Die No More are a British quartet whose new album, ‘Elected Evil,’ was recently released on Rocksector Records (also home to such quality UK acts as Absolva, Avenger and Babylon Fire). Playing a chunky, riff-driven brand of heavy metal, Die No More are too midtempo to be classified as thrash and too modern-sounding to be placed in the trad metal box. Influences from late 1980s Metallica (think a stripped-down straightahead take on ‘And Justice for All’), as well as countrymen like Xentrix and especially Hellfighter abound, and I even detect similarities to Reign of Fury in places. The Metallica comparisons hinge in large part on the Hetfieldish vocals courtesy of rhythm guitar/vocalist Marc Farquhar, both in timbre and cadence (listen to him sing “Soul Destroyer,” for example, and tell me the vocal lines don’t remind you of “Blackened”). Nonetheless, Farquhar is an effective and powerful singer in his own right, and it would be incorrect to pigeonhole Die No Evil as a throwback or a clone. They are very much their own entity with their own sound, and they do not live in the past.
The result in ‘Elected Evil’ is an enjoyable and highly listenable album. Most of the 8 songs (track 9 is an unnecessary “radio edit” of opener “Dark World,” merely snipping off the intro) hover between four and five minutes long, and are constructed around big, groovy riffs and catchy vocal melodies. The aforementioned “Dark World” starts things off with a bang, thanks to the huge guitars, urgent vibe, and perhaps the most memorable chorus on display. Elsewhere, “Council of War” jumps out as a highlight with the faster, galloping main riff and the key chorus line “But we decide to die no more,” no doubt a rallying cry for the band. Overall, though, ‘Elected Evil’ works very well taken as a whole. As heavy as the riffing is, the songs are so straightforward and direct, with big hooky choruses, that it’s not a huge stretch to imagine Die No More garnering favor on “active rock” radio. Not that it will happen, given the narrowminded pay-to-play approach of most radio programmers, but ‘Elected Evil’ could have appeal that reaches beyond the unwashed masses of underground metalheads. Of course, none of this should scare away those unwashed masses. ‘Elected Evil’ is a pure blue-collar, no-frills metal album through and through, and its quality makes it well worth checking out.
~ Review by Kit Ekman ~