Evil Drive, a female-fronted five-piece from Kotka, was founded in 2013. In 2015 they released their debut album “The Land Of The Dead” through Mighty Music. An album that got a lot of good feedback. Meanwhile things have changed a bit J-P Pusa joined the band as guitarist and vocalist Viktoria Viren has expanded her vocal range. Now Evil Drive is back with their sophomore album “Ragemaker”, which they will release 30 March 2018 through Reaper Entertainment, who directly signed them with a three album deal.
“Ragemaker” for me is hard to put into a box. You can here a lot of different influences from a lot of different genres. The album itself is melodic, at times groovy, borrows influences from thrash metal, as well as traditional death metal. While researching online about Evil Drive and what has been said about them, I often find the thought of a resemblance with Arch Enemy. In my opinion that is not entirely true, the only thing they have in common is the fact that they’re both fronted by women. And yes, they do both have melodic parts in their music. Arch Enemy being one of the leading bands in Melodic Death metal. But interestingly many of Evil Drive‘s melodic riffs often incline to tap more into power metal or thrash metal than death metal, especially when it comes to guitar fills. This is why I feel that Evil Drive, is kind of creating their own genre more than anything.
That being said, this is something I really like about music in general nowadays. It becomes more and more different to label bands. And why not? They can do whatever the hell they want. It somehow feels like nowadays all these labels and genres are being challenged by current composers, which is also something that challenged me as an individual.
The album starts off with an Intro called “The Rage Is Rising”, a title that feels like an appropriate choice. The intro is all about the build-up to the first single of the album called “Anti-Genocide”. While talking to the band – interview coming up soon – they mentioned that “Anti-Genocide” was the first song they wrote for the album and is a bit in an in-between phase. “Anti-Genocide” is definitely different than the rest of the songs of the album. It inclines more towards their first album, but in a way I feel that it serves as a bridge between the first album and the second album. “Anti-Genocide” has that great attitude that you want to start off with as an album, so it serves very well as an opening track.
“The System Is Dead” starts off with aggressive and heavy riffs, but then soon gets followed up by some interesting melodic riffs, that are refreshing and surprising in the context. One of my personal highlights is the next song in line “Fight To Die”. The song borrows a lot of influences from thrash metal, but then you get kind of caught off guard by a first guitar solo, which leads up to an entire different direction in the song. This is why I started off by saying just how tricky it is to give this band a label and in this song it’s pretty clear. All these surprises and hooks, they take you off guard and it’s a really great thing.
That Viktoria Viren has grown as a singer is really clear in “Legends Never Die”, where we can hear clean vocals as well. The ballad is also definitely one of the highlights on the album, around two and a half minutes into the song, the song picks up and gains more strength, which leads to an intricate guitar solo and Viren changing to her guttural style once again. The song sounds quite epic in its build-up and is definitely one of the band’s greatest songs so far.
The intro of “Ragemaker”, especially when it comes to the drums and rhythms used in it, is a real pleasure to listen to. It’s a song that makes you want to listen for more. Perhaps the most aggressive song on the album, no wonder it’s called “Ragemaker”. “Fire Is Her Name”, the second single of the album, continues in the same way. At one specific point in the fills, it reminds me a bit of Children of Bodom, but then it gets turned around when it’s time for the guitar solo. What I like about “Fire Is Her Name” is the rhythm into the vocal parts, which is in a way very groovy.
The album ends with a cover of Motörhead‘s “Killed By Death”. The cover is not just an exact play-by-play, Evil Drive definitely made this classic their own and it fits perfectly on the album in-between all the other songs. Moreover, it works perfectly as a last track on the album.
All-in-all I personally really enjoyed “Ragemaker”. As mentioned many times before, they kind of created their own style, but yet the album doesn’t sound chaotic or all over the place. They manage to use this style in a consistent way, which make all of the songs coherent and well deserved. It feels like there are next to no filler tracks on this album. All the tracks stand and work well by themselves and are worth listening to. The riffs are brutal and often violent, the usual high tempo doesn’t rule out some very melodic, but yet groovy melodies. Overall the sound in comparison to “The Land of the Dead” the sound has gotten bigger and better. It goes without saying that this is definitely an album to look out for!
- Intro (The Rage Is Rising)
- The System Is Dead
- Fight To Die
- Legends Never Die
- Fire Is Her Name
- There Is No God
- Run Through The Dark
- Suicide Nation
- Killed by Killed (Motörhead Cover)