Posted on by Oran

Thrash metal kingpins Evile return after a 2-year departure from Limerick shores.

Evile’s brand of old-school headbangery has been a breath of fresh air since their inception way back in 2004.

Still going 20 years later, their Unknown Tour is every bit as savage now as it was when it started in 2023. We checked out their first show on their Irish leg of the tour that kicked off in October; it did NOT disappoint.

It’s slow going at 8pm on a cold Friday night in Dolans Warehouse, but like a bell in a church, once it starts ringing, they come in their droves. From the start of the night, Settler frontman Paul McCarthy knows he has a job to do and gets his brothers-in-arms Rory O’Dwyer (lead guitar), Martin Mortell (rhythm guitar), Eoin Culhane (bass) and Brian O’Donoghue (drums) to follow suit.

Although the crowd is small, the energy from the stage amidst their old-school heavy metal assault is relentless. Settler are a regular go-to group when a touring band want a heavy-hitting opener for a Limerick show. I saw them with Hellripper a few weeks back, and Night Demon a few months before that in May. Their brand of original riff-driven mayhem is paving their way to bigger and better things, so keep an eye on them; this will be interesting. 4/5

Tortured Demon flew in from Manchester to give their first performance abroad, and ho-leeee shiiiiiiiiittt!! This band of youngsters blew me away with their jaw-droppingly aggressive thrash attack. Singer/guitarist Jacob Parkinson, bassist Luke Entwistle, guitarist Rory Marsland-Smith, and drummer Joe Parkinson are relatively new kids on the block, but they play with the experience of guys doing this for 30 years.

The guitar skills and timing are pitch/note/laser perfect between all members, and Parkinson’s spine busting double-bass drum timing feels like a cannon into the chest. They were a perfect pick to support Evile on this tour, and I’d happily pay good money to see them strut their stuff in a headline slot. Even security stick their heads in the door to see what’s going on! Now, I know I’m getting ahead of myself here, but I encourage you all to watch this band very closely. These guys are gonna be huge. 5/5

Appearing out of the darkness with no fanfare or announcement, Evile just kick in the door and start playing. Thrash fans rejoice! Opening with ‘Killer from the Deep’, it doesn’t take long for the pit action to start.

Frontman Ol Drake acknowledges the wait that people have had to endure (I’m one of them), for them to return but it’s all part of the anticipation. The crowd is now in full swing, but I was surprised to learn later that this wasn’t sold out. It should be! Joel Graham is basking in the spotlight judging by the smile on his face, and guitarist Adam Smith (whom Drake refers to as; ‘the new guy but not the new guy now’), hops around the stage like the floor is made of lava; he is just into the music and doesn’t care if he’s running around like a headless chicken.

Drummer Ben Carter is carving the skins up nicely (as always – one thing about Evile; their drum section has always been flawless, adding to the ferocity of their music from the very beginning). The transition between songs is pretty fluid, save a few announcements from Drake (including a reprimand for the crowd for changing the name of ‘Cult’ to a rhyme of something less than savoury, and a bit expletive (I’m not saying it here; use your imagination). But overall, the mood is buzzing. The audience love the swift song change, the pit action is heavy at times, and the guitar harmonies are nothing short of amazing, especially during ‘Head of the Demon’. However, I think there may have been a tech flaw because every now and again, it sounds as though the vocal channel is failing – no idea why!

Smasher after smasher keeps coming from the band, and as they start the intro to each song.  Fists appear in the air as if someone’s favourite song in the world is about to be played. Drake recommends that if anyone doesn’t like death metal, then they should go for a pint because this is when they belt out their cover of Zombie Apocalypse by Mortician… nobody goes anywhere. It’s a brilliant version, released on their Hell Unleashed album in 2021; ‘We just love playing this song, so if you don’t like it, fuck it!

As the evening starts to wind down, the pace increases when ‘The Thing’ is played ‘at ludicrous speed’; they just play it way faster, but the funny part is when Drake laughs to himself when he can’t keep up the solo with the increased pace of the song. He hides it well though – I remember when Slayer played Dittohead at ‘insane speed’ on one of their Irish dates, and it’s not an easy thing to do. But you HAVE to have fun some days at work; it just makes the whole thing more worthwhile and entertaining, not just for the band, but for the fans too, because they are reminded that he’s a human being and not being able to make mistakes is just not worth the hassle.

So, as we reach the end of the night, Drake says; “Yeah we’re not gonna leave and come back and play another song, we’re just gonna stay here and play it”. Cue many fist-bumps from front-row punters chanting “Respect!”, and respect is due here in heaps. This was a thoroughly enjoyable night, and my neck was killing me when I was writing this up. 5/5


Killer From the Deep
Sleepless Eyes (new song)
We who are about to die
Head of the Demon
The Unknown (new song off new album)
Hell Unleashed
Zombie Apocalypse (Mortician cover)
Five Serpent’s Teeth
The Thing (played at “ludicrous speed”)
Enter the grave (with 1st verse of “Paranoid”)


Words – Shaun Martin