The drive that is still within the Finnish melodic metal band EVIL DRIVE strikes again with their third album, “Demons Within.” They proudly present themselves as even more powerful and having undergone major musical and technical improvements. With this album, they made a little bit of a change to their line-up with a new bassist in Matti Sorsa and drummer Antti Tani, so obviously that’s going to have an impact on the overall soundscape of the release.
The soundscape overall on this record is very linear, straightforward. There are not a lot of changes in sense that is not an album that gives you high peaks and valleys; it is very consistent and cohesive all the way through. If there is a surprise behind the corner, it can be found in the ballad called “In The End” near the end of the album. This pleasant ending surprise changed the dynamics and feeling of the album, making it necessary to go back and re-listen and digest the songs again.
The album itself has so much to offer. The sound is so powerful and warm, and it has volume. This has a lot to do with how the album was produced – the band has created a really balanced approach, where you can hear all the different elements of the bass and drums supporting Viktoria Viren on vocals, the two guitars J-P Pusa and Ville Viren complimenting each other, and they all work parallel to one another – everyone is in their own lane but they are not allowing one element to overpower the other; they are just working together in order to construct songs they just feel. The dual guitarists were able to morph the past, the present, and perhaps the future all together with a little bit of a classic heavy metal, thrash metal, old school death metal, and a little bit more of a modern melodic death metal as well. If you were a long-time fan of metal growing up, you may feel the influence of older bands who played in similar styles integrated a more modern approach to a more modern style, making it work all throughout the album’s ten tracks.
The opener, “Payback,” has the aggression and the power of the strings matching all the other elements. The dynamics of the vocals give a little bit more texture and the layers make this song stronger. “Breaking The Chains” was another track to really grasp my atttention as the song offers a variety of different elements. It is very driven, very melodic, heavy while at the same time merging the old school approach with a more nu-metal sound, and it works perfectly. As the listener progresses through the song, it starts to feel like you’re going from the past into the present. Moving almost seamless from one to the other, EVIL DRIVE are able to create a song that perfectly blends music and vocals. Here is a perfect example of how ever so slightly changing the tone of the delivery of the vocals can make a song become a lot more hooky and catchy.
The drums in “Bringer Of Darkness” stand out with the heavy and powerful beat that still allows the guitars to explode; all of this is supported by incredible bass. The guitars travel upon the sound, full of power and strength, but with a hint of nostalgia throwing back to an old-school sound that brings a few elements of the new school along with it – still very dynamic and fluid. Vocally, this piece also offers a few changes as there are some backing vocals, almost hidden they’re so slight. The album then ends with “Ghost Dimension,” which was a good choice for the final strike at the end. The vocals are driving the song like a tidal wave of feeling; this is perhaps one of the most dynamic songs on the album. At least from a whole perspective, it gives off two very different looks and feels, creating ups and downs musically with the vocals trying to connect all together.
Overall, EVIL DRIVE does an incredible job merging oldschool heavy metal with modern metal, with the mischievous growling of Viktoria Viren‘s vocals connecting everything together and resulting in the soundscape of “Demons Within.”
Written by Peter Jerman
- Breaking the Chains
- Demons Within
- Rising from the Revenge
- We are One
- Too Wild to Live Too Rare to Die
- Lord of Chaos
- Bringer of Darkness
- In the End
- Ghost Dimension
Viktoria Viren – Vocals
J-P Pusa – Guitar
Ville Viren – Guitar
Antti Tani – Drums
Matti Sorsa – Bass
Reaper Entertainment Europe/Universal Music Group