Being in a hardcore band for 25 years can make it pretty darn tough when …
Like the elite Roman legionaries from whom they take their name, Evocatus unleash a heavy assault on their second album, Path to Tartarus.
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With a heavy-handed combination of crushing riffs and savage melodies, the Newcastle-based quintet offer epic-scale death-tinged groove-ridden thrash metal that echoes the battle-hardened tales of masters like Kreator and Amon Amarth. Path to Tartarus pays bludgeoning tributes to ancient gods and legendary battles with a series of saga-length tracks that push the playing time to well over an hour.
The grand declaration of war that is Walls of Troy is Evocatus showing their strongest colours, a mammoth, occasionally atmospheric track that ebbs and flows as it unfolds across more than nine minutes like some of the more imposing moments of a band like Insomnium. On the likes of Kronos Olympus, which majestically sets the album’s tone, Centurion and the bombastic closer Tartarus, Evocatus offer classic style death-thrash riff feasts bringing together voracious heaviness with a solid rhythmic drive, timely bursts of twin guitar harmonies and extended solos that could easily stand beside their European counterparts.
Path to Tartarus pays bludgeoning tributes to ancient gods and legendary battles with a series of saga-length tracks that push the playing time to well over an hour.
Elsewhere, however, Evocatus can sometimes fall victim to their own ambition, with several songs that go on for a bit too long. Even the very best, most established bands can often struggle to keep a listener’s attention for more than forty minutes or so, and Path to Tartarus is much longer than that. The vocals, too, become somewhat tiring, offering very little in the way of much variation beyond a harsh death metal rasp. When they are on, though, this is a band with a very solid command of dense and heavy thrash metal that are well worth checking out.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Walls of Troy, Tartarus, Centurion
STICK THIS NEXT TO: Amon Amarth, Insomnium, Kreator