"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Evocation - "Tales From the Tomb (reissue)" (CD)

Evocation - "Tales From the Tomb (reissue)" CD cover image

"Tales From the Tomb (reissue)" track listing:

1. Eternal Lie
2. The Dead
3. Chronic Hell
4. Greed
5. From Menace to Mayhem
6. Blessed Upon the Altar
7. Feed the Fire
8. The Symbols of Sins
9. Phase of Fear
10. Veils Were Blown
11. But Life Goes On (Entombed cover)
12. The More We Bleed

Reviewed by on October 10, 2012

"Although originally released in 2007, 'Tales From the Tomb' appears like a forgotten gem of Sweden’s golden age, the ‘90s, when the Swedes refined the sound that would come to characterize Gothenburg and Stockholm."

Evocation’s first full-length, “Tales From the Tomb,” presents an excellent example for describing Swedish death metal. Although originally released in 2007, “Tales From the Tomb” appears like a forgotten gem of Sweden’s golden age, the ‘90s, when the Swedes refined the sound that would come to characterize Gothenburg and Stockholm.

Evocation’s history dates back to the period in question. They released two demos of great quality, but disbanded before crafting a full-length. Now their debut, only five years old, receives its first reissue, and should find more speakers now that Cyclone Empire Records has Metal Blade helping. This one surely spurned a few old-school insiders to dust off Evocation demo cassette tapes hidden in the attic.

“Tales From the Tomb” crosses the line between black and death. The vocals are set at higher tones, giving the release a similar feel to God Dethroned and Necrophobic. “Phase of Fear” has a catchy rhythms built on amps-overloaded-with-distortion riffs. The rhythms rise slowly and fall gently, then speed through with the chaotic speed and reckless abandonment of “Christine” taking revenge on “the shitters.” The drums hit hard and fast, too. There is a popping, tight drum sound on “The Dead.” This track not only reflects their death metal compatriots, particularly the atmosphere of Hypocrisy, but also black metal bands, such as Marduk.

“Tales From the Tomb” certainly seems to channel many of the albums and bands that have come out of Sweden over the past twenty years. In this regard, the band seems to lack identity. However, given the fact Evocation emerged in the early '90s, some of these artist may have been influenced by Evocation. Whatever the case, “Tales From the Tomb” should come with a sticker stating, “The ultimate Swedish extreme metal band!”

Highs: Some of the best Swedish extreme metal you'll ever hear

Lows: Having been released in 2007, most of their sound is already too familiar

Bottom line: For avid fans of Swedish black and death metal who don't care if this has been done before

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 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)