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Evocation - "Dead Calm Chaos (reissue)" (CD)

Evocation - "Dead Calm Chaos (reissue)" CD cover image

"Dead Calm Chaos (reissue)" track listing:

1. In the Reign of Chaos
2. Silence Sleep
3. Angel of Torment
4. Boundead
5. Dead Calm Chaos
6. Truth Will Come Clear
7. Dust
8. Protected By What Gods
9. Antidote
10. Tomorrow Has No Sunrise
11. Astray Masquerade
12. Razored to the Bone

Reviewed by on September 28, 2012

"...the guitar tones are what make 'Dead Calm Chaos' such a pleasurable listen. Sharp tones gracefully move as if gliding on the wings of a swift, while gritty tones are bound to scrape and tear their way into a listener’s black heart."

Need a good example to describe Swedish death metal? Evocation fits that profile with its second full-length release “Dead Calm Chaos,” which Metal Blade so graciously reissued back on September 11 of this year. Evocation straddles the line between the hulking grittiness and groove of Stockholm greats, such as Grave and Entombed, with the epic melody and stealthy thrash-metal movement of Gothenburg greats At The Gates, Eucharist and Dark Tranquility.

“Dead Calm Chaos” came out after the rise of Gothenburg’s Big 3 (In Flames, At The Gates and Dark Tranquillity) and Stockholm’s Big 4 (Entombed, Grave, Unleashed and Dismember), but the spirit of those bands remains. Shadowy, floating harmonies reveal the Dismember influence right out of the gate on “In the Reign of Chaos,” then takes an epic, Amon Amarth approach to riff writing on the following track “Silence Sleep.”

After the first two tracks, Evocation may leave listeners thinking this is another Gothenburg melodic death metal record. The next track, “Angel of Torment,” shows the group's penchant for “Wolverine Blues”-type groove. Blast-beating drums and black metal shrieking voices soon put a damper on the opening fun. Varied-yet-connected transitions keeps the album moving. However, the guitar tones are what make “Dead Calm Chaos” such a pleasurable listen. Sharp tones gracefully move as if gliding on the wings of a swift, while gritty tones are bound to scrape and tear their way into a listener’s black heart.

Swedish death metal, whether it’s the Stockholm or Gothenburg brand, keeps finding new ears that continue to explore and expand the two town’s traditions. These sounds aren’t exactly fresh, especially since American hardcore bands have criminally borrowed from Gothenburg bands. They’ve borrowed so much that the passion seems gone. Evocation proves that there are many more albums displaying Sweden’s musical craft before these styles become extinct.

Highs: "Dead Calm Chaos" displays strong dynamics

Lows: Evocation doesn't bring anything new to the game

Bottom line: "Dead Calm Chaos" is for fans who shun away from "new" styles of death metal

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)