Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Efpix - Evil Sides (2016)

Evil Sides is the debut album from Russian industrial/melodic death metallers Efpix and if you're a fan of Russian electronic metal as well as acts like The Monolith Deathcult or doom/death like Swallow The Sun, then you're definitely going to find something here. Efpix aren't a band that like to beat around the bush, as bright synths and heavy riffs form the background instrumentation for harsh vocal choruses like “Now it's time to die, motherfucker!” in a song with virtually the same title. What's interesting about these guys (other than the obvious electro-death metal notions) is the fact that while they're basically a groovier form of death metal, the melodies in question seem to be emanating from the electronics rather than the guitars. It's sort of like Blood Stain Child in a way, but with much less of that In Flames/Dark Tranquillity influence. Admittedly, we will hear some melodic leads in places, but none more stronger than the album's strange closer “Above My Mind” which sounds more like something from Swallow The Sun or In Mourning than much of the previous work on the disc. While some of the compositions here can be seen as quite simplistic, the band are able to utilize them to the best of their ability and really create some powerhouse numbers like the more light hearted “Don't Try To Escape” and dark-tinged “Forget Me” which shines a little more than other tracks in that style due to it's use of starry electronics and a solo piece that I would love to hear a little bit better. Evil Sides does seem to suffer a bit from a very thick and hard to discern mix, as thick grooves and electronic elements all seem to sound like they've been mushed together. If they could get a bit more clarity with the next release, then I'm sure that they could really strike gold. Compared to other Russian electro-death acts of it's type, I find that I like the musicianship and the vocal performance especially, which usually is a make or break with a majority of these kinds of bands.

The record has enough going for it to stand on it's own, as this odd mix of death metal, gloom and electronica proved to be far more palatable than what you I expected. Evil Sides has a lot of substance and depth which is clearly the result of a band more apt to exploration and I very much champion that. The album's title track alone is well worth the purchase price, and even despite the mixing and clarity problems I've noted here, I still couldn't possibly turn down such a promising release. I definitely recommend you check out Evil Sides, though I'll add that it is important to give every track a chance. These guys didn't make an album where most of the songs sound the same, so keep flipping through until you find something you like. I have a feeling that you eventually will. I'll definitely be keeping my eyes on these guys. You should do the same.

(10 Tracks, 45:00)


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