Eternal Evil – The Warriors Awakening Brings The Unholy Slaughter Review

Some bands are infuriating. I don’t think that comes as a surprise to anyone who reads a blog called “Angry Metal Guy,” but the point still stands. Certain bands seem to have a knack for getting your blood boiling, and not in the “flipping merch tables you’re having so much fun” kind of way. Often, this can be put down to one simple, rage-inducing attribute: wasted potential. It comes in many forms: phoned-in performances, lazy writing, creative stagnation, poor production, and the list goes on. When it comes to The Warriors Awakening Brings The Unholy Slaughter, the first full-length from Stockholm-based thrash/speed outfit Eternal Evil, this abiding truism is the reason I’m seeing red (and this time I can’t blame it on a rash). And while I don’t revel in penning harsh words about a group of teenaged performers nearly half my age, I am duty-bound to play the leather-studded ball where it lies.

The issue at play is both foundational and terminal: even though Eternal Evil’s brand of thrashy, blackened speed shows moments of inspiration, it’s clear that memorable songwriting has taken several backseats to Autobahn levels of haste. Even with Venom’s heaving vocal delivery and the ferocity of early Kreator and Sodom, the driving commitment to breakneck speeds that defined a generation of thrash enthusiasts both overwhelms and underdelivers. While there was a time when both bands and fans were in a seemingly never-ending quest for terminal velocity, thrash titans rarely lost sight of the endgame: to write good music. Fans may have come for the speed, but they stayed for the engaging tunes. Unfortunately, Eternal Evil has yet to learn this lesson. Instead, they’re fighting an outdated conflict over who can play the fastest and ignoring the larger goal of writing effective riffs and gripping songs. 

Every track on The Warriors Awakening Brings The Unholy Slaughter sacrifices essential memorability for monotonous haste. This missed opportunity is all the more galling because it’s clear Eternal Evil has what it takes to be better. “Terror of the Sphinx,” “The Captor’s Command,” “The Nocturnal Omen,” and “Eternal Evil” all begin with strong, interesting riffs that pull you in and start your noggin’ to bobbin.’ But before you can settle into a groove, that precious nugget of creativity is blasted with fire and replaced by a charred, repetitious husk. This is what I find so immensely infuriating: On a ten track album, nearly half the songs open with the kind of captivating, thrashtastic riffcraft that demands your attention. For many of the debut albums we review on AMG, that’s an enviable ratio. Unfortunately, Eternal Evil are so eager to jump to warp-speed that they end up abandoning what hooked you in the first place. They’d rather just play forgettable riffs really fast.

What you can’t accuse Eternal Evil of is being short on passion. As unmoved as I am by the album and as frustrated as I grew as the runtime crept by, it’s clear they set out to create a blazing fast, throwback thrashened speed album that borrows heavily from previously mentioned Teutonic originators, with a dose of Venom, Bathory and Slayer for good measure. While I can’t claim that this quest for speed at any cost worked, it’s adequately performed and competently executed. If tracks like “Succubus” and “Terror of the Sphinx” were a part of a much shorter, more heavily edited EP, there might be something more here. But taking the album as a whole, it becomes hard to tell when one song ends and another begins, weakening the overall experience and making even the somewhat stronger tracks falter as a result.

I’m not happy about any of this. Whether it’s leveling harsh criticisms at a band of teenagers or taking the time to listen to their well-intended but ultimately infuriating debut, this isn’t a particularly uplifting moment. But be that as it may, we are called to review, and review we shall. Eternal Evil has a lot to learn, many mistakes yet to make and a great deal of growing to do. My presidential crush Teddy Roosevelt once said that “it is not the critic who counts…the credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.” And while I find more worth in criticism than good ‘ole TR, the gents in Eternal Evil are indeed battling away in the arena. I hope they stick it out and emerge some day, bloodied perhaps, but ultimately better for it.


Rating: 2.0/5.0
DR: 9 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Redefining Darkness Records
Websites: eternalevil.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/eternalevil666
Releases Worldwide: November 26th, 2021

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