By: Garviel Loken
Tucson's Evasion makes a compelling case for the continuation of melodic death metal with their debut recording "From Reality". With very competent musicianship and enough good riffs to pass muster, these guys sit on an even level with any other Arizona band who performs within that subgenre of the metal pantheon. Whether you are into this style of heavy music or not, Evasion is good enough to get a few head nods from even the most stalwart death metal elitist, and credit should be given where it is due.
Now, in giving this praise, it should not be construed that Evasion have birthed a flawless masterpiece with their debut. Indeed, there are a few ugly moments that could make a listener cringe as if encountering a dirty, lice infested crust punk. These moments mainly come in the form of some bizarre clean vocals on the tracks Just One Night and Cool Breeze. The person singing these parts should probably take some vocal lessons and learn what their range is before attempting to sing in public or on a recording, for they are terrible. Moments like this ruin the enjoyment of otherwise good songs.
Ironically, while the clean singing is terrible, the throaty and growling lead vocals are exactly the opposite. They are delivered with a variable range of screams, howls, and low end rumbling that lend great intensity to the music. Even better, this vocalist knows the meaning of the word "pronunciation" and makes the lyrics very understandable to the ear. If you have something to scream about, you might as well do it the right way and take a cue from this vocalist.
Musically, Evasion understands how to create some good, crushing metal tunes that hold the attention. With sharp, precise guitar work and pummeling drums that lock together, the band fires off bursts of galloping verses, blast beat ridden bridges, and even some groove coated breakdowns (not the bad metalcore kind, mind you...) These skills are best demonstrated on the track To Hate The One You Love, a definite standout piece on the album. This band is certainly a well oiled machine that not only provides the rhythmic precision one expects from death and thrash, but also a sense of controlled chaos and rage.
While Evasion isn't recoding the DNA of death metal or taking it in a radically new direction, with "From Reality" they are showing that they have talent, conviction, and future potential. For a local recording debut, Evasion have done a good job and can be proud of what they have created with these six well recorded songs (sans the terrible clean vocals.) Be sure to catch them live this October at the second annual Southwest Terror Fest.
Final Score: 7/10