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Review: Evil Drive - Demons Within
Evil Drive
Demons Within

Label: Reaper Entertainment
Year released: 2021
Duration: 42:16
Tracks: 10
Genre: Death/Thrash

Rating: 4/5

Review online: January 15, 2021
Reviewed by: Luxi Lahtinen
Readers Rating
Demons Within

Rated 4/5 (80%) (6 Votes)

Evil Drive have been an active part of the Finnish scene for years, releasing three albums in just five years and having the kind of ups and downs you'd expect in that time. Their latest, Demons Within, sees the band bringing in bassist Matti Sorsa and skinbasher Antti Tani to the mix. Musically, this is a further refinement of their melodic and versatile brand of Death/Thrash, with the songs being more varied and the performances sharper than ever before. The new members really pull their weight on their debut with the band, with Matti proving himself a 4-string shredder and Antti bashing with style and ferocity to match the rest of the band. Of course, the cornerstone of the band is still the dual-ax duo of Ville Wiren and J-P Pusa, who wring out fistfuls of crushing riffs and solid solos. However, the real star of the show is vocalist Viktoria Viren, who's always stolen the spotlight with her demonic, Angela Gossow-esque delivery, but here she gives the performance of her career and proves herself the defining feature of this band.

All those performances wouldn't mean much if the songs couldn't keep pace, but thankfully the band churns out some of their most varied and interesting material to date. Just listen to "We Are One" with its diverse, almost Black Metal drumming, the neoclassical licks at the beginning of "Too Wild to Live, Too Rare to Die", and the Slayer-esque thrashing of "Bringer of Darkness", and you'll understand this is a band that strives to keep your attention with high-quality performances and songwriting and succeeds with style. Of course, the best songs are the ones that make good use of Viktoria's talents, like on "Lords of Chaos", where her growls serve as perfect counterpoint to the hooky and gorgeous melodic lines, and on the album highlight "Demons Within", which not only shows her giving an unbelievable performance, but also serves as the best song the band has ever written. She even gets to stretch her clean vocals on the ballad-esque "In the End", which are pretty good, but clearly not her specialty.

I don't know if it's just the lineup change or the band simply improving over time, but Demons Within stands out as their most coherent and mature album to date, and anyone who likes their Death/Thrash on the melodic side needs to give it their attention.

Other related information on the site
Review: The Land of the Dead (reviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Interview with Evil Drive on October 1, 2020 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Interview with vocalist Viktoria Viren and guitarists Ville Wiren and J-P Pusa on March 24, 2018 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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