Thursday, 20 April 2017

Unpaid review: Evyltyde, by Evyltyde

OK, let's get one thing out of the way first... This isn't a restaurant review, I know that I've done restaurant reviews in the past but this isn't one of them. This is a music review, of an album, by a band. A 'Heavy Metal/Melodic Hard Rock' band (So, all you Bieberites should probably hang up now - You're really not going to like this - But you should probably know that no-one really gives a crap what it is you actually like and you're wasting your lives)

(Hey, remember that time I didn'y get death-threats from Bieber fans?)

And I should probably make it known that I knew a couple of people in the band, before I knew they were in a band (I met them at a party and thought that they were splendid types) - This happens to me literally all the time, one of my other friends for instance - Known him for years, suddenly dropped 'I'm on BBC Radio 2 tomorrow.' into a discussion about what we were having from the bar... I don't mean he just stood up and said it like Steve Carell's character in 'Anchorman' might do - He kind of worked it into the flow, but it still totally happened.

So, I've known these people for about a year, and about a year before that, they released their first and most eponymous album. And you know what? It's really quite good. Let's first introduce the band, well, at least the lineup at the time the album was released.

In photographic order:

Isaac Marques - Drums
Paul James - Bass
Hannah Delaney - Vocals
Danny Merton - Guitar and shouting

This is their lineup now(ish)

Heckmodswyke, my faithful manservant, loaded their CD into the walnut frontaged Blohm und Voss CD player in the Dandymobile many hours before I awoke so that I may listen to it during my long commute to work this morning - Let me tell you about what I heard:

Please note: I have included official videos for the songs where such things exist on YouTube.  There are loads of videos of the band playing the other tracks from this album live.  But most of them were taken by sweaty rockers on their phones - And being an ex live sound engineer - Most of them make my bloody teeth itch. (no offence intended to the camerapeople - I'm sure you're all lovely)

(Rights to all songs, videos and images are owned by Evyltyde and their assorted agents and agencies)

Track 1 - Intro 
I know - An intro!, it's like I'm back in the 70s, a decade that I'm significantly more comfortable with than I am this current one - It's a minute and a half of crashing waves, torrential rain, ghostly choral voices and disembodied laughter - I likes it, although I did feel like I needed a wee halfway through. There is also a light smattering of creaky ships timbers towards the second half, which made me shiver (see what I did there?) - All in all, by far the best nautical-themed intro I have heard on a track since Islander, by Nightwish (and that has flutes).

Track 2 - Down below
Continuing the nautical theme, Hannah, sings a sirenesque story about condemning sailors to the briny deep. This is where you start to hear the vocal range that she's capable of, The high notes made my ears bleed and the low ones made me think a wheel had come off... But that may have something to do with the volume I was playing it at - Not sure what volume it was, as the CD player isn't so gauche that it tells you things like that, but it did keep flashing up, 'Explosionsgefahr' So, that's nice... Probably. I don't know, I don't speak German.

Track 3 - Kick you down
A dirty-great guitar riff starts the song, and the processing gives it the feel of being listened to on the radio in a car by the guy it was written about... and I was listening to it in the car, but, look... You'd probably need to hear it to understand what I mean... A lot of the songs on the album can safely be described as 'Old School' or 'Old Skool' or however the kids are spelling it nowadays - And this is a good thing, because I am old. and I went to school.

Track 4 - What have we become
Oh! a choral start, we like those! I've got loads of Sisters of Mercy albums - Then it all goes a bit 'Number of the Beast/Run to the Hills - Iron Maiden' Twiddly-speed guitars. Then the drummer goes nuts - There is literally nothing not to like. There's an over-arching 'Egyptian' feel to this track - But that could just be me remembering listening to the Powerslave album back in the 80's - The lyrics are pretty dystopic if you listen to them (or read them off the sleeve notes like I did) - But that's cool, I like that kinda thing.

Track 5 - Your darkest fears
Now IMHO, this is one of the most accessible songs on the album. This is also a good time to remind you that this is a totally subjective review, personally I'd have released this as a single - But that's just me, and I'm just a bald, fat bloke with questionable morals, not a record company executive... Can you imagine!? - If someone were to put a knife to my throat, and you really needed a reference, I'd say this is probably most reminiscent of Lacuna Coil

Track 6 - Disappear
Yay! The first one with an official video... Something of a Sunday Morning acoustic kind of song - Oh, and if any of you have ever wondered what 'disdain' looks like on a girl's face - It's the expression that Hannah has in this video whenever she's not looking like she's about to actively rip your nuts off.

