Boy, am I stressed right now. My job, which I love, is hell-bent on piling task after task upon my now rounded shoulders, throwing me into projects that require concentration and demand results. I stumble home from work only to waddle over to the gym, destroy my body and crawl back to my room hoping for the universe to dole out a pittance of respite. My time is limited and my patience thin, so when I have to eke out a review during the few slivers of respite available to me, the promo that I’m saddled with better justify the theft of my paltry leisure. It helps if the promo in question is thrash or thrash-adjacent, so Armageddon Genesi, the new album by Italian thrash/death act Eversin would on paper quell my lamentations for paradise lost. Well, that was the idea at least.
When I think back to metal’s halcyon days the mid-2000’s is not a time period that gets conjured in my mind, but to Eversin that identity-starved period is their lighthouse, keeping them on an even keel through waters of overcooked angst, clumsy Photoshop filters and a major escalation in the loudness wars. It’s the last point that requires the most redress as the screeching, compressed nature of the music is a blight that withers the crops of Armageddon Genesi’s landscape.
Following a superfluous atmospheric opening track, “Legions” offers a four-minute microcosm of the album where every flaw and victory is chopped, crushed and rent asunder by the aforementioned woeful production. I can’t overstate how debilitating the compression is, a splintering shower of screeching glass that is as unpleasant as it is intrusive. Combined with the monochrome, bellicose vocals and the violent but thrifty riffs, the overall sound resembles an insipid blend of Biohazard and God Forbid. Were it not for the relaxed bass and some creative lead work I would have stopped listening altogether at this point in Armageddon Genesi’s nascent running time.
Things improve somewhat as the album lurches onwards, “Soulgrinder” electing to slow the pace with some groove peppered throughout, a chugging head-nodder fit for a mosh pit. The riffs are palatable if uneventful but it’s the lead work again that shines with glee, a sterling contrast to the murky rhythm section. The dichotomy between rhythm and lead is an odd one considering both are produced by the same guitarist, Giangabriele Lo Pilato, inviting the assumption that the grunt work of churning out bedrock riffs fails to stoke his fire. One wonders if a similar apathy afflicts the drummer as the percussion is rote and easily overlooked, like how one only notices a statue when they bump in to it while backing away from a painting. Eversin pull things together on the final track, “To the Gates of the Abyss,” with some inventive fills, decent riffing and some inspired clean picking at the end but it’s too little, too late.
With turgid composition, one-dimensional vocals and a performance from band members that flitters between detachment and desire, Armageddon Genesi bears all the hallmarks of a demo rushed out by a band still trying to figure out their sound. There are flashes of inspiration to be found, like the staccato riffing on “Seven Heads” that resembles Havoc Unit (nee …and Oceans) but they are not worth the crawl atop jagged nails that is the excruciating production. Is there anything to salvage? If the band brings in a competent rhythm guitarist and sidelines Lo Pilato to lead duty, adds more diversity to the overall musical structure and of course dials back the compression by several orders of magnitude then perhaps Eversin may be worth a second-look in future. As it stands my time was wasted so I can warn you not to waste yours. You know what they say: Armageddon? Armageddon outta here!