Evil Invaders

Pulses of Pleasure

Written by: EW on 14/03/2015 23:39:55

After years of bemoaning the state of the thrash/speed metal revival I now find myself handling a small flurry of releases that can at last give me hope for the genre, or at least until Vektor return to show everyone how it is done. The recent/upcoming efforts of Greeks Biotoxic Warfare, Finns Ranger and here now, Belgians Evil Invaders, suggest that if total genre revival is not at hand then we may as well have a good time worshipping what it stands for. "Pulses of Pleasure" is the debut album from an act who helped open my Roadburn experience last year in entertaining fashion and one that despite playing it’s cards early on manages to excite throughout 42 minutes and numerous listens beyond.

The usage of a Razor album title for a band name is an obvious indicator of allegiances - these nine tracks are a straight-to-the-bone, pretence-free adulation of the genre but thankfully one with enough sense of nous to know that simply speeding along non-stop at 100mph will not do. As with the slow, cryptic lead opening "Siren" and the short but effective line heralding the chorus, the distinctly Maiden-esque dual lead guitars opening "Stairway to Insanity" and "Master of Illusion" or the vocals of Jöe Anus (not his real name) which verge between a Martin Walkyier (Sabbat) throaty snarl and the high end of John Cyriis (Agent Steel), Evil Invaders do an all-round admirable job of imbuing enough personality in the record to ensure it is not a mere photocopy of 80s influences. The pastiche can be a bit over-whelming at times - the band take their speed metal influences seriously enough to have wrung out all the darkness and aggression of pure thrash - but aside from "Shot to Paradise" and the oddly placed instrumental "Blinded" (track eight) which provide little of note, the remaining tracks are all as stimulating as a run on a frozen winter morning.

The absence of thrash’s sting may well provide a sticking point for those used to dealing with the hostility that genre is known for but the Belgians do a solid job of taming it with a knowing smile and a substantial dose of Maiden. When Joe declares "Welcome to my freak show…we’ll tear the flesh from off your face!” in the album’s opening via "Fast, Loud ’n’ Rude" I find it hard not to raise a smirk - in part because such a declaration from some of EI’s harsher thrash brothers would leave me nervous at turning the light off at night, but really it is the satisfaction of knowing that even such a spirited and positive up-tempo record can still kick some serious arse. If you’re checking out a band called Evil Invaders expecting some of the back-alley fight of 80s Razor you may feel undersold but come for your "Pulses of Pleasure" without wishing to have your wallet stolen and be beaten to a bloody pulp and I can guarantee good friendly non-violent fun will be had by all.


Download: Stairway to Insanity, Fast, Loud ‘n’ Rude
For The Fans Of: Agent Steel, Skull Fist, Exodus
Listen: Facebook

Release date 28.02.2015
Napalm Records

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