Evil Invaders_Pulses of PleasureThere was a time before the Bay Area thrash explosion where bands were playing fairly fast without it actually being what we now consider thrash metal. Acts like Exciter, Agent Steel, Attacker and even Razor were surely speedy and had the rudiments of thrash in place, but are now referred to as speed metal. Belgian upstarts Evil Invaders look to plant their flag right at the junction between speed and thrash, and tip their hand by using Razor‘s best known ditty as their moniker. Their Pulses of Pleasure debut is chock full of wild, frantic riffing with the NWoBHM/classic metal flavor that many speed metal acts had in spades in the early 80s. Their music is often inspired, energetic and memorable with an undeniable and infectious exuberance, but there’s a major glitch that throws a considerable wrench in the machinery.

Opener “Fast, Loud n’ Rude” tells you everything you need to know about these retro flamethrowers. It’s an unhinged blend of Wolf‘s over-the-top ethos and the tongue-in-cheek style of Mortillery and the riffs are a big bundle of fun. The wild solo trade offs are impossible to ignore and so insanely metal they should be encased in bronze, stuck in a time capsule and launched into deep space. Their entire sound will remind you of a million bands you liked at one time or another and it’s an amusing mix.

Then we get to the hiccup: The vocals of singer/guitarist Jöe Anüs. He’s the definition of a love or hate kind of singer, and while he certainly gives it his all (and then some), there’s a reason he appears chained in all the band photos, as he’s a certifieable lunatic, combining the worst characteristics of Martin Walkyier (Sabbat), Dave Bower (Hell), Larry Portelli (Blessed Death) and Jon Cyris (Agent Steel). He spends most of the album trying to overwhelm the listener with a pornicopia of snarls, roars, chirps and ear-splitting screams. He’s gifted to be sure, and when you first hear him, you’ll be like, “wow,” but soon enough, you’ll be like, “whoa, dude.” Likely believing moderation is for posers, he badly overdoes the madman routine, taking a lot of the attention off the badass music and occasionally righteous compositional acumen. Solid songs like the title track are rife with top-notch, ear-catching riff and solo work (especially from 3:35 onward), but I often find myself wanting to smack Mr. Anüs with a rolled up newspaper telling him to pick a fookin voice and stick with it.

Evil Invaders_2015a1

Vocal diarrhea aside, there are some tasty riffs here, like the very Maiden-esque lead that runs throughout “Stairway to Insanity,” which I know I’ve heard before, but just can’t place, and the classic Holy Terror-like riff lines in “Eclipse of the Mind.”

Another issue with Pulses of Pleasure is the back-end, which is less consistent and mind blowing. By the time “Shot to Paradise” comes along, I find myself becoming tired of the insanity and mentally checking out. Subsequent songs like “Venom” feel weaker, repetitious and a bit more annoying. There’s also a nagging tendency to let songs run between 1-3 minutes too long, sometimes ruining the positive impression they make at the beginning. Even on a relatively short album like this, that can be a major issue.

Joe Anüs and Sam Lemmens are quite the raucous guitar tandem, and most of the riffs they uncork fall into the A and B+ category. The solos are particularly sweet and silly in that pure metal way we all love. They have a real ear for the 80s speed metal sound and manage to bring it into the modern age without ruining the nostalgia for old timers like me. The band as a whole is tight as hell, and they could do some really big things someday with a properly chillaxed front man.

Evil Invaders have talent and a lot of moxie, but they need to work on their editing and find a reliable sedative for Mr. Anüs before they can reach the next tier of retro glory. Definitely a fun band and one to watch, and I’m hoping a little muzzling goes a long way in the future. Grrrrwoof!

Rating: 2.5/5.0
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Napalm Records
Websites: facebook.com/evilinvaders
Release Dates: EU: 2015.02.28 | NA: 03.10.2015

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  • I love these vocals! I say unchain him and lets see what he can really do.

