Live Review: Evile – Wolverhampton

Live Review: Evile - KK's Steel Mill, Wolverhampton
21st February 2022
Support: Tortured Demon, Divine Chaos
Words: Cat Finch
Photos: Tim Finch

It’s back to the best music venue in the West Midlands, KK’s Steel Mill, tonight for a massive thrash assault. Leaders of the British thrash pack EVILE are in town and they bring with them Divine Chaos and youngsters Tortured Demon. Tonight is going to be brutal!

As a hundred plus people pack into the Lounge room at the venue, Tortured Demon take to the stage. The youngsters took Bloodstock by storm last year and very nearly destroyed the Jäger stage. It was that performance which landed them a spot opening on this full UK tour, and well deserved their place is. From the off the trio from Manchester batter the senses, whilst not helped by a muddy sound from the sound desk, their performance still shines through. Despite his small stature and youthful appearance, Joe Parkinson is an absolute beast on the drums, laying the foundations of a performance that Freddie and Jacob build upon. In Tortured Demon’s hands, the future of British thrash metal is safe indeed.

Main support on this tour is Divine Chaos, building off the back of 2020’s ‘The Way To Oblivion’ album and a note perfect performance on Bloodstock's Main Stage last year, this tour is the perfect way to get things moving. The band produce a sleek, well-polished and more streamlined sound than the openers, and this feeds into the performance. Jut Tabor towers over the crowd, the stage may be small, but the giant of a front man commands attention. If you ever wondered what a band containing both Kerry King and Dave Mustaine would sound like live, wonder no further, elements of both legendary guitarists can be found in the guitar sounds of Matt Gilmour and Chris O’Toole leading to a unique thrash sound that the fans in attendance lap up.

For many bands, those two performances would be hard to follow, but for Evile – riding a crest of a wave following the release of ‘Hell Unleashed’  - they take it in their stride. With Ol Drake now taking the helm as guitarist and vocalist, it’s the bands first full headline tour with their latest line up. Ol has a few shows under his belt in this new role now and he is warming to it well, standing at the mic with confidence as the band tear through opener ‘Paralysed’ - taken from the aforementioned 'Hell Unleashed'.

Not afraid to mix things up, this set tonight is career spanning, and from the new material they jump back to ‘Killer From The Deep’ from their 2007 debut. Ol’s vocal style is different from his brother Matt’s and he gives a new, fresher, more aggressive spin on the older material.

With each of the bands five albums represented it gives the fans a good career cross section to take stock of with this new line up. It’s safe to say no one is disappointed, thrashers are in their element in Wolverhampton as the band tear through a fourteen song, 90 minute set. Adam Smith, taking up guitar duties alongside Ol melds with the elder statesman well, adding fresh meat and fresh aggression to Evile’s heady thrash assault.

As the set closes out with the now classic ‘Enter The Grave’ we are left to ponder an evening of top notch thrash metal. From youngsters Tortured Demon through Divine Chaos to stalwarts of the scene Evile, the quality on offer is without question. Fans of the genre fear not, it is alive and kicking in Wolverhampton tonight.

Photo credit: Tim Finch Photography

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