Welcome to Demo:listen, your weekly peek into the future of underground metal. Whether it’s death, grind, black, doom, sludge, heavy, progressive, stoner, retro, post-, etc. we're here to bring you the latest demos from the newest bands. On this week’s Demo:listen, we whip ourselves up into a frenzy listening to Oslo’s Evoke.
How about some cyclonic thrash to start the weekend? Look no further than this Norwegian trio and their Rehellshall Demo. Out of nowhere and in fewer than thirteen minutes: four neck-snappers that’ll send your compass spinning like the Twister™ arrow at a Razor after-party. Now if you’re immediately hung up on some incongruity between the Evoke’s style (sudamericana thrash) and their location (Norway), all I can say is get with the times, dude. Says Kato Marchant, Evoke’s guitarist/vocalist: “I'm half Chilean, the bass player is Norwegian all the way and the drummer is from Paraguay. The few years I lived in Chile I got really influenced by the scene over there, so Evoke is just a combination of Chilean and Norwegian thrash with a touch of Bay Area [thrash].”
If you’re still having trouble reconciling Evoke coming at you some 30 years after you’d expect them to--let alone from out of Norway--just consider how many insanely killer Darkthrone worship bands from Texas or Brazil that some Scandinavian dude--who’s just like you--has had to come terms with over the year. Or just listen to that finesse demonstrated by Wilson Urrustarazu, the drummer. That guy knows the riffs and he’s deeper in their pockets than the taxman. But who can blame him? The riffs are so awesome you just want to text them non-stop and creep them out. Then you’ve got bassist Hans Magnus injecting it all with low-end hormones; getting it all ragey and scary huge. Although the best part about Rehellshal Demo (besides its perplexing/hilarious name) is its spot-fucking-on production. With seemingly zero issue divulging the secret behind the demo's pitch perfect production, Marchant says: “First we tried [recording] with some studio equipment and tried recording each instrument individually but since we are not familiar with this kind of stuff we couldn’t get the same vibe as when we usually play together. It just didn't feel THAT evil and powerful to us. So instead we used a handy recorder, plugged in an external mic for the drums, and ended up doing it live.
“Now the only challenge was that with this method we had to get it right in one take, and I can get really fussy if we don’t get the results we want. So we did at least 20 takes of each song, placing the recorder in different places to get the right sound, and luckily we got something decent at the end, and I didn’t get killed by Wilson or Hans.”
Evoke played some gigs before they recorded--which may explain the tightness of their sound, but definitely explains their hooking up with Rush of Power Records out of Norway for the cassette release of Rehellshal Demo. Marchant admits: “I think people were maybe a little skeptical when they first heard of EVOKE, I dunno, we didn't have anything to show them so the ones who were at our first gig didn't know what to expect. . . . Jonas Bye the owner of Rush of Power went to our first gig, and he liked what he heard, so he reached out to us the next day offering to help us release a demo, and we accepted right away.” Then Bye knew Erik from Muerto en la Cruz, a stateside label, who put out 50 US versions of Rehellshal Demo, with blue J-cards.
Those Rush of Powers tapes were never long for this world. So don’t beat yourself up over missing out on getting one of the red ones. Do head over to Muerto En La Cruz and snag a blue one while they last, though. It’s still not too late to catch up and hang with Evoke. Although they're moving fast and show zero signs of slowing down. “First we are gonna hit the studio in September to record 8 killer tracks,” Marchant says. “If we are lucky, and everything works out, the LP should be out in January - February next year. After that the idea is to play as many gigs as possible, starting with Europe, and then attacking South America next year between June - July.” And, perhaps most importantly, he says: “The t-shirts will be out around the same time as the LP.” We’ll need at least three shirts here at Demo:listen. Keep the sleeves.
Check this space every Friday for promising new metal.