After being independently released in 2014, Envenomed’s “Evil Unseen” is seeing a 2015 reissue by none other than the very prolific thrash label: Punishment 18 Records. This label is the most appropriate place for these Australian thrashers, as this record delivers an experience that is sure to get some heads moving. Envenomed’s brand of thrash is a little bit different from most of their peers. They look back to a simpler time when thrash was about songs, and not just speed. This means that their music can get incredibly melodic at times, both vocally and musically. Their singer has the ideal range for this style of thrash. Though he’s not a copy of someone like Joey Belladonna, he is a good approximation for talent. Envenomed’s singer can get more aggressive when he needs to, but also spends a lot of time singing in a more melodic fashion.
The band’s style of thrash is quite similar. There is no shortage of hard-hitting riffs, but they are intertwined with melodies that allow the music room to breathe. This creates for a much more balanced attack than Australian counterparts Harlott, for example (though their take on thrash is equally thrilling). Sometimes it feels just a little bit too modern, but soon enough, Envenomed brings back the riffing to remind you that this is a thrash album. It also helps that the production is on point. The guitars are meaty, and have a giant crunch, while the drums correctly manage to be the backbone of the band’s sound. This is particularly evident on "Disobeying The Beast", which features plenty of mid-paced, stompingly heavy sections.
Still, “Evil Unseen” leaves the listener wanting just a little bit more. Envenomed hits the mark so well on a song like “Will of Man”, that it makes much of the record frustrating because they fail to replicate those heights again. This style of thrash metal is very conducive to writing memorable songs, yet after quite a few listens to this album, not enough sticks. The band clearly has the talent to make their music stand out, but it’s a consistency issue. Nonetheless, “Evil Unseen” is an interesting and worthwhile listen because it’s a modern version of a once popular take on thrash metal.
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"Will of Man"
3.7/5 or 74%.
Written by Scott