Mouthful of metal with ‘Five Serpent’s Teeth’

U.K. thrash monsters Evile have finally released their long-awaited third album, “Five Serpent’s Teeth,” and it surpasses all expectations. “Teeth” has the makings of a classic thrash masterpiece. Matt Drake and company have taken their form of thrash metal and transformed it into a furious animal bent on destruction and chaos.

The album features a number of well-written tracks filled with speed, power and aggression. The title tracks, “Origin and Oblivion” and “In Dreams of Terror” deliver strong riffs that immediately grab the listener.

Evile has continued to grow as a band as evidenced by the more personal feel in the lyrics. The group is able to fully interpret how they felt while recording and writing the album. The riffs are also unique, distancing themselves from the standard thrash songs. Matt Drake’s voice is more relaxed, flowing better and keeping harmony with the music. “Descent into Madness” showcases this well. Ben Carter’s drumming is as precise as can be and Drake has gotten even better on guitar. Between the rapid-fire double bass and the glorious leads, Drake and Carter continue to be the backbone of the group. Also, the tempos are ever changing and very bass-driven – thanks to the addition of Joel Graham, whose hard rock and progressive influences can be heard throughout the album.

Graham has been playing with Evile for over two years now (ever since the passing of original bass player Mike Alexander), with “Five Serpent’s Teeth” being the first Evile record with Graham on bass. The bass adds to the intensity of the music and shows how comfortable Graham has gotten with the band.

The songs have much more structure to them than in the past. Gone are the simple verse/chrous/verse solo stuctures. The songs go through many different time signatures and the album, as a whole, gets more progressive. This can be seen in “Origin and Oblivion,” “Centurion” and Evile’s slower number “In Memoriam,” which is no doubt written for the late Mike Alexander and is arguably the most powerful song on the album.

As a whole, “Five Serpent’s Teeth” is a work of art. Evile have continued to surprise, proving why they are at the forefront of modern metal, and establishing that they are not just another thrash band. It is the best offering the band has at the moment and may be their best work in their career. “Five Serpent’s Teeth” is easily the best metal album of 2011. The album’s closing track says it all for Evile – “ Long Live the New Flesh.”

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