Quinquaginta, is the third full length from Mexican Blackened Death Metal trio Evilheart, originally independently released in 2014, it has been re-released by Canadian label Test Your Metal Records, as a precursor to a Canadian tour to support it. It is, like a lot of Mexican Metal, a brutal and intense affair, consisting of ten tracks, and spanning almost sixty minutes.
The opening track ‘Perfection Collapsed’ couldn’t start in a more exciting manner. Rapid riffing, pummelling drumbeats, and a massive roar from the vocals, the pace full-on from the offset, and continuing across the length of the track. Breaking it up midway, there is a decent chunk of lead work and this is the level of excitement you can expect across this album. It is a full-on assault of the senses.
‘Misanthropic Decree’ starts slower. It is dark, and oppressively intense. The pace picks up with the arrival the rasping growl of the vocals, and continues to build and intensify as the track progresses, reaching a midpoint zenith with shredding lead work. The pace drops and re builds, and what I like here, is how it slides between slow and heavy as hell, and the intense and crushing, keeping a perfect balance throughout.
‘Selective Extermination’ is a track so fast it’s in danger of overtaking itself, but the vocals anchor it all together nicely, and there a nice direction switch midway, where the riffs become punchy, with the lead work kicking in even earlier, allowing for a slightly melodic build, before another brutal onslaught and then, just after halfway, a second chunk of shredding. Very nice indeed.
‘Rebellion’ opens with a battery of drum work, which keeps a high profile across the track (not that they keep a low profile elsewhere). They are just that little bit more impressive here, and in the subtle, poignant pauses and switches, just enough room is left for compact drum flourishes and a few well placed cymbal crashes, and you have to wait until the end for the lead work to break out this time around.
You barely get time to draw breath before the intense pummelling of ‘Decimated Opposition’ brutally descends upon you with the tempo rising and falling in waves beneath the caustic vocals, building up to that midpoint shred, but then, to surprise you, there’s a drastic, but effective mood change for the final minute. The track becomes reflective and melodic, fading the track out beautifully .
Normal service is resumed with ‘Supremacy And Holocaust’. Pummelling drums, crashing cymbals , punchy riffs… delivered fast, then even faster, all beneath the vehement vocals, broken up nicely with a lengthy midpoint shred .
Things turn symphonic for the intro on ‘Postmortal Corruption’, an element that adds a great atmosphere and feel of anticipation. This continues with the dark, smouldering riffs that build the sound further, turning very intense and blackened as the vocals arrive. There are more symphonics midway, before the very reflective lead work, but they still manage to keep it, on the whole, pretty brutal, despite an underlying, subtle melodic element.
‘Genetics of Betrayal’ has a great thrashy pace to its construct early on. This is followed by an early shred, then an unusual mood and tempo shift along with the addition of some quite innovative, almost industrial, keyboard elements. These take you by surprise, but lead nicely into further lead work, before the normal brutal service is resumed once more, until the final reflective closing passage.
Title track, Quinquaginta starts dark and sultry, with quieter clean passages of guitar work, but as the longest track of the release, at almost ten minutes, you can expect plenty of tempo and direction changes, varying up the mood of this marathon track. This includes a very moody and reflective midpoint chunk of rather good lead work, however, for me, it was a tiny bit too long and started to re cover old ground. That said, it’s worth holding out for the symphonic ending and final lead segment.
Final track ‘Severance’ is a cover of a track by Mexican death metal veterans ‘Cenotaph’, from their 1994 release ‘Riding Our Black Oceans’. Whilst it holds true to the original in many respects, Evilheart do add their own slant on the track, and at the same time this version more than does the original justice.
If you like bands such as Dissection, Vader, Krisiun and Malevolent Creation… or just like your Metal leaning towards the brutal, and somewhat blackened and in your face, but grounded in classic styling, with just a touch of modern innovation, well you might just find this a fascinating listen.
Review: Jools Green]]>