Founded in 2003, Czech gothic/industrial metal act LiveEvil have shared the stage with bands such as Dark Tranquility and Samael. Mixing the aforementioned styles with samples and sci-fi/horror lyrics, LiveEvil are set to assault your soul with their fourth album, Blacktracks.
Unfortunately, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. Blacktracks opens with Ended Run. It begins with a building guitar/keyboard melody before kicking into some Rammstein-inspired verses with a KMFDM-leaning refrain. It’s a decent enough opener, even if it doesn’t quite live up to the promise of its opening. Ended Run is followed by Amper, which is the strongest track on the album. Amper is both intense and melodic with some excellent industrial riffage.
The lead single, Devilation (video below), and Vibes follow a similar pattern to Ended Run. The verses show some interesting promise, but the refrains lack the energy promised by the lead-ins. Devilation further confounds me with some questionable harmonies used by the female vocalist in the refrain.
Additionally the final two tracks, Tomorrow’s Call and We Stand Alone, completely fail to stick the landing. Tomorrow’s Call acts like it’s building toward a tremendous crescendo but ultimately goes nowhere particularly interesting. We Stand Alone utilizes some weird autotuning that completely takes me out of the song, which is unremarkable in its own right.
LiveEvil are talented performers, and Blacktracks is a competent album. However, "competent" doesn’t quite cut it in a year already full of strong releases. While Blacktracks didn’t blow me away or give me anything I hadn’t heard before, fans of the industrial/gothic sound might find something familiar to scratch that itch until the next releases from Rammstein or KMFDM.
Available at MetalGate and other select retailers.
Special thanks to Metal Promotions for the complementary review copy.