Friday, April 24, 2009

Words Of Evil - Words Of Evil #1

Luke Passinham and Billy Clough make no attempt to skirt the honest truth in relation to their sturdy little fanzine, Words of Evil. "Our intention with this zine to simply to expose bands we like." Poor grammar aside (hey... mine's not so hot either usually) it is a labor of love with a ton of information composed into reviews and interviews. Sweet cover also, with skulls emitting smoke from the eyes in a dark forest and the skeletal remains of Baby Bop reading from a grimoire of occult spells after having pillaged Stephen O'Malley's cloak closet. Most of the bands in the first issue of this zine have gained a status as minor underground "big bands" so anyone looking solely for information on rarities and has-beens might need to delve deeper. Interviews with Enforcer (SWE), Scythian, and Battlewitch pose typical surface questions, prying little into the nitty gritty interesting aspects but then again "to simply to expose bands we like" is a half assed mission statement if I ever saw one. The cut and paste zine is a ton of fun to skim through when time is limited with massive quantities of detailed backgrounds to look at (I like trying to pick out all the album covers I can) and an oldschool artistry that would make more modern artsy mags bow down and cower.

While the Enforcer interview was straight forward and a bit uninteresting, I found the Vassafor interview to be particularly arresting and involved. Although the questions were at times one sided, it was Vassafor's lord, V, who carried the interrogation, giving interesting and involved answers. His interest in cosmic theories and dreams was a welcome variation to the normal black metal responses most of the time resulting in childish worship of Satan in the same way brainwashed Christians worship their deity. Lord V also shows a keen sense of humor in regards to the titles of his releases and the quality of his tattoos. He shows a real passion for heavy metal and music. Interviews like this make supporting the fanzines and nabbing up as many as possible a real worthwhile investment when it comes to figuring out what artists to support. The Gama Bomb interview is also a fun read, with some cool movie recommendations for people like me who aren't devoted horror fanatics. Joe and Luke's humor and general laid back personality drenches the interview. Luke's response to the question about lyrical topics caused quite a chuckle as well - I think I know what his favorite lyrical topic is.... The Mutant review is an interesting read also if only for exemplifying the problem with a lot of younger bands - disguising a lack of their own style under the cheap costume of a need for "progression."

The first installment of Words of Evil also provides a nice quantity of informed reviews which are mostly well written and trustworthy. I bought almost the whole Deathevokation discography based on the review of their Chalice of Ages album. A mag with no outside strings controlling the movements and thoughts of it's creators, you can trust that the opinions presented are worth their salt. Though I felt that they could have been longer and a bit more content oriented, the reviews left me feeling like I learned something about the band's I was reading about. Also nice is the reviews of the albums released by the band's interviewed in the issue. After reading the interview, I was able to follow up with some extra material. Along with the Deathevokation review, other reviews that caught my attention were the Countess review, which was expertly written and contained a load of interesting information. I was a bit perturbed however at the author's suggestion of grabbing some bands' demos by contacting them, even if he showed a luke-warm, at best, opinion on their material - a helping hand that might not really be helping anyone in the long run.

While the magazine is generally well formated and easily readable, at times, some of the pages are photocopied poorly, cropping lines of text out. Also, there are some spelling errors scattered around in the pages which, while not a problem to the enjoyment of the zine do make me wish that there was a little more time taken to look over everything; we all make mistakes though. The photocopied nature of the magazine also has it's flaws, namely some of the images are blurred and unrecognizable - though not the crystal clear Consuming Impulse cover on page 27. Also, some of the images accompanying the actual interviews and articles are so small they are almost unrecognizable against the backgrounds. The inclusion of a live review is something of a double edged sword also. I enjoy the information and opinions on the live acts of the bands but a review of a UK gig for someone living overseas is a bit worthless and, presently, outdated. From a fanzine however, this inclusion is understandable, traditional and respected. The information and opinions of the author are credible and never compromised by including any kind of rectum-refuse, questionable material. No Trivium or deathcore reviews here, just honest thoughts from a long time fan of the genre.

_________RELEASE INFO__________

Release: (2007)
Origin: UK - Birmingham
Pages: 50 (52 w/ covers)

1. Enforcer (SWE) Interview
2. Vassafor Interview
3. Scythian Interview
4. Gama Bomb Interview
5. Battlewitch Interview
6. Mutant Interview
7. Full Thrash Assault 2 Review

1. Deathevokation - Chalice Of Ages
2. Verminous - Impious Sacrilege
3. Hospital Of Death - Demo Mixes
4. Mutilator - Grave Desecration Bootleg
5. Infinitum Obscure - Internal Dark Force
6. Vassafor - Vassafor EP
7. Bonded By Blood - Extinguish The Weak
8. Impaled - The Last Gasp
9. Sirocco - The March Through Crimson Frost
10. Rannoch - Talamh Mathair
11. Stormcrow - Enslaved In Darkness
12. Metalocaplypse - The Dethalbum
13. Let 'Em Burn - Second Wave
14. Empathy - Skulls On Fire
15. Asomvel - Full Moon Dog
16. Anoxia - Manufacturing The End
17. Matricide - Holy Virgin EP
18. Feral - Lykos Anthropos
19. Enforcer - Evil Attacker 7"
20. Gama Bomb / Black Sister Split
21. Crucifire - Unblessed Unto Hatred
22. Ignivomous - Path of Attrition
23. Anal Vomit - Depravation
24. Martire - Martire EP


__________EXTRA INFO_________


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