Evil Invaders - Pulses of Pleasure (Napalm Records)

Backwards-looking thrashing it may be - but Evil Invaders are really rather good...
Release Date: 
26 Feb 2015 - 11:30pm

Belgian thrashers Evil Invaders might have named themselves after a classic album by Canadian thrashers Razor, but in reality they seem to be looking in the other direction as far as influences are concerned; Whilst Pulses of Pleasure has flashing moments that bring to mind the Canuck crushers, for the most part they trade in out and out thrash and speed metal of a more Teutonic persuasion. 

Pulses of Pleasure is one of the most fun releases I’ve come across in a while. Not because it’s slanted as some sort of humorous, party-thrash proposition but because the music simply puts a smile on your face when you listen to it. These boys are metal to the core, from the deranged Baloffisms of vocalist guitarist Joe downwards, PoP leaves no stone unturned in it’s effort to tribute the glory days of the mid eighties when thrash and speed metal were virtually indistinguishable from one another, and when an extreme vocal performance like Joe’s – merging Baloff, King Diamond and Onslaught’s Sy Keeler – was enough to earn a band the then-still-finding-itself term ‘death metal’. 

Death metal this ain't however, in any sense of the term. Final track Master of Illusion is an, erm,  masterful Maidenesque romp with intricate duelling from Joe and fellow guitarist Sam Lemmens – whose lead work throughout is exemplary – and proves how tight and talented the band is, without ever really breaking any moulds in the process. And that, I guess, is the crux here; Evil Invaders have proved they can play on Pulses of Pleasure, and they’ve proved they know where they come from and what their place is on the thrash/speed stage. What we want to see from them on the next album is some sort of acknowledgement that they know what to do with their undoubted gifts, and an attempt to transcend what they’ve done here, moving the band to the next level and beyond. They’ve clearly got the chops to be more than just retro-thrash tribute hacks – have they got the guts to prove it?