Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Evocation: Illusions of Grandeur

Among the litany of bands that came out of the Swedish death metal scene, both the Gothenburg and Stockholm sound bands, Evocation somehow got lost in the shuffle.  They were only able to put out two demos in the early 1990's before disappearing entirely for over a decade.  That is something of a shame because Evocation is every bit the equal musically as Entombed, Dismember, At the Gates, and any number of other bands well-known from the scene.

Despite originally forming in the early 1990's, Evocation did not release their debut full-length until 2007.  Since then, they have been prolific, with this 2012 album being their fourth full-length.  Their first three were more of the Stockholm, buzzsaw-style of death metal.  This one changes pace a little bit.

Evocation has gone for an overall more melodic sound on this release.  The result is something of a mix between Dismember and Amon Amarth.  This is something of a letdown really, but the album still sounds pretty good.  Evocation has always been about a fast, crunching riff style with a very good sense for writing catchy songs.  Unfortunately on this album the band goes a little bit too far in seeking catchiness and winds up sounding a lot like the latest from Sweden's favorite Viking enthusiasts.

The songs are all very interesting, in particular "Divide and Conquer" and "Perception of Reality".  The band still fuses the Stockholm sound and the Gothenburg sound, crafting intricate melodies that go along well with the otherwise intense death metal riffing style and they can alternate or blend the two with ease.  But they went a little too melodic on this one as opposed to past albums.

I really do enjoy listening to this album.  It is definitely catchy and, dare I say, fun.  However it is a shame that somewhere along the line Evocation lost their personal identity.  I blame Century Media personally.

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