WHERE EVIL FOLLOWS – Portable Darkness
I hadn’t heard of the six -string shredding Tony Knapp before ‘Portable Darkness’ but am happy to know him now. Where Evil Follows is a two man operation based in the US. Musically we are looking at 80’s style speed metal with some slight modern influences, but ultimately fairly old-fashioned soundwise. Which isn’t a bad thing at all in my book. Fans of early Agent Steel, Helloween and Helstar will find much to love here.
The good: excellent guitar work, from the riffs to the solos. Superb vocals by Dean Sternberg that contribute to some great melodies and memorable choruses. The rhythm work is solid too and quite impressive when you realise that Knapp has done the drums himself.
The bad: in a small blemish on an otherwise polished production, there is a guitar frequency that sometimes pushes one of the amps to the max, causing a buzz. This doesn’t happen very often but once you notice it, it becomes offputting, especially if you are listening through headphones, as it bounces right into your eardrum. Apologies if this is something you wouldn’t have/didn’t notice before, but it is my job to point these things out!
The ?: A cover version of Black Sabbath’s ‘Disturbing the Priest’. Black Sabbath are one of my fave bands of all time, but I have dodged that poxy album for over 30 years now. Anyway… the guys make a good fist of this. But how bad are the lyrics – ‘Do we mind disturbing the priest? Not at all not at all, not in the least’? Gillian even makes Ozzy’s ability to rhyme look good here.
Overall ‘Portable Darkness’ is a top notch slice of melodic speed/power/traditional metal. I look forward to seeing more from these guys and will check out Mr Knapp’s other work.