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HALLOWS EVE
HALLOWS EVE
Evil Never Dies
(self-financed)
46:07min

After the release of their rather controversial 2 track CD single "Evil Offerings", reunited Atlanta Thrashers HALLOWS EVE are finally delivering their first full length album in 17 years now! "Evil Never Dies" features both of the single tracks ('Technicolour Roadkill' and 'Looking Glass') in re-recorded (?), stronger sounding versions as well as seven new tunes. Well, seven is not exactly correct here as 'Interlude' is just a short, rather classical sounding piano instrumental, while the album's closer 'The Ballad Of Mortuary Harry' can't be taken serious at all... The remaining five songs will most certainly once again upset several old HALLOWS EVE fans as the shared vocal delivery of bassplayer Tommy Stewart (clean) and guitarist Skullator (deathly) is not necessarily what we're all associating classic HALLOWS EVE with. But if we're excluding the vocals for a second and just focus on the instrumental side of things you're about to discover some really cool stuff on here. The overall drum sound is a little weak in my opinion, but I could still imagine that most of the songs would be praised by current critics of the band if Stacy Anderson would be singing them (didn't I say that we should exclude the vocals? Hmm...). Except for 'Sweetest Tongue, Sharpest Tooth', which I personally didn't get into at all, the other tunes come up with great, traditional sounding thrashy Metal. Especially the album's opener 'Soldier' is a helluva monster of a composition, with a SLAYER-esque opening, exciting structure and excellent leadguitar work. The song also features Tommy's best vocal performance on the entire album (mid range is the keyword!), so maybe there's light at the end of the tunnel?! The intense Death Metal outburst 'Vampires Drink Deep' on the other hand might be familiar to those of you that are reading our zine for a longer period of time already, as LESTREGUS NOSFERATUS (the band that Skullator used to be part of in between) already had recorded / released that on one of their demos. Not necessarily a typical HALLOWS EVE track, but great on its own, nevertheless! So, as you can see, the whole album is definitely about diversity. Some of it works, some if it doesn't! But I suppose the main problem for the guys will always be: the vocals (here we go again...). Not because Tommy and Skullator are doing a bad job, but because their music simply demands a different sounding voice in order to get recognized as the real HALLOWS EVE again. So, the best thing of course would be to convince Stacy to return, but as that is probably not the most realistic option, I would suggest that some other vocalists should be giving the opportunity to try out... I mean, look at a band like AGENT STEEL for instance. When they reformed a couple of years ago WITHOUT John Cyriis nobody ever thought that someone could fill in his shoes... but Bruce Hall did, and even more than that! He was able to deliver the old stuff with class as well as adding his own unique trademark to the new songs. That's the way it should be if you try to continue on with a band that became part of the Metal history already and that people worship because of their past glories! And HALLOWS EVE can do that as well as the material on this album prooves... For ordering info check out www.hallowseve.org

Frank Stöver

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