There must be something about the stupidly high temperatures and seemingly endless wildlife that wants you dead in Australia that breeds a taste for only the most vicious metal. Depravity are one such band and their new album, Evil Upheaval, is a snarling beast of the foulest death metal.
Right from the off, you’ll find that Evil Upheaval is an album that isn’t content with just head-banging in response – it wants to rip your head off. This is an effortlessly brutal record. “Manic Onslaught” opens with a distressed-sounding man speaking of death and destruction (not exactly new ground for death metal, I know), ending with the line: “It was like, all the forces of Hell were unleashed.” We are then treated to a very cool, dark riff that leads into blistering pace and a voice from the fiery pits of Lucifer’s playground. So far so good, “Manic Onslaught” absolutely lives up to its name.
This is a trend that continues throughout Evil Upheaval’s 40-minute run time. Double-bass pedals pound relentlessly, riffs rip and snarl around phenomenally dark death growls. It’s good stuff, but a touch repetitive. Depravity makes a comfy nest of nails and remains there. Each track is full of smart moments and plenty of dark atmosphere, but they always seem to repeat moments too often. “Insanity Reality” showcases this issue rather well. Despite moments of grand, dark atmosphere and awesome riffs, we hear the phrase “insanity reality” repeated ad nauseum in its earlier stages. While this is the greatest offender, there are moments such as this littered throughout Evil Upheaval.
Let “Manic Onslaught” rip your head off. You know you want to...
Thankfully, these moments are not found in the album’s shorter tracks such as the excellent “Despondency”, “Tormented” and the surprisingly catchy title track. The strongest song of the record, however, is “Vile Defloration”. It shares elements of progression with the likes of Opeth and Black Crown Initiate thanks to an atmospheric opening with the best fill drums found on the album, and a swirling riff/guitar solo that builds into something altogether demonic and utterly brutal. “Vile Defloration” is a staggering album-closer, and shows what Depravity are capable of when they write with an eye to progression, rather than straight-up brutality.
Evil Upheaval is a good death metal record, erring on the side of great thanks to a number of quality tracks, particularly its opening and closing numbers, “Manic Onslaught” and “Vile Defloration”. Moments of repetition and filler are scattered throughout the album, but do not ruin it. This is a dark, brutal and unrelenting death metal record that’s well worth your time.
Evil Upheaval Track Listing:
01. Manic Onslaught
02. Insanity Reality
05. The Great Divide
08. Evil Upheaval
09. Vile Defloration