Track 7 - Chastity
Another video... Which means I don't have to write anything yeah? Maybe? OK, yes, it sound's Def Leppardey - But when did that start being a bad thing? I like Def Leppard, I used to wear white baseball boots and double denim back when it was fashionable - and I got all the chicks.  Now, we've talked about strippers many times on The Chimping Dandy before. So I'm not going to go deep into that subject again (f'nar) - Whilst I understand what the constant change of pace is trying to portray, I admit to finding it a bit jarring. I don't mean it's not a good song, I'm just saying it's not my favourite one on the album. 

Track 8 - Living to die
Proper headbanger is this one - Even a nice instrumental break at about 2:40 so that you can get your breath back and everything.  Other bands might have resorted to shouting out the lyrics to this one. There are some shouty bits in the background and a couple of gravel voiced Death-Metal style grumbles (Presumably from Mr Merton) but it's all clarity of projection and what's called public school received pronunciation now - Although it was just 'How you spoke' when I were a lad - I'd characterize this as a track played by the DJ at the start of the last quarter of the night - Where the sober people are just drunk enough to dance uninhibitedly, and the drunks are still sober enough to remain verticalish..

Track 9 - Guilty
This is Dio... This is so Dio... Bloody love Dio, I do - You could probably sing the lyrics to 'Holy Diver' over this and it'd be cock-on - This is an epic lost Dio song as performed by Barracuda era Heart at the top of their game - Bloody love Dio, bloody love this track. Bloody brilliant.

Track 10 - Avenge the fallen
No, I have no idea why this was filmed in a field, I'll be sure to ask them next time I see them - A classic hard-rock song, repetitive (yes that's a good thing in this particular instance) Grinding guitars and plunging decolletage (sorry Hannah, but it's difficult to ignore, and it drags the hairy palms into the gigs... Well, it/they... whichever) - See what you think. Also, see if you can place Danny's accent...
Claim to fame... I may have spilled beer down the back of the jacket that Danny's wearing, but I don't think he noticed, so everything should be fine... *cough*

Track 11 - Fly away
The intro starts a bit 'Crash Test Dummies' - But we like them too, so that's good. Then it goes old Metallica, until Hannah starts to sing. then it really goes full on Black Album 90s Metallica (even the drumming, but the drumming is better because it's not being done by Lars Ulrich who might be Danish, but he's still a massive git) Great track.

Now if you're a modern type, and you've streamed the album from Amazon or *spit* iTunes *spit* - This is where your journey ends - But... If you really believe in supporting independent music, and independent bands, and Kickstarter and shizzle. You will have bought the CD from the band's website for a tenner (with free P+P) and will have four bonus tracks - Well, three tracks, and an acoustic version of one of those three tracks as well as the... Look, you know what I mean...

Track 12, or Bonus Track 1, depending how you look at it - Killer
Another video, don't worry, the flashing is intentional, And yes, it sends my eyes funny too... But it's really catchy - In fact I'm humming it now. (and, keep your comments to yourself... then wash your hands)

Track 13 - Fight to be free
This is a really anthemic track, you can imagine it being belted out at venues - The accompanying video isn't an official video - It's more a sort of official bootleg, featuring just Hannah & Danny. Originally released back in 2013 with all profits going towards helping victims of the war in Syria and around the world

Track 14 - Skin deep
I think this was the only track that I'd describe as an 'Album Track' on the entire album - On another band's album it would be the next to last song... Not filler by a long way, because it's still a good song in its own right... It's as if... You know when a pub covers band says 'And here's one that we wrote ourselves' - It's not one you know, so you'll go and get a beer and then sit and listen and hear the second half and wish you'd heard it all the way through - Pretty abrupt ending though, I was expecting a fadeout for some reason. It'll take me a few more listens to get into it I think.

Track 15 - Fight to be free (acoustic)
This is probably my favourite track on the entire album, even though it's just a version of track 13.  It fits Hannah's voice perfectly - It's soulful, it's haunting, It'd make a great closing theme for a TV show - The sort of thing that would be a featured track on Sons of Anarchy. I'm going to play it again once I've published this.

Evyltyde can be found on Facebook:
And they have their own website: Where you can see their tour-dates and buy T-Shirts and the Albums with the bonus tracks - Yeah, they have a fanclub too, you should totally join that, you get free/cheap merch and get to go backstage and stuff (But not like that time I told you about with RockBitch)

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