Unearthing the Metal Underground: Santiago's Sign of Evil
Band Photo: Sign of Evil (?)
Sign of Evil has only been around for a couple of years, but the South American entity stands apart from its continents’ dark metal bands that typically plumb the depths of all things old school Sepultura, Sarcofago, Mortem and Pentagram. Sure, the aforementioned bands’ vile and bestial blackened sensibilities are evident, yet there’s a clearly psychedelic quality at hand with Sign of Evil that unfortunately isn’t too common in extreme metal. The awesome psychedelic Floridian death metal outfit Wharflurch, covered last year in this weekly column, comes to mind as a band that’s similarly reaching forward toward this relatively newer kind of extremity. Sign of Evil was born two years ago, the brainchild of the band’s driving source, the man bearing the ever-so-eloquent pseudonym Witchfucker.
The Santiago, Chile-based project’s 2020 demo EP, “Psychodelic Horror,” showed promise, and the similarly entitled debut full-length, “Psychodelic Death,” set for release tomorrow via Edged Circle, carries along the same path with music that’s even more bizarre. A current press release appropriately describes the band as one that entails “black speed metal but with elements of early GISM, strange Eastern Bloc metal from the '80s, and ancient Italian occult rock.” With “Psychodelic Death,” Witchfucker (who also performs with Invocation Spells, Dekapited and Speed Attack) is now joined by new drummer Thoth, and the duo has produced one hell of a 13-song album. Songs like “Serpent Poison” and “When The Day Arrives” find Sign of Evil wonderfully entrenched in the spirit of classic kitsch-horror just as much as they are in eighties punk-fueled blackened speed metal.
Jay H. Gorania is a long time metal journalist and sings for Trench Warfare. He also writes for Blabbermouth and Hellbound.ca and has in the past edited for Pit and written for Metal Maniacs, Unrestrained!, Hails and Horns, AMP and Outburn as well as other media outlets.
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