This Evil Blizzard review was written by Matt Watts, a GIGsoup contributor
What do you get when you take four bassists, a drummer, five rubber masks, put them in a recording studio together and get a former member of the band Embrace to produce them? They make an album called ‘Everybody Come to Church’, apparently. This is Evil Blizzard’s second studio album, following 2014’s ‘The Dangers of Evil Blizzard’, and, contrary to the title, it isn’t a Songs of Praise spin-off album. In fact, you may be forgiven for having a sneaking suspicion that they’re not even talking about the Christian church at all.
You’d think that having four bassists might create a rather flat sound. That’s not the case. The bass is intense and dominant, but it’s not overwhelming. Although it adds to the enigmatic weirdness of the band, having four bassists isn’t just a gimmick. The album has a chunky, rhythmic sound. The squealing distorted soloing and constantly shifting guitar noise is always backed with a solid, nod-able bass line. The use of various pedals makes the guitars distinct from one another and, as the band themselves have attested to, the constraint of having four bass players has forced Evil Blizzard to be inventive with their songwriting. The ominous chiming that opens the album continues throughout with some of the guitar work taking on an almost percussive role at times. Where many metal songs can become repetitive and one-dimensional, Evil Blizzard’s unconventional setup creates multi-layered tracks, marrying together the growling, ranting vocals of the verses with the more melodic approach to choruses.
The lyrics contain a hint of the underlying sense of humour that many fail to grasp in metal. The listener is verbally bullied in the first verse of ‘Are you Evil?’, being told “you’re not cool. I mean, you’re dressed like your dad” all in the same snarling voice of band member Filthydirty who spends the rest of the song asking whether you’re evil and cackling. Another stand-out lyric can be found on ‘Bow Down and Pray’: “A pocketful of sixpence, a pocket full of lies”. The well-known nursery rhyme morphing into a heavy metal mantra.
‘Spread the Fear’, although lacking the energy of the other tracks, is the most refined and developed track on the album. It incorporates all the different vocal and instrumental elements in a way that still sounds fresh but without the manic intensity of tracks like ‘Watching’ or ‘Sacrifice.’ Of course, the other tracks being less developed isn’t a bad thing. Evil Blizzard are clearly in their element as a live band and ‘Everybody Come to Church’ perfectly captures this.
An impressive album for a band who claim to have only ever rehearsed four times. Long may their enigmatic reign continue.
‘Everybody Come to Church’ is out on the 9th October 2015