AGAINST EVIL were formed about four years ago in Visakhapatnam, India, and since then they have been working towards the release put to spotlight with this review. Having released a single and an EP back in 2015, “All Hail The King” is practically their first full-length album which follows the same path its predecessors did.
So, what’s going on with these guys from the other side of the world?
The band plays a mixture of traditional heavy metal, with lots of elements from the US epic/power metal scene of the 80s. Both musically and lyrically, you’ll be able to spot influences from bands like MANOWAR, OMEN, JUDAS PRIEST, RIOT, TWISTED SISTER etc. Similar to the cover of their first EP, the cover of the “All Hail The King” features the band members riding their horses in battle under the sign of a gigantic king, so there’s a continuity/bridge of some sort between the two releases.
Despite the simplicity in music someone might expect from a band that’s into traditional heavy metal, I have to say the band sounds capable to perform even more demanding stuff from what’s in the album. Guitar tracks are laid beautifully, drums and bass are really spot on, and the vocals fit nicely in the final result. Something to mention here, is the existence of two vocalists, the guitarist and the bassist, that share the vocal duties on some of the songs, while in some others… they don’t. This allows for some diversity throughout the album, but to be honest, I’d prefer something more similar to the 3 INCHES OF BLOOD way of doing things (eg. two vocalists with a completely different style).
Something I didn’t know before getting this album was that AGAINST EVIL had a really good idea: they got Jeff Loomis (ARCH ENEMY, ex-NEVERMORE) to perform the guitar solo in “Sentenced to Death”. As expected, Loomis shredded the hell out of the poor instrument and delivered an amazing solo. I’m still undecided on the topic of whether smaller bands really benefit from having a well-known musician as a guest, or not. Sometimes it draws too much attention for the wrong reasons, while other times, important sums of budget go down the drain in an effort to get a name in the album credits. However, this time I think everything was done right and judging by their looks, these guys seem to enjoy it more than anyone else ever will. And nobody can blame them for that, right?
I tend to think of debut albums as a double-edged knife: they can either go great and put you on the map for good, or they can just be a good moment in the band’s history, hinting for things to come. Of course, they can go pretty bad as well, but it’s out of the question for this one. In the case of AGAINST EVIL we’re dealing with a good debut album that sets the record straight for things to follow. The band has everything it takes to take things to the next level, so it’s just a matter of hard work and letting things grow IMHO. Will definitely keep an eye on these guys.
Top song picks: “All Hail The King”, “Stand up and Fight”, “Sentenced to Death”, “Gods of War”.