On paper, the idea of Cursed-style hardcore and Dillinger Escape Plan-esque vocals swirled through with a good dollop of Doom sounds pretty horrific, but kudos to Evra for sticking it all in the genre-blender and coming up with something not only palatable but, arguably more importantly, interesting as well. In reality, Evra don’t have quite as big of a doom influence on their sound as they’d perhaps like to think they do, but as far as presenting a fresh take on an established Euro-hardcore sound, they get it bang on target.
Sure, ‘Washed Away’ opens with some genuine doom-mongering and is catchy as hell, but the rest of the song is more akin to a cleaned-up Black Breath as it rollicks along on a pseudo death-‘n’-roll gallop. Similarly ‘The Occultist’ is all low-slung guitars to start with, before roaring off into the distance in the direction of Every Time I Die. Cracking songs and great fun all round, but where it’s obvious what the aforementioned Kvelertak are trying to achieve, with Evra the music darts off in several directions at once, which makes for a slightly confusing listen at times.
The most coherent and well-directed passage of the album comes in the shape of closing trimurti of the title track, ‘Let Them Fall’ and ‘Formorket; The End’. The three are perfectly paced and melded together as hardcore AND doom to great effect. ‘Let Them Fall’ in particular is shot through with a venom and intensity that some other tracks lack. By this point, Evra have clearly found their feet and finish a beguiling if occasionally puzzling record with an almighty flourish.
‘Lightbearer’ will certainly have you scratching your head on first listen, but it’s got enough about it as have the band themselves to force even the shortest attention span to give it several spins. A bullseye stylistically? Maybe not, but it’s close enough for now.
Lightbearer by Evra is out now on Prime Collective.
Words by Rob Fearnley.