Evocation – Excised and Anatomised
Release Date: September 3, 2013
2012, I thought, was a strong year for metal, as many bands were proving themselves as worthy claims for the “Album of the Year” award that many sites and publications post up as the end of the year beckons. As these lists were compiled, one band always rose up to the challenge. Evocation’s Illusions of Grandeur has always stuck with me since it was first released. Although they didn’t make my top lists of the last year (considering I could only choose 10) I was anticipating their newest release, which I thought would be in 2014, where they would improve upon their sound and surpass many in their path. This isn’t the case, actually, as the band recently released a covers EP that leaves me with my mouth hanging wide open.
Excised and Anatomised can be described as a work of art. Now, if you don’t already know, this EP is actually composed of covers. Now when you think of covers and my previous statement involving this piece being a work of art, most of you may be a bit perplexed. Evocation turn five classic death metal tracks into explosive and memorable interpretations that transition into the modern day death metal scene perfectly.
“…For Victory” explodes out of the gates and immediately becomes one of my favorite tracks, even with it as the first track. Bolt Thrower are one of my favorite death metal bands and having a band cover this classic immediately scores bonus points. The modern sound production combined with the old school death metal ferocity pays the perfect homage to the death metal giants. The groovy, slamming riffs are still apparent and don’t give in to any sort of “loose ambiguation” of the original.
Another favorite, “Corporal Jigsore Quandary” keeps the momentum at a high with another great transformation of a classic. Carcass is another band that I’ve also been getting into and seeing another band take their song and make it hit just as hard, if not harder, really impresses me. The guitar work by Vesa Kenttäkumpu and Marko Palmén is an element you can’t overlook. I feel that they dig even further than their predecessors, which is saying a lot. What these two tracks have also displayed is the amazingly tight-knit and bone-crushing rhythm section, provided by Gustaf Jorde (bass) and Janne K. Bodén (drums). These four members somehow create this nearly flawless element, but not without including their vocalist.
Thomas Josefsson has this knack to adapt his vocal style to sing pretty much any sort of death metal vocal you could throw his way. Although to some, it seems like he doesn’t change much on the surface, with further examination you can tell he actually transitions ever so slightly very frequently. You’ll find the most common style he takes on is the eviscerating, almost “gutty” approach but is able to dig deeper into a ground-shaking, bellowed roar with help from Janne from time to time.
If you need a song to ever break an album or EP in half, just use Napalm Death’s “You Suffer”. Kind of like what I’m doing with this review.
“Enigma” is another death metal tribute. This time, paying respects to Edge of Sanity. Although well executed, I was pretty disappointed in the fact that they didn’t include the introduction of the original. Again, note the modern production. I think this boosts the EP so much as you get a fuller sound and being able to hear every instrument play its part. The atmosphere (which isn’t much but is still present) plays up on the original as well, bringing about a dark nature that Edge of Sanity were known for.
To end the EP, we come to “Terminal Spirit Disease”, originally by At The Gates. A great closer, in my opinion, as it has a different tone from most of the others and just has that point of ending feel to it. Although it was not my favorite at first, it has become quite the grower on me and may take the place of some of the others. The band is able to adapt to this track as well, which is amazing to see artists with that characteristic.
Evocation proves to be consistent, especially with this EP, following their previous full length album from last year. This EP is likely to be in my top three of the year so far and I know I’ll be playing it until their next album drops. Excised and Anatomised is a great tribute to death metal bands of the past and it is good to see where a group’s influences hail from. The future of Evocation is bright and I’ll definitely look forward to what else they are going to throw at me. Hopefully I’ll survive.