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Evocation - "Apocalyptic" (CD)

Evocation - "Apocalyptic" CD cover image

"Apocalyptic" track listing:

1. Sweet Obsession (4:23)
2. We Are Unified Insane (3:42)
3. Infamy (4:48)
4. Parasites (3:28)
5. Reunion in War (3:50)
6. Psychosis Warfare (3:19)
7. Murder in Passion (3:49)
8. It Is All Your Fault (3:28)
9. Curse on the Creature (4:14)
10. Apocalyptic (4:28)

Reviewed by on December 19, 2010

"Evocation is down-and-dirty death metal, and their stubbornness to dilute their sound is one of the strong suits of 'Apocalyptic.'"

In the early 90’s, Swedish death metal band Evocation was getting a lot of hype attached to them. Just as quickly as they came onto the scene, they departed, breaking up before releasing any studio albums. Over a decade later, they reunited and have since recorded two albums that have made up for lost time. The band’s third album, “Apocalyptic,” is another day at the office, with ten more tracks of melodic death metal for the masses. There are no shocking swerves to be discovered, no sign of enlightenment towards a grandiose concept, and no sudden shifts into mellow, acoustic interludes. Evocation is down-and-dirty death metal, and their stubbornness to dilute their sound is one of the strong suits of “Apocalyptic.”

Evocation plays by the Swedish death metal rulebook, from the dual guitar attack to the scratchy growls. This isn’t just a rehash of past acts though; the band puts in enough of their own touch to make “Apocalyptic” more than just one song repeated from start to finish. “Sweet Obsession” is a strong opener that condenses the album down into four aggressive minutes. A tasteful lead guitar passage only further seals the deal. The guitars are geared towards riffs, keeping any harmonic or lead playing to a minimum. That may seem like a recipe for something nasty, but most of the songs are structured so that the lack of solos is not to its detriment.

The band’s lucid insanity is obvious on “We Are Unified Insane,” “Parasites,” and “Psychosis Warfare.” Intense and packed with tougher riffs than a diner steak, these tracks are the clear-cut highlights. Not only are they fast as hell, but they have an underlying catchy streak to them. By the second or third listen, it’s hard to avoid shouting “Parasites” at an obnoxious volume. The mid-paced songs like “Infamy” and “Curse on the Creature” are standard fare, keeping the tempo in control and showing a minuscule amount of diversity. The use of an extended instrumental section on the title track is a momentum changer that makes for a roaring finish.

There are no lulls or downtime on the album, as Evocation makes sure to get done in a quick enough time not to bore any listeners. The only thing that might turn people away is the fact that this is a Swedish death metal album in 2010. If there is any genre that has been stripped of original ideas, it would be this one. Evocation does an admirable job trying to bring something different, but it isn’t enough to make them stand out, especially when bands like Grave and Dismember are still around doing the exact same thing.

While a jolting display of old-school death metal performed with expertise, “Apocalyptic” is culled from the same musical pool as countless others. Their effort is commendable, but with little innovation, it is just another death metal album to add to the collection. For the die-hards, that will be more than suitable, but in this day and age, just being another Swedish death metal album is not enough to get people excited. It’s an album that will illicit the ears of the older crowd, but doesn’t do much to reign in the younger audience.

Highs: Swedish melodic death metal performed with expertise, no lulls in the album, a few noteworthy solos scattered around

Lows: Brings nothing new to death metal, only for the die-hards of the genre

Bottom line: An album that does justice to the melodic death metal sound, but doesn't incorporate anything noteworthy to the genre.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

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)