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Evestus - "This is Dramacore" (CD)

Evestus - "This is Dramacore" CD cover image

"This is Dramacore" track listing:

1. Demons of Fame (4:59)
2. Dramacore (5:08)
3. Pikachu Warriors (4:55)
4. All the Kings Drugs (5:06)
5. Conveniently Confused (3:23)
6. Dramajunkie (4:28)
7. Leftovers (4:51)
8. Enemy (3:54)
9. Sacrifice (6:04)
10. Nothing (3:28)
11. Gone (4:24)
12. So In Love (11:41)

Reviewed by on January 3, 2011

"Even when the sounds aren’t going to be pleasing to the average extreme metal fan, the complex arrangements and constant changes still maintain an exceedingly high quality that makes the music worth hearing."

Without question, heavy metal is one of the most diverse forms of music to be found in any corner of the world. What other style of music has managed to be broken into so many vastly different sub-genres? From symphonic black metal to brutal death metal to thrash to folk metal and about a hundred hybrids in-between, heavy metal showcases its extreme versatility with every new combination. Evestus takes that idea a step further, mixing together goth and industrial with metal, and even throwing in a regular dose of hip hop on “This is Dramacore.”

The idea of hip hop entering the realm of metal may make some cringe and others pick up flaming torches to form an angry mob, but honestly it was only a matter of time. If keyboards, full orchestras, choirs, electronica, fiddles and other elements can be mixed with metal, then clearly the style can keep expanding further.

Trying to figure out the exact label for Evestus is like trying to hit a moving target. The opening track starts with a repeating movie sample and deep whispers with symphonic backing sounds, but before long it moves into a semi-rapped style that almost brings to mind P.O.D. One of the most prevalent musical ideas on the album is the frequent use of industrial sounds along the lines of Nine Inch Nails or Mortiis. The end of “Pikachu Warriors” even heads straight into goth and emo territory, using distorted clean talking about pain and little girls with a background of creepy electronic sounds.

So there aren’t any misconceptions, there are some long stretches on the album that don’t even qualify for the term “metal.” Some of it’s just rock, and some of it’s just goth, and some of it’s just industrial. Even when the sounds aren’t going to be pleasing to the average extreme metal fan, the complex arrangements and constant changes still maintain an exceedingly high quality that makes the music worth hearing. The only major exception would perhaps be “Sacrifice,” which is far too mainstream and pop influenced for its own good. It’s almost like Evestus knows that however, as the next song starts off with heavy guitars and distorted screams and yells.

To be blunt, many extreme metal fans will probably hate “This is Dramacore” on principle alone. Anyone who has ever enjoyed an odd combination of metal with a non-metal style may find its well worth the time, however. As long as any given music fan can enjoy hip hop, industrial, rock, and goth sprinkled liberally in the mix, they’ll probably love this super catchy cocktail of musical styles.

Highs: Complex and interesting arrangements, lots of Nine Inch Nails influence

Lows: Some of it is far, far too mainstream for most metal heads to swallow.

Bottom line: Better than you’d expect for having a title like "This is Dramacore," but it’s still not going to appeal to anyone who doesn’t want hip hop, industrial, or goth in their metal.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 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)