Today’s dousing of rousing black metal is brought to you by the connoisseurs of battlefield chaos: Evil Warriors. In between raids, assaults, missions, sieges and skirmishes, the members of this troublesome horde forge equally manic and violent music to accompany their meddlesome missions. From Leipzig, Germany, Evil Warriors play a black-thrash-death hybrid, with a swirling mass of rupturing noise the main motif of their sound. Fall From Reality is their second full-length.
Instant mayhem ensues. There’s little time for fancy atmospheric noodling. Instead, the pounding rush of a blood-spurt drowns all. “Fall From Reality” is a blistering opening, perhaps lacking invigorating riffs, but holding an energetic essence at its heart. “Excess,” too, is similarly unforgiving. Even stronger thrusts of speed add an ever more manic edge to the song. Wailing, Slayer-esque guitar licks and solos litter the mix, as do the deep, sordid growls of vocalist and guitarist, Beast. It’s during the third track “Pillow of Cold Water” where the album seems to cement itself as something of particular interest. The rapid fire attacks of the previous songs are still there, however a congealed crust of slower, dare I say doomier, riffs and vocals trudge to the fore. The introduction of subtle keys and a magical-sounding ambiance, cross-cutting through the brisk riffing, is very well-done.
Destroyer 666, Watain, Marduk, and similar blackened remnants can all be traced in Evil Warrior‘s sound. Blackened-thrash is often seen as having limitations, strict with its constructs; bands jostling for the top spot get to the top spot by constructing tight songs linked by impressive riffs, bridges and set-pieces that demonstrate technicality, atmosphere, violence and evilness simultaneously. However, there is also a lot of playfulness with this style too. Bands bored with the confines of constant thrashing fit their music with decorative elements, sometimes to their detriment, although occasionally not. For example, think of that both ridiculous and captivating jaw-harp warble in Taake‘s “II” from Bjoergvin. Faint traces of this can be found here, adding a hook to an album that has the potential to grow stale. The second half of “Reincarnation” has an eastern flavor, with a bouncy, clicking rhythm that pushes the song into semi-Melechesh territories. Under the mangled shroud of throbbing black metal, there is a fair bit of exploration. “Worthless Wretch” opens with soft, exploratory guitar work, as does the epic atmospheric closer “All The Stars.” This softening of the writhing aggression of the opening songs balances the album nicely.
Production wise, the album sounds good. Not too clean, not too dirty. Just right, really. The bass, in particular, is punchy and cranks with a pleasant thickness, as do the drums. The leads have a mangled sheen, encrusted in a foe’s blood, that adds a further edge; the vocals, too, have a similar echoing depth. Nothing sounds better than in the excellent “Mania and Passion,” a thunderous eruption of patch-work sections fighting tooth-and-nail for room. Monstrous chugging clashes with stringed fluttering which clashes with dissonant spasmodic riffing which in turn clashes with groovy thrashes. It concludes with a steadier channeling of sound which counteracts the chaos of the first half excellently.
On reflection, this is a very good facsimile of an original manuscript. Some parts, in fact, feel more authentic and original than some of the recent releases by the bands mentioned in the review. Fall From Reality feels like an honest, balls-to-the-wall, angry record. However, even after listen after listen, the opening half of the album fails to pull me back in. Sacrilegiously, each time I return to the album I feel the strong desire to play the album from the middle of fourth track “Reincarnation.” From this point on, the album is very strong indeed: a more balanced, poised and mature sounding set of songs. The opening, despite its initial allure, falls short riff-wise, trying to bludgeon its way to the front of the pack without filtering in any nuance and dynamism. This detracts from what could have been a very good album. Nonetheless, Fall From Reality is an album more than worthy of sitting on the shelf next to your favorite blackened-thrash-death albums. In the future, I hope that other albums will be jostling to sit next to an Evil Warrior‘s masterpiece.