Evocation - Illusions of Grandeur (Century Media Records)
By: Dan Barkasi
[8/10] Evocation is a curious case. They were certainly a pioneer in the early 90s Swedish metal scene, releasing a few highly influential demos. Then they disappeared as fast as they appeared. Odd, really. Then, the band reformed and released their first full-length in 2007. Now, we’re at their fourth album in five years, titled Illusions of Grandeur.
Evocation’s bread and butter is their merger between the two big Swedish metal sounds – the Stockholm death metal sound with Gothenburg’s melodic approach. In doing so, they have made some creative and outright crunchy albums. Their latest disc is certainly no exception, however, is definitely not their best.
The biggest highlight to Illusions of Grandeur is the sheer amount of memorable riffs. They’re literally everywhere, like honey on Winnie the Pooh’s face after a snack. Yes, that was a Disney reference. Deal with it. But yes, being quickly buried in riffage is the biggest musical theme for this album. From the get go with the title track opener, as well as “Divide and Conquer“ and “Perception of Reality,” the album kicks off very positively. “Crimson Skies” is another personal favorite, with the band showing some nice chops and an even doom-ish tempo at times.
The disc also doesn’t sound too polished, which is good for a band of this ilk. Everything is concise, but the riffs also don’t sound too clean either. If there’s any complaint to be had, it’s that the disc can get somewhat repetitive. A few songs really blend together a bit too much, which takes away from the overall impact a tad.
Evocation has released an unspectacular, but very good disc full of guitar riffs with Illusions of Grandeur. It isn’t quite as diversified as their other three albums, but it still gets the job done as well. If they tickled your fancy before, this should also do one just fine.
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