Evile @ Sub 89 (Reading, UK) 27 Oct 2011

The future of thrash shows its (Serpent’s) teeth.

There has been a lot of talk around Evile this year. Third album, the sublime Five Serpent’s Teeth, has been labelled as The Future of British metal. On the short UK tour to support it, the Huddersfield thrash five paid a noisy visit to Reading’s Sub 89.

Opening band Primitai get the crowd working. They’re a good old fashioned heavy metal band in the vein of the Manowar and Saxon t-shirts they are wearing. Savage Messiah pause in the wings as the operatic power metal intro signals their stage arrival before ripping into a breathless, impressive thrash set. “Does Reading like thrash metal?” screams frontman Dave Silver. A loud cry in the affirmative is the audience response: fuck yeah we do!

Earlier in the day, Evile lead guitarist Ol Drake said on his Twitter feed, ‘Best sound check we've ever had in Reading Sub 89. Going to sound brilliant tonight!’ He wasn’t wrong.

Taking to the stage in confident strides, Evile showed no signs of carrying the future of thrash music on their shoulders. The band was tight, fluent and on fire, ripping through a set of soon-to-be-classics including Five Serpent’s Teeth and the charging Cult with its audience inclusive, T-shirt slogan chorus of ‘join our cult!’

The brothers Drake were in particularly good form: Matt Drake had concerns regarding his voice earlier in the tour. While he may not be as vocally powerful as live audiences will have heard, he didn’t give his penultimate tour performance audience any less of a show. Ol makes stage right his wild-eyed own with a blistering lead performance.

The wrecking ball of a rhythm section that is Joel Graham and Ben Carter were tighter than most of the black 80s style trousers in the audience. If there’s a better live drummer on the British metal scene right now then bring him forth and hats shall be consumed.

In the intimate setting of Sub 89 the audience was disappointingly well-below the 600-person capacity. Judging by this performance Evile fans will be talking about the time they saw them in such an intimate setting. A chance to see them in a place like this felt like a small privilege; the stadium gigs are beckoning – their music demands it.


Evile photo © Thomas Capon 2011