Evil Survives – False Metal Slayers

By Kent Davies

Local metal marauders Evil Survives perform old school New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) at its purest commanding form. The band was born out of the uninspired revulsion following a Children of “Boredom” gig at which they sold their souls to save metal and destroy the savage purveyors of false metal evermore. Evoking the authoritative metal supremacy of Priest, Maiden and Mercyful Fate they sought conquer the metal world forever. Combining Adrian Riff and Sean Murray’s double dose of fierce frenzied guitar shredding obliteration, the pulse pounding percussion and rhythmic destruction of Derrick the Butcher and Dr. Wiseman Harrisist and Axe ’n’ Smash Warkentin’s devastating Dickenson-like cries, Evil Survives absolutely annihilates everything else. The band’s recent earth-shattering sophomore album Powerkiller is already a metal classic, featuring six ludicrously loud, larger-than-life-and-death tracks and Ed Repka’s finest cover art in years. The album is guaranteed to blow brains out of any denim ’n’ leather listener. Recently Stylus sought an audience with Evil Survives shredmaster Adrian Riff to discuss Powerkiller, cassette tapes and the new resurgence of NWOBHM.

Stylus: Powerkiller… my god. Powerkiller.
Adrian Riff:
The new album was recorded in a marathon 16-day session in December. I’d like to think it’s the logical second Evil Survives album. We’re not going to alienate any fans. It’s 25 percent less Iron Maiden, 25 percent more Evil Survives. It’s little more of us finding our own sound but mostly pseudo-plagiarising or paying homage to Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Mercyful Fate.

Stylus: Although there are only six songs on the LP, one of them is almost a complete side. How did the epic song “Descent into Hades” come about?
Well, we’re always trying to outdo our metal heroes. Iron Maiden’s longest song “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” off Powerslave is about 14 minutes long, so I just had to write something a bit longer.

Stylus: The song “Judas Priest Live” appears on the album—is that the same recording as the previous 7” release?
It’s an all-new recording and an extended version. As any vinylists know, you can only fit six minutes of music on a 7”, so when we recorded the 7” version we actually cut two minutes of the first part of the song. On the album it’s the full version with the two-minute intro.

Stylus: Where did you record Powerkiller?
We record everything and will likely record everything in the future with John Paul Peters, our analogue maestro, at Private Ear studios.

Stylus: Who wrote the songs on the new album?
I wrote the majority of songs on Powerkiller with the exception of Dr. Wiseman Harrisist, our bass player, who wrote “Die Like a Samurai.” We are usually more collaborative. I had written an album’s worth of songs at the same time Axe ’n’ Smash and Sean Murray were working on new tracks, but they weren’t finished in time. Now they are. So we have more or less a full third album on the way.

Stylus: Evil Survives is credited as being at the forefront of the NWOBHM revival. Do you think there is a growing NWOBHM revival scene?
I don’t know if it’s growing tremendously. I know it’s getting a lot more attention in the past few years. I think it’s a rejection of some of these truly terrible sounding modern false metal acts and metal fans getting back to the roots of heavy metal. This tour we played with a few other Canadian metal bands that you could consider revivalist. Striker from Edmonton and Cauldron.

Stylus: The Powerkiller cover artwork is unbelievable.
You can’t go wrong with legendary cover artist Ed Repka at the helm. He’s done covers for Megadeth’s Rust in Peace and first Death albums. He also did the artwork for our Judas Priest Live 7”.

Stylus: You made the decision early on that the band was to only put albums out on the one true medium, vinyl. However, I heard that you’re now putting out your albums on tape as well?
Yeah, it was kind of just an impulsive joke that got out of hand. Dave, the guy who that deals with all the pressing and printing for our albums, offered a ridiculously cheap price on professionally dubbed cassettes with full-coloured inserts. Right now tapes are so out of demand, which makes them so cheap to make. It seemed like a really stupid idea at the time, but now I think it was a stroke of lucky genius. People are now flipping out for tapes. Just working at a record shop I’ve seen that tapes are making a comeback. Kids don’t care about CDs anymore they buy records and now tapes. They scour the Salvation Army for Walkmans and decks. CDs don’t have a value anymore, but vinyl has too much of a value. When you need something portable, it’s now tapes.

Stylus: What inspired the Evil Survives tape artwork? They look like vintage ’80s metal tapes.
Continuing my idiotic tape plan story—I picked up Judas Priest’s second-best album, Turbo. I thought, “I’m going to make our Evil Survives tapes look exactly like Turbo.” The only thing that’s missing is it looks brand new. We need to send them to a couple weeks in a smoky bingo hall to get that yellow-stained cigarette vintage look.
Evil Survives returns from touring in late May. If you want to go to hell with a smile on your face it is highly recommend that you witness their live destructive power and pick up an LP or tape. Another way to bleed your eardrums dry is by downloading Powerkiller for free at www.evilsurvives.com.