Veteran metal outfit Evil Invaders released its latest album, Shattering Reflection Friday through Napalm Records. The band’s first third album and its first in nearly five years, it is a presentation that the metal masses will find worth hearing every now and then. That is due in large part to its wide range of metal arrangements, which will be discussed shortly. While the record’s musical arrangements do well for its presentation, their companion lyrical content sadly detracts somewhat from the presentation. This will be discussed a little later. The record’s production works with the arrangements to make for more engagement and entertainment. It will be discussed later. Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation. All things considered, they make the album a mostly successful new outing for Evil Invaders.
Evil Invaders’ new album, Shattering Reflections, is a mostly successful offering that most metal fans will find worth hearing every now and then. That is due in large part to its featured musical arrangements. From start to end, the album’s 10 separate musical arrangements take listeners on a nice ride. Right from the outset, ‘Hissing in Crescendo,’ listeners are presented with an arrangement that is full-on vintage thrash metal. Front man Johannes “Joe” Van Audenhove’s half-sung screams pair with the razor sharp guitar riffs and fully precise time keeping and rich bass line to lend the whole to comparison to works from a wide range of the band’s counterparts. At some points, vintage Overkill can be heard in the arrangement. At others, Slayer front man Tom Araya comes to mind thanks to Van Audenhove’s vocal style. What’s more, audiences can also make comparisons to works from Exodus through the combination. It is just one way in which the musical arrangements prove so pivotal to the whole of this record. ‘Die For Me,’ which immediately follows, immediately lends itself to the sounds of Iron Maiden with the harmonies and style in the guitars. The vocals meanwhile are still borderline Araya-esque. On yet another note, a song, such as ‘My World’ conjures thoughts of vintage Metallica and Megadeth to a point. Though as it progresses, really enters another realm, adding to the interest. Simply put, the musical arrangements that the band presents throughout the record offer listeners a relatively healthy sampling of vintage metal styles. That forms a strong foundation for the record and makes it worth hearing.
While the musical content featured throughout the album forms a solid foundation for the presentation, that content’s companion lyrical content detracts from the record’s presentation to a point. The lyrical content is familiar, as Van Audenhove has noted in interviews. He has pointed out that it features themes of personal, inner thoughts, as well as ruminations on things going on in the world. That is a good thing. The thing of it all is the way in which he approaches those topics. Van Audenhove wrote the songs’ lyrics in a way that does leave some room for misinterpretation. What’s more, because of the way in which they are presented, and the very heavy nature of those themes, it is going to require audiences to be in a very specific mindset when listening to the album. Case in point is the theme featured in ‘In Deepest Black’ and ‘Eternal Darkness.’ Both of those songs come across as being about being in that dark mental and emotional place. Everyone has been there at one point or another in life, but the way in which the lyrics are presented makes these presentations very deep. If someone is not in that required head space, he/she will not fully appreciate the songs. In the case of, say, ‘Die For Me,’ the song opens sounding like something about someone who is dealing with backstabbers, which again is relatable for audiences. From there though, the song then turns and starts sounding more like something about a cult leader and in turn can easily be misinterpreted. So this is an example of how the album’s lyrical content does prove somewhat problematic to the record’s presentation. The content overall is not enough to make the album a failure, but is still of note, regardless.
Keeping in mind that the record’s lyrical content does not do enough to make the album a failure, there is one more item to note in examining the album’s presentation. That item is the album’s production. The production of the musical arrangements is important because of its role in the record’s general effect. The utmost attention had to be paid to each song from the more intense moments to the more reserved compositions. The more intense compositions required attention to make sure that no one part overpowered the others and each line complimented the others. In the matter of the deeper, more emotional moments, the added attention was there so as to have the fullest impact on listeners. Those painstaking efforts paid off, too. The result is that from beginning to end, the album’s general effect does just as much to keep listeners engaged and entertained as the album’s musical content. When the content and production are considered together, they make the album, again, worth hearing occasionally.
Evil Invaders’ latest album, Shattering Reflection, is an interesting new offering from the band. Its appeal comes largely through its featured musical arrangements. The arrangements are of note because of the wide range of vintage metal styles presented throughout the album. From influences of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, to those of Slayer, Exodus and others, the arrangements will reach a wide range of metal fans. While the record’s musical arrangements for a solid foundation for its presentation, the album’s lyrical content detracts somewhat from the presentation. That is because on one hand, much of it leaves itself too open for misinterpretation in how it is presented. On another hand, it also requires listeners to be in a very specific mindset in order to fully appreciate said content. Luckily, even with all of this in mind, the record’s lyrical content is not enough to make the album a failure. Keeping that in mind, the album’s production works with the musical content to make the album more worth hearing. The production is important to note because it balances the vocals and instrumentation from beginning to end, ensuring each musician’s performance is expertly balanced with that of one another. What’s more it also ensures the emotional impact of each arrangement is its fullest through that balance. Each item examined here is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation. All things considered, the album proves itself to be a presentation that a wide range of metal fans will find worth hearing every now and then.
Shattering Reflections is available now through Napalm Records. More information on the album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:
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