It really wouldn’t be a new year if I didn’t stumble upon a release from last year that’s so good that it might have made my year-end list, would it? Enter the German death metal outfit Evoked, with their debut album Ravenous Compulsion that dropped in September of last year. This band has this style nailed down even better than some veterans. It’s brief, it’s loaded with riffs, and there’s a sense of identity.
Saying that this is fully loyal to the death metal bloodline would be untrue. Traces of thrash metal and even tiny hints of hardcore can be found, giving it the same feeling that Possessed invokes. The only thing that makes this feel like it has any hardcore influence is the attitude on “Festering Alive,” and the extra echo on the vocals. This tune reminds me of Power Trip, as does the production. In fact, the production here is unique in that it’s cleaned up well enough to make everything concise, but still has an old-school feel to it.
That old-school feel is what I chalk the echoed vocal style up to, which is in no way a bad thing. The riffing feels even more compact, delivering incredible rhythms from start to finish. “The Trophy” showcases this with explosive chugging blasts, making it one of the most energetic tracks. You can also find pretty solid chord progressions within “Desolate Animation,” and the shifts in pace add even more. To further prevent things from stagnating, you get moments like the bassy bridge in the title track that leads to the inevitable breakdown. Follow that up with a spicy solo, and it’s everything you could want.
As straightforward as Ravenous Compulsion is, it really knows how to pack in the punches and keep things interesting. The album art perfectly reflects the perception gained, making you feel like you’re being crushed into a bloodbath from proverbial tons of riffage. Death metal hunters should seek this out for sure, but even those favoring thrash could walk away with a little something.