Evocation - Dead Calm Chaos
Cyclone Empire
Death Metal
12 songs (44:17)
Release year: 2008
Evocation, Cyclone Empire
Reviewed by Goat

Formed in 1991 yet only releasing their debut album in 2007, Swedish Deathsters Evocation are certainly making up for lost time with this, their second album. A pummelling mixture of old-school Swedish Death Metal with a modern sense of songwriting and some hints of American brutality, and we have a winner in the ‘Unoriginal Yet Fun’ awards. Although this isn’t Melodeath there’s enough melody present to keep you listening, and more than enough riffage to keep your head banging. Tracks like Angel Of Torment twist and turn wrathfully, near-brutal guitar shapes crushing you to the ground whilst the melodic leads slither soothingly by... don’t expect any clean-vocalled choruses, though, because this band ain’t down with that. There’s far too much of a spiritual and musical connection to the early nineties for that to happen – think Entombed, not Evanescence.

Despite this foundation of purity, there’s something here for everyone. The stop/start blast of Boundead will ensnare the Arch Enemy fanboys, the title track’s riffage is technical enough for the Decapitated crew. Perhaps it’s a missed opportunity that the tracks don’t seem to flow as well as they could – come on, why bother reforming if all you have to offer is the same as a decade previously? Well, if you’re one of those types that are constantly on the lookout for new, exciting Death Metal that pushes the boundaries and actually damn progresses, then look elsewhere. Those, however, that like their solid Swedish Death will love Dead Calm Chaos, however. Each song present is a tight little headbanger, full of enough Metal madness to keep the most rabid of Gothenburgers or Stockholmers happy. Yet despite even pretty excellent moments like the solo in Protected By What Gods, the songs aren't that great; sooner or later you will start to notice similarities between this and every other Swedish Deathsquad you’ve heard, and it’s that which holds Evocation back.

As good as their good songs are, this band are still lacking that killer element which would make Dead Calm Chaos a must-have purchase. Make no mistake, this is a well-played, near kickass album in more ways than one, yet it makes no advance whatsoever on the genre. Ultimately, then, if you’re after a great Death Metal release, then Evocation will scratch that itch. If, however, you want more than forty-odd minutes’ headbanging, then others make better sound. Still, this is Death Metal after all; it’s impossible to deny that a band that plays the genre well is worth listening to, and Evocation are more than deserving of your time. Just don’t expect a revolution where you see a minor scrimmage.

Killing Songs :
Angel Of Torment, Boundead, Protected By What Gods, Tomorrow Has No Sunrise
Goat quoted 73 / 100
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