One of the leading innovators in the early Swedish death metal scene, Evocation unfortunately derailed before seeing success. After releasing two stunning demos they imploded before they were signed and able to record a full length album. Fast forward to 2007 where they reformed and released their debut offering, Tales From The Tomb.
Since then they have consistently released strong death metal albums. In 2013 they once again found themselves at a crossroads when brothers Janne Kenttäkumpu and Vesa Kenttäkumpu (drummer and guitar player) decided they didn’t want to continue on any longer.
The remaining members regrouped and holed themselves up to write their latest release, The Shadow Archetype. Evocation’s sound is a blend of classic Swedish death metal like Grave and Unleashed merged with the UK masters Bolt Thrower. While retaining a lot of their core elements, musically the latest album varies slightly without the Kenttäkumpu brothers’ influence.
Musically it is more melodic and the riffs are meatier. First proper song “Condemned To The Grave” is a battering ram to the skull. With it’s crushing down picked riff it is an assault on the senses. The title track is another powerhouse with a monster riff that will rip your face off. “Dark Day Sunrise” ends the album with a slower destructive track that will snap your neck from grooving along with it.
“Modus Operandi,” “Children Of Stone” and “The Coroner” all move at a blazing breakneck speed at times. Instead of just going full blast there is an element of tempo changes. Former The Haunted drummer Per Jensen is behind the kit as a session drummer and the combination of his double bass footwork and chaotic fills fits the material flawlessly.
Vocalist Tjompe is as guttural as ever. He is the best type of death metal singer as his melodies are vicious and devastating but you can always comprehend what he is singing. Recorded in three different studios, the mix was handled by Daniel Bergstrand, who is no stranger to death metal. The overall sound features incredible separation between instruments and a massive guitar tone.
The Shadow Archetype is their tightest album to date and it’s apparent the time and effort that was put into the songwriting. The variance of tempos prevents the release from sounding repetitive and stale. There is also an additional degree of melody in the music that shows maturity and depth.
Evocation are still producing quality Swedish death metal as good as anyone. This time around they are driven by a rebirth and the passion shows. Impressive that a band twenty five years into their career is finally getting the due they so rightly deserve.
(released March 10th, 2017 on Metal Blade Records)