The basics? A five piece Death Metal band from America’s well renowned San Francisco Bay Area. Anyone not familiar with that area yet? You know, Metallica, Exodus, Testament, Vio-Lence etc, not to mention the general area of SF containing such Death Metal brilliance as Vastum (who you must hear if you consider yourself a fan of Death at all), and of course Possessed (Death/Thrash if you will, but definitely a huge part of the beginning of the whole DM movement), and many others without a doubt, and yes if I’ve missed your favourite band then feel free to be upset, matters not a thing to me, I’m not writing a fucking book here. I’m here to discuss Evulse, and whether they are worthy or not of being in the company of such excellence with their debut, 2018’s “Call of the Void”.
“Disgusting Death Metal” is how they (or some PR guy) has called them on their Bandcamp page, and for most, that would be enough to draw them in. Mayhap it was the case with me also, as I am a sucker for anything remotely Death Metal related, especially if it turns out to be really good! They also contain members of Mortuous, Swamp Witch, and Augurs (yet again, on their BC page, so not hard to find out), which to some will mean a lot, and to others not a fucking thing. As always, I prefer the music to tell me the tale, so it was by listening to it that you will now find out how good, bad, or indifferent it is.
Opener “Hypochondria” may make you feel a little ill with how fast it opens, a smothering mass of chaotic distortion, gurgling monstrous vocals and flat out hate. A nice bit of guitar solo chucked in for good measure amongst the insanity of the rhythm section, and just as you start liking the idea, it’s over. A whopping 1.59 minutes, well, that was quick. Second track “Hideous Mound” is, for all intents and purposes, quite hideous, also containing the gurgling screams of some demented mad man to the tune of dudes flogging the shite out of their respective instruments, and then too, it is gone. Just sat down, grabbed a fucking beer, and now we are halfway through the debut. Christ, it takes me longer to shit, but all is not yet lost.
Track number three, “Call of the Void” may well be the saviour, and so it begins with a bit of a raw almost Black Metal sounding guitar part, and just when you may expect ice to be forming on your speakers, then the heaviness kicks in, and kick in it does. Now we are talking. This is what we want, and the boys deliver a track that could be almost be (or is to me) Death/Doom in nature for the most part, with some good old fashioned chuggery to boot in the riff section. My biggest problem here, is that either the vocals are so buried in the mix that I cannot make them out at all, or something has gone wrong with the production so that it all just sounds like “Aaaarrgghh” and “Uuuurgh” and maybe also “Oooohhhh”. Don’t get me wrong here, I love the sounds that bands like Atavisma, Ataraxy and even Kaabalh are working with right now, and yes they are not strictly Death Metal to any degree, but even if all of the aforementioned still sound like your vomit had bred with your internal waste and come back to haunt you via the ‘S’ bend of your toilet, they still have a tad more clarity to them.
All that remains is the closing track “Agoraphobia”. Another bolter, this one slaps you around the eardrums with more unadulterated chaos before settling into a groove of sorts, and a groove that still contains the barking of an incoherent madman. Maybe that’s the way it’s meant to sound and I am missing the point. Some of the riffery contained within is just pure crunchy goodness, but it all too fleeting to leave a decent impression for mine. I really wanted to like this a lot more than I do. Yes, on a level of bat shit craziness this will work for some, and for those with very little attention span who just wanna drop names and say they are into the latest underground shit it may also work, but for me it just doesn’t cut the mustard so to speak. There is a great deal of promise here, but if they release another it needs to be more of a statement of where they are going and not just what seems to me like four tracks thrown out unto the masses to test our readiness. Yes Evulse, you have both the ability, and the talent, and I do believe the direction, so please make the next release a bit longer, a bit more solid, and make us believe. I so want to, we are ready. (The Great Mackintosh)