A latecomer to the ’80s thrash scene, Californian act Evildead still managed to turn out two fine examples of speed metal riffery before disbanding, another victim of the burgeoning grunge movement. Aside from a single released in 2011, a first reunion proved fruitless, but this time the band includes most of the personnel from their 1989 debut, Annihilation of Civilization (SPV/Steamhammer), with bassist Karlos Medina (who played on the follow-up) completing the new and improved line-up.
It’s no coincidence that the latest album United $tate$ of Anarchy (SPV/Steamhammer) gets its release just a few days before America goes to the polls once more, and the savage, politically charged Exodus style opener ‘The Descending’ is a painfully accurate reflection of the current mood within the US. This is quickly followed by the Testament-esque ‘Word of God’ featuring incisive riffing from guitarists Albert Gonzales and Juan Garcia, plus some quality sticksmanship from Rob Alaniz.
By the time vocalist Phil Flores finishes spitting out the lyrics to ‘Napoleon Complex’, anyone still undecided about Evildead’s take on the current state of affairs will be either wrecking their necks in approval, or skulking off to the internet to write things like “bands shouldn’t be political” and “I used to like you guys, but…” on the band’s Facebook page.
As its title suggests, the lurching menace of Megadeth-infused ‘Greenhouse’ warns of the danger of climate change, while the focus of ‘Without a Cause’ is pointed at Evildead’s favourite targets, greed, and corruption. Opening with a fun piece of swing jazz, ‘No Difference’ quickly mutates into something far more appropriate as the band borrow shamelessly from Exodus’s ‘Pleasures of the Flesh’. A reworking of their 2011 single, ‘Blasphemy Divine’ still crushes, just with more focus and better production. ‘A.O.P.’/War Dance’ is one part instrumental, one part mid-paced, groove-laden thrash bastard, while ‘Seed of Doubt’ ends proceedings with an acidic melting of teeth.
Insightful and blisteringly heavy, the razor-sharp riffs and gang vocals of United $tate$ of Anarchymark a welcome return for one of the most underrated acts of the late ’80s. And that is most definitely not fake news.
Buy the album here: https://evildead.lnk.to/UnitedStatesOfAnarchy/
8 / 10