's debut "Enter The Grave" and the more grandiose feel of sophomore album "Infected Nations". There are some really awesome tunes here where the band hit the gas pedal and blast away, such as "In Dreams of Terror", "Origin of Oblivion" and "Descent Into Madness". But we also get the band's first pure ballad "In Memoriam" and more complex, technical pieces such as "Centurion" and "Xaraya". The former features some of the most intricate double guitar work in the genre.

Ol Drake's lead vocals are very smooth and come up with some catchy hooks, like on "Long Live the New Flesh". No growls or even screams here, but his voice is not AOR sweet, either. It fits the tunes perfectly. "Five Serpents Teeth" is an outstanding third album from one of the best bands of the neo-thrash movement and one of the very few that will stand the test of time. Highly recommended!