    • This is exactly why you don’t work in mental institutions.

    • Monsterth Goatom

      I usually like extreme vocals, like those in Vektor and Hel, but Anüs is just all over the place. He’s got a good dynamic range, but not a lot of power behind it.

      • We don’t say things like “anus is all over the place” around these parts. Report to HR.

        • Monsterth Goatom

          Damn, second time this month. Must be a smear campaign…No, Wait!

          • sir_c

            Just imagine what happens when the robo-vacuum starts its daily trip around the house.

          • Monsterth Goatom

            For sure. Those little units don’t take shit from no one.

        • Grymm

          I’ll have to use that line next time our house needs to be cleaned.

          “Sorry the house looks like shit. You see, Anüs is just all over the place.”

          See, it works!

          • Monsterth Goatom

            Speaking of houses, and given the scatalogical bent of these replies, I’d recommend everyone giving W.H. Auden’s “The Geography of the House” a read.

      • Dr. A.N. Grier

        That’s one heinous Anus.

        • You’re an assclown.

          • Dr. A.N. Grier

            Alright! An improvement! I was an asshole last week.

          • Monsterth Goatom

            Knowing some German, it’s actually amusing to see the use and abuse of our little buddy the umlaut. Hence, with an umlaut, Anüs is actually pronounced something like “Anoose”.

          • In fairness, he only umlauts his first name. I added the anus umlauts for my own amusement (anusement)?

          • Monsterth Goatom

            Ah! You merry Jester you!

  • Fisting_Andrew_Golota

    I’m a little disappointed at all the Anüs-related puns you could’ve made but didn’t. Also, this guy sounds amazing, and I agree that he should go even more ridiculous on the next one.

    • I’m a classy guy so I took the high road untravelled by the AMG staffers. But the extra umlauts were all mine.

      • Fisting_Andrew_Golota

        Oh come on. Something like “This band has an overactive Anüs that needs to be relaxed”?

  • Monsterth Goatom

    I think Heavy Metal Maniac was the first metal album I bought, after seeing a profile of Exciter on MuchMusic Canada.

  • Norfair Legend

    His voice is WHY I love this, it’s so over the top that I can’t help but angrily wave my fist in the air, lol.

    …I used to frequent a ton of metal sites but it’s pretty much just here nowadays. With tip offs like Evil Invaders, why would I need to go anywhere else ?

  • Lasse Momme

    I’m hearing a hell of a lot of Vio-Lence vocals in that song. It’s actually nice for once to hear a re-thrash band doing something vocally that isn’t just a shoddy metallica/slayer rip-off.

    • Yep, definitely some Sean Killian in his delivery at times. Also a love/ hate vocalist.

  • Anüs Invaders.

    • Don’t go there.

      • Pülses of Pleasüre?

        • sir_c

          I’ll ask my wife tonight if she’s into some pulses of pleasure. Dunno if this video will win her over though

    • Norfair Legend

      They could tour with Ass to Mouth…Rim the World Tour.

    • sir_c

      So… they have a vocalist that goes to eleven?

  • Wilhelm

    This is perhaps the coolest music video released in the last 10 years

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    Over the top is always better! More crazy vocals, more crazy solos, more riffs, more speed… I love the way he sounds like Cronos from Venom raping The Chipmunks

  • sir_c

    where’s the rabid weasel shredding this man’s testicles?

  • Feeblejocks

    Can we all just take a moment from bashing the vocals to appreciate that album cover? I mean, goddamn. I want that thing framed on my wall.

  • Reminds me of early Anthrax.

  • Piston Rod

    I like this album a lot. Catchy, fast, over the top, and a lot of really good playing. Very old school feel, but I never have a problem with that as long as the songwriting is good, and on this album it is.

  • Tofu muncher

    So, I’ll be waiting to your reviewing their latest, Feed Me Violence.

  • Tofu muncher

    So frickin beautiful.