EvilDead / LA Thrashers Back With An Album That May Contain The Odd Surprise

There was a variable response to EvilDead’s comeback release, United States of Anarchy, when it arrived in 2020. It had been a long time since The Underworld had seen the band heading towards their initial conclusion. Thrash had moved on, and yet, in many ways, it was still where it had always been.

EvilDead – Toxic Grace (Steamhammer / SPV)

Release Date: 24 May 2024

Words: Paul Hutchings

Four years since United States of Anarchy, and we are now back on the Thrash train with the band’s latest album, Toxic Grace. With a stable line-up of singer Phil Flores, guitarists Juan Garcia and Albert Gonzales, bassist Karlos Medina and drummer Rob Alaniz, Toxic Grace picks up where the previous album finished. 

EvilDead – Toxic Grace (Steamhammer / SPV)
EvilDead – Toxic Grace (Steamhammer / SPV)

As Flores is keen to acknowledge, whilst the album leans to the Thrash roots, this is an album “featuring a wide range of different styles and sounds, from Doom to Melodic Metal, from traditional Heavy Metal to our characteristic old-school Thrash style.” 

Nine songs that vary from the 01:55 long World Ov Rats to the five-minute plus Bathe In Fire, the dominant factor throughout is the riff, for ’tis massive. 

Yes, EvilDead are always going to have one foot firmly in the Thrash camp, as noted on the pumping opener F.A.F.O. That Thrash chug, a bit of melody and a dynamic driving riff allow Flores to deliver in his semi-spoken word style. Garcia has noted that the band wanted to ensure focus on the tempo and consistency of the songs, and that is certainly evident throughout the album. 

Lyrically, Toxic Grace is, as you would expect from EvilDead, political and socio-critical. Take Stupid On Parade, an observation about politicians not only in the US but applicable the world over. Drawn from a comment made by a radio presenter, you can sense the band’s frustration. 

It’s a darker feel on Bathe In Fire, with a sinister tone and slower vibe that nevertheless maintains the crushing heaviness that the band deliver. They transfer that vibe to Poetic Dreams, which again doesn’t lack in intensity and increases the tempo as the song progresses. There’s an element of Slayer circa 1990 here, and that’s no bad thing. 

It’s not a long album, which is probably a good thing, for it gives you the incentive to return to it quickly. The fat riff that introduces the instrumental World Ov Rats works well, and at 01:55, it’s a powerhouse to lead to the final song here, Fear Porn, a clever and vibrant finale. 

Artwork by Dan Goldsworthy enhances Toxic Grace, and it’s on topic, as always, with a cynical but realist view. The elitists may sneer and sniff, but I’ve enjoyed my listens to Toxic Grace. 

Reliable, solid, and with enough sharp edges to inflict bleeding, EvilDead have done alright, once again.

Sleeve Notes

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