EVOCATION – Apocalyptic

EVOCATION – Apocalyptic

When it comes to certain death metal bands, one doesn’t expect radical shifts in terms of tones, aggressive attitude or instituting fresh spices to their style. What gravitates people to groups like Dismember, Obituary, and the like is their unyielding desire to execute their songs and patterns on their own terms – commercial appeal has no affect as preference lies in keeping and sustaining the true believers. Swedish five piece Evocation firmly plant their roots in this same ethos, assaulting the hordes of the underground with their third full length since reassembling.

Apocalyptic contains 10 tracks that feature the well known Swedish raw buzz saw guitar hallmark, the rhythm section who propel incessant hair windmill and neck breaking action on stage and off and savage roars out of Thomas Josefsson that will surely scare the uninitiated and the unwanted. Evocation run at various paces – the opener “Sweet Obsession” begins with a speed guitar/drum passage and then shifts between a mid-tempo harmony-laden groove (in the Stockholm classic tradition) and stop/start lightning finger runs out of guitarists Vesa Kenttakumpu and Marko Palmen. “Infamy” resides in Unleashed mid-tempo land, with drummer Janne K. Boden weaving his double bass and snare/cymbal skills to force another relentless audience participation moment – one I felt multiple times with every playback. The famous devil’s triumvirate chord progression opens “Psychosis Warfare” where Thomas gets the chance to mirror the riff parts in the verses and then sends bone chilling screams through its chorus and a slight death grunt here and there.

Favorites will change depending on the day, but the blast beat meets war march rhythms of “Murder In Passion” plus the doom meets thrash stomp follow up “It Is All Your Fault” probably rate as two of the best Evocation songs I’ve heard to date. Ideally Evocation would tour year round and have a similar pull in the scene as Grave, Dismember or Unleashed. Gaining a US licensing deal with Metal Blade may increase those chances, as this is honest death metal pulling no punches and emphasizing street level songwriting integrity.

Who says death metal can’t be relevant in 2010?