Friday, 21 June 2013

CD Review: Apocalyptic, by Evocation (2010)

Sweden's Evocation started life in 1991, disbanded in 1993 before releasing any studio albums, reformed around 10 years later and rebooted their career. Apocalyptic is their third full-length album after the reformation, and its a respectable death metal outing with a healthy dose of melody and hints of black.

While Apocalyptic never lacks in spirited energy, it also rarely claims any unique ground. The outcome is thoughtful death metal, not exactly driven by melodies by quite respectful of them, without ever quite nailing an identity target at dead-centre. And there is an undoubted repetitiveness to the album, particularly in the droning tone that seems to run through from track to track. A somewhat muddy, self-made mix does not help.

Thomas Josefsson's growl scratches a metal blade on rough gravel, while the guitars of Vesa Kenttakumpu and Marko Palmen demonstrate the power of a thick wall but with noticeably limited flair. Martin Toresson's bass is prominent in laying down sludgy tar that demands a pounding from the drum set of Janne Boden.

Evocation's most promising sound comes when the structures break a bit loose and venture into more adventurous territory. Psychosis Warfare is the best track on the album, creeping around a ghostly house with enough nimbleness of sound to avoid the horrors lurking around every corner. Opener Sweet Obsession brings some inspiration to whet the appetite, and both Curse On The Creature and title track Apocalyptic add some well-defined edges to break free of the predictability that permeates death metal when mixed with some blackness. Apocalyptic pokes around at familiar boggy territory, maintains earnest effort, but finds ground breaking discoveries elusive.


Thomas Josefsson - Vocals
Vesa Kenttakumpu - Guitars
Marko Palmen - Guitars
Martin Toresson - Bass
Janne K. Boden - Drums

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. Sweet Obsession - 8
2. We Are Unified Insane - 7
3. Infamy - 7
4. Parasites - 7
5. Reunion In War - 7
6. Psychosis Warfare - 8
7. Murder In Passion - 7
8. It Is All Your Fault - 7
9. Curse On The Creature - 8
10. Apocalyptic - 8

Average: 7.40

Produced, Recorded, Mixed and Engineered by Vesa Kenttakumpu and Evocation.
Mastered by Christian Silver.

All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.

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