Evil Blizzard - 'The Worst Show On Earth' Album Review
2. Fast Forward Rewind
3. Unleash The Misery
4. Those You Left Behind
5. Like A God
6. Tell Me
7. Pull God From The Sky
8. The Worst Show On Earth
I don't know what strange and twisted experiments they're doing to people in Preston but there's got to be some messed up reason that explains Evil Blizzard.
Actually I don't think there's anything that could rationally explain this glorious head fuck. Taking elements of Post Punk and Industrial then binding them together in a Jaz Coleman ritual of dark magic, it's both glorious noise and sinister beauty mixed together at the same time.
The band themselves are more freakshow than anything else, genuinely creeping you out and making Slipknot's efforts look more like a sanitised Disney-lite take on "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre." Featuring a line up of a singing drummer, four bass players, a sample/keyboard guy and someone on mop (yes, a mop) all wearing masks, they really subvert any musical style you would try and categorise them with. Hell, Fall iconic frontman Mark E Smith loved them so much he helped fund their debut album with his own cash.
Now onto their third release, "The Worst Show On Earth" sees the band bludgeon down the Post Punk tag within a few moments adding some splashes of Psychedelia to their Industrial tinged tunage and it sounds amazing.
The album opens with the sombre sounding 'Hello'. A drawn out low pitched droning sound is decorated with a piano line that sounds not too dissimilar to PWEI's 'Ich Bin Ein Auslander' with a creepy German sounding vocal over the top of it before the drums kick in and vocalist/drummer Side singing "Who are we/We are we/Who are you/You are you". It sounds like PiL, with enough reverb soaking the vocals meaning the questioning verses ring around your brain long after the song has finished.
'Fast Forward Rewind' focuses on the nature of nostalgia, something that culturally we seem to be more and more guilty of. The multiple bass lines all weave around each other with the grace and dexterity of a professional boxer mid title bout. These guys certainly know how to work with each other. I was wondering how four bassists would work but on the evidence Evil Blizzard presents perhaps it's something more bands should try.
Tribal tom patterns open up 'Unleash The Misery' as well as a more guttural vocal make the song sound more like Killing Joke doing a war dance. A call to arms for the audience it unleashes quite a heavy break after the vocals drop, and I mean Black Sabbath style heavy. It's all about frequencies and melody here, so many bass lines running circles around each other. Fuck it, I'm sitting here with a big grin on my face resisting the urge to spin round and around, a one man mosh pit.
The stop/start ambience of 'Those We Left Behind' works well, again leaving lots of space for everyone to work around. The production work of Richard McNamara, guitarist with Embrace, is excellent. There's enough dirt here to make you feel like you've slept in the gutter overnight whilst adding enough polish to make their sonic sound incredibly pleasing to the ear.
'Like A God' is almost quite sedate compared to the previous songs, it's hypnotic grooves wrap around each other creating a feel of shamanic ritual. It's not dark or evil, but there is a feeling of unease, of something not quite right. Once you've been unsettled by that 'Tell Me' blasts off, a short, sharp slap to the senses that brings you around. It's probably the most straight forward sounding song on the album. Not in a bad way, it's almost an aural respite for the listener.
"All the stories have been written/All the songs have more been sung" intones a child's creepy voice over the start of the epic 'Pull God From The Sky'. It's almost Lovecraftian in its tone and, at over ten minutes, it's a slow march into your soul. To me, it reminds me of the Ministry classic 'Scarecrow' from their album "Psalm 69" or several songs by Swans, all chills running up your spine. Don't listen to it alone outside on a dark and foggy night.....
And how do you follow that and close your album? With another ten minute song of course! The album's title track opens with an extended reprise of the opening of 'Hello' the voice of German performance artist Arne Wald channelling a sinister sounding manifesto (hell, it could be a great recipe for chilli for all I know) over the same droning noise before it descends into apocalyptic explosions of sound. It's far from conventional, but that's something you would never expect from this band. It's challenging, especially as a final song, but works perfectly in context.
And that's the charm of both band and album. It needs to be filled under "Uneasy Listening" but still with an unusual take on melody that will lure you in. The sound is huge, of widescreen proportions. Imagine if Slipknot decided to be more avant garde and you'll be kind of on the right lines. They're not going to be everyone's favourite band, they're the sort of band that you need to be handed to you, the album equivalent of "The Ring" films. Evil Blizzard are the sound of an emotional breakdown masquerading as a horror film and with "The Worst Show On Earth" they're ready to hook every neurosis you have from your unconscious and drag them to the surface.
Website - www.evilblizzard.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/EvilBlizzardband/
Review - Scott Hamilton