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Evil United: Honored by Fire

Several years ago, I did a review on a new band that I couldnít wait to hear more from, Evil United. Now, Iíve got their second album, Honored by Fire, and I must say that their sound has only improved. While they still have the same combination of power and speed metal, the sound is more on the speed side, but the lyrics are more on the power metal side. War, death, destruction - quite typical metal themes. Thereís a reason these themes are so common in metal; they fit the powerful music perfectly.

First off, the line-up of Evil United has not changed, which is a great thing. These guys already had an amazing sound, so why should they change a thing? Jason McMaster is in charge of the vocals, with Todd "Bird" Connally and John "JV4" Valenzuela on guitars. Don "DVS" Van Stavern on bass and Jason "Shakes" West on drums make up the rhythm section. These guys must write everything together and it really shows. With so many newer bands, it feels like the focus is on one or two members. Usually the singer and/or guitarist stand out and the rest of the band is dressing. Evil United definitely avoid this pitfall. All of their songs perfectly balance all of the instruments with the vocals and even with the song lyrics. These guys must be perfectionists to get everything meshed so well. I think my favorite example is "Viking Funeral." Just listen to that song and tell me itís not the perfect example of what you would think youíd hear at a Viking funeral. Itís fast, itís heavy, all instruments are showcased, and the lyrics fit exactly.

The rest of the album is just as perfectly mixed. Evil United prove that they can do it all. A majority of the songs are your true heavy metal sound, but thatís not all they can do. They will take you from a truly speed metal sound on "Ripping Flesh" to an extremely slow guitar opening on "Grave." "Grave" is a purely instrumental song which is quite beautiful. It starts with just one guitar and after a minute, a second guitar joins with a more electric sound, but itís still slow and beautiful. The combination of just the two guitars is beautiful. While your brain is still digesting the slow and pretty sound, youíll get a kick in the brainpan with the next song, "Tombspawn."

I cannot say enough great things about Evil United: Honored by Fire. This band has done a near impossible thing by showcasing the talents of every single member of the band, and every single member is extremely talented. Buy this album. Turn it up, enjoy at full volume, because everyone needs to hear the beauty and power of Honored by Fire.

-Cyn, GameVortex Communications
AKA Sara Earl

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