Evile - LIVE: The Garage, London 2011

Five Serpent's Teeth Album Release
September 29 (21:45-22:50)
Capacity 630

For the second time in just six days one of the best British thrash bands on tour today, albeit considerably younger than Onslaught who were here last week, arrived at The Garage in Highbury, and for the second time their headlining set almost didn't qualify as one.

Just like the previous week's Onslaught show, where the thrash veterans were restricted to just 75 minutes on stage and forced to run 30 minutes over curfew to even fit that in, the promoters for Evile's official album launch for new disc Five Serpent's Teeth booked too many local support bands. And none of them were excellent London thrashers Savage Messiah, who would be occupying the special guest slot on their full tour starting a couple of weeks later in Southampton.

Instead joke outfit Stuka Squadron (who dress as vampire luftwaffe pilots), and mismatched extreme metal groups Sworn Amongst and L Sal Tace. Sworn Amongst enjoyed comfortably the best of the crowd reception, while Stuka Squadron's gimmick just about managed to stretch the half hour of their set. Evile were finally able to take the stage at 21:45 and had just 65 minutes to cherry pick tracks from their trio of albums, ultimately meaning fan favourites like Enter The Grave and Now Demolition had no place in the set.

Evile of course didn't disappoint with their own show. Matt Drake's new vocal approach is proving to be a huge benefit to the band as he has switched from pushing his voice too hard to making sure there's a more melodic quality to it. It sounds best on the newest songs, which were written to suit, but he is now able to deliver the older songs with more power as well. Meanwhile the rest of the band, now including bassist Joel Graham, maintained as much energy as the tight Garage stage would allow, and the jovial banter between themselves that the group bring into their shows add an extra dimension to their entertainment value.

Evile are stuck at the moment between taking the next step up as bona fide headliners in their own right, playing larger venues and being afforded proper sets, and high profile support. In the UK, they can play similar-sized venues as many of the older thrash bands like Destruction and Exodus, which presents them with a problem as to who can legitmately take them out as a support band. That isn't really as big a problem as being treated by promoters the way they were for this show.

They have the songs, the following, and the performance qualities to do a proper headlining tour, and with plans to spend much of 2012 on the road, perhaps it won't be too long until they can do it right on home soil. If they're allowed to.

“ Evile of course didn't disappoint ”

Stuka Squadron Setlist: Tales of The Ost / Stuka Squadron / We Drink Blood / On The Volga Bridge / Zabulon's Inferno

Sworn Amongst Setlist: Severance / ?? / Darkness / Nowhere To Run / The Storm / The Rules of Engagement

Evile Setlist: Five Serpent's Teeth / Killer From The Deep / Eternal Empire / We Who Are About To Die / Cult / Thrasher / Descent Into Madness / Xaraya / Infected Nation / Long Live New Flesh // Armoured Assault

Photo(s): Andy Lye

Written by Andy Lye
More: 2011, Gigs, Thrash Metal,

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