Monday, February 11, 2008

Retroview: Evildead - Annihilation of Civilization

It's no secret that I am a big crossover fan. Although the genre was widely maligned back in the day, in my opinion it is totally sweet. It combines the ignorance, bad fashion, and misdirected aggression of metal with the childish anger, simplistic politics, and preachiness of punk rock- a match made in heaven!

While they never got as popular as DRI, Cryptic Slaughter, or Wermacht, Evildead were definitely one of the very best crossover bands. Their 1989 album "Annihilation of Civilization" embodies all the elements that made crossover such a great genre.

1. Great cover
First of all, it's an oil painting of biting sociopolitical commentary- so that's the first requirements. But it has all the other necessary elements for a crossover/thrash metal cover, too: toxic waste, stupid puns (its says "Club Dead" on his towel lolololololz, get it??), and a caricature of "the man" sneering disdainfully at the viewer.

2. Chronic "chopaholism"
Bruce Reeves from Phobia coined this term many years ago in his legendary zine Jellobungresia. Anthrax are the kings of chopaholism, because all their songs sound like "chop chop chop-a-chop chop-a-chop chop." Evildead are right up there with them!

3. Insightful sociopolitical lyrics
This is very important, because this is how crossover bands prove how they are way smarter than metal bands and their stupid lyrics. For example, here are the lyrics to the title track on this album:
Christian mind control, brainwashing innocent souls,
Teaching their own twisted fears,
Baptism is final, confirming denial, of the reality
We must deal with today,
No one on this Earth can save us from this hell,
We're only destroying ourselves,
Religion gets its way, so God has his say,
And the Holy propaganda is free...
4. Awesome video that got played once on Headbanger's Ball
You know how you would sit through 2 1/2 hours of bullshit Trixter and Megadeth videos to get to the Triple Thrash Threat? And then they would play a sweet video that would BLOW YOUR FUCKING MIND only to never, ever play it again?! This video definitely fell into that category. Make sure you watch it carefully, because there is a lot of detail in it that really makes it great. But that's a whole other post.


  1. Fuck crossover, there's nothing crossover about Evil Dead, this is all out THRASH.

    Okay, well, the singer IS wearing a Chili Peppers shirt in the video, but... that doesn't count since they didn't incorporate "the funk" (thankfully). I know you weren't thinking THAT kind of "crossover", but still...

    I haven't listened to these records in awhile. Shame on me. I did listen to some Xentrix and Slammer the other day, though. Not as "chopaholic" as this stuff, but... there's still some "chop" to be had there.

  2. And just to continue my trend of multiple comments in succession, I had totally forgotten about the "Triple Thrash Threat". Awesome. Didn't they have some other segment called "Enter the Pit" or something? I have a couple old tapes of videos from "The Ball" somewhere and I think I have a few of some "pit"-related segment... I seem to remember "Suffer the Children" being one of the videos played for some reason.


  3. i had never thought about the fact that toxic waste was a must in these record covers. i would love to find the guys who painted these and buy all the original artwork. that way i could show pepole around my house and say "this is an original Laaz Rockit"

  4. i think the cover might be by chad repka... if not, it's a good imitation.

  5. I think it's fucking sweet that awesome bands like Xentrix, Cryptic Slaughter and Wehrmacht are being mentioned here. If you wanna hear some more serious crossover I suggest Acid Reign, Gammacide and of course Gothic Slam!

  6. I think Sacred Reich were also crossover, BTW

  7. the question of whether sacred reich are thrash or crossover has divided many families. it may never be answered!!

  8. sacred reich were not crossover per se...not musically. perhaps only a bit, but their heavy political leanings and how they got hugely into pot, and pot politics towards the end is similar to the whole beer-metal (tankard, wehrmacht) thing

  9. well if you want to talk about pot metal, then we're going to have to get into a discussion about exit 13... and nobody wants THAT to happen.

  10. the cover is a typical repka drawing (like the first death covers).
    But evildead isn't crossover, it's THRASH ...

  11. i would agree that if someone just played me a song off 'ignorance' w/o telling me it's sacred reich and w/o letting me read the lyrics, i'd probably not think "crossover" right away. however, i might hesitate with a tune off 'the american way', y'know?
    i'd like to think that crossover was more than just music. it was more like a way of life.

  12. i dont think sacred reich can be called crossover because crossover was more punk than they were. real crossover has that dirty punk rock basement show thing about it that s.r. doesnt have.