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(October 23, 2014)
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EVIL SHEPHERD

EVIL SHEPHERD
Evil Through Darkness... And Darkness Through Death
(Empire Records)
41:52min

Back in 1988, I remember I received my first taste of Belgian Metal via tape trading. A totally underrated album, BLACK SHEPHERD's "Immortal Aggression" was a furious Thrash Metal attack. Up to day, it remains one of those obscure gems that populate the timeless underground. Curious enough, this review is another Belgian band with a similar name, EVIL SHEPHERD, playing a blackened form of Thrash Metal. And 24 years later, Belgium is still delivering high quality music. A young band, active since 2008 with 2 demos and an album under their belts, EVIL SHEPHERD released, back in 2012, their sophomore album "Evil Through Darkness... And Darkness Through Death" via Empire Records. And things haven't changed much. This is a relentless Thrash Metal album full of high pitched vocals and excellent guitar work. An unusual feature, considering there are tons of bands out there playing sterile and simple "retro" Thrash. Keeping away from that trend, this Belgian outfit showcases a lot of attitude and strength through the 12 well-thought songs. They do have some of the "standards" to this style. And what one notices first is the atmosphere. The "blackened" tag is honored perfectly as the album sets the listener into a trance since the very beginning. It is obscure, creepy, malevolent... evil made music! The production fits perfectly; the drums are punchy and natural-sounding, no plastic triggers here. The guitar tone is piercing, even too trebly if you ask me. But when the bass and the drums come in the mix, everything sounds well balanced and heavy all around. And then you have the vocals. Vocalist Jonah puts out a stunning performance, screaming his lungs out! But what sets this one apart from all the clone bands out there is the catchiness. There are excellent riffs that get stuck to your head instantly. One doesn't realize the complexity of the music until second or third listen. And even then, it keeps ripping through your skull with 41 minutes of excellent Thrash Metal! Totally and absolutely recommenced! "Evil Through Darkness... And Darkness Through Death" is one hell of an album (literally, :-) ). I am already waiting for their next album. EVIL SHEPHERD is a band to look out for. If they keep making great music they are set to go really far in the underground. Hail Belgian Metal! You can find all the info here: www.facebook.com/pages/evil-shepherd/172978056069417 and / or contact their label here: www.empirerecords.be

Alfonso Perez


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