MetalBite Review by Alex on 11/5/2018 8:30:18 PM
For a debut outing this isn’t bad at all, and to be fair, I’ve never been disappointed by a Finnish metal band apart from a mainstream one for releasing that abominable 2015 record. Thus said Ratbreed deliver the good tunes on here from start to end.
With Evoke the Blaze, Ratbreed brings a mixture of melodies and tempo changes all the while rocking fun guitar solos. The songs have a very empowering feeling to them from the first track to the last, you get the sense you can overcome any obstacle confronted by in life. Yes, it does have a progressive feeling too, thanks to the vocalist’s voice that helps to evoke a confident state of mind and an optimistic perspective. However there are some songs that deal with pessimistic thoughts and feelings of regressive behavior. ”Decay of the Mind” is the best song on the record and encapsulates this negative feeling I am speaking of, but the way it is structured gives the listener a feeling of fighting back or trying to repel the negativity. I admire this blend of pessimism and optimism on the record. It’s not all fantasy driven or ‘devour and conquer’ as usually portrayed in traditional heavy metal; no, Ratbreed uses various tempo changes and riff patterns to highlight other unseen factors that many encounter.
Evoke the Blaze has an aplomb flow; Ratbreed does not fall victim of adding too much, they keep things simple and sensible. As you progress further towards the end of the record you start to realize that the A side is much stronger than the B side. Tracks are more memorable and catchy on the A side, not saying the B side isn’t good; the are fewer songs that stand out in the listeners ear, in comparison to side A. For instance on “Through the Flames”, the guitarist gives his best solo of the album that feels more in tune with the primary rhythm of the song and even brings to light a bit of technical skill; mixing such attributes often lead to memorability. Though various tones and moods are present on the record, as a whole Evoke the Blaze possesses a comforting and controlled feeling, perhaps this has come to be due to the pacing of the music, which mostly lies within the middle range. The vocalist does sound aggressive but not to the excessively rowdy point of negatively impacting her vocals. You can still hear the harmony in her voice even though the passion is very much audible.
All together Evoke the Blaze is a fun listening experience. Also Ratbreed’s cover of Warlock’s “I Rule the Ruins” is a fantastic and well executed attempt at paying homage to one of the legendary traditional heavy metal bands; I’m sure Warlock would feel exalted once having heard it. Ratbreed took the song and nurtured it as if their own.
"From the Asylum"
"Hunting High, Reaping Low"
"Decay of the Mind"
"Through the Flames"
Rating: 7 out of 10