CD REVIEW 23rd Grade Of Evil

Band: 23rd Grade Of Evil
Title: Bad Men Do What Good Men Dream
Label: Artist Station Records – Rock Inc.
Distribution: Soulfood - Bertus
Release date: 20/06/2012
Review: CD

Swiss act 23rd Grade Of Evil consists of members that were initially involved with Groove-Thrash band Morbus Wilson during the first part of the nineties. As Morbus Wilson, they did record the well-acclaimed (at least, back then) self-produced full-length Corematic, which certainly will not be unknown by most elderly amongst us. After a break, and after changing the band’s moniker, 23rd Grade Of Evil officially debuted in 2009 with What Will Remain When We Are Gone (Non Stop Music). And just like the debut, the sophomore recording, Bad Men Do What Good Men Dream, was recorded with Poltergeist / Gurd’s V.O. Pulver behind the knobs (at his Little Creek Studio) (think Zatokrev (1), Umount, Destruction, Pigskin, Fear My Thoughts, Excruciation a.o.). V.O. Pulver also features as guest guitarist on “All My Lies”, by the way.

[(1) mind the newest Zatokrev-release, The Bat, The Wheel And A Long Road To Nowhere, even though not engineered by Mister Pulver this time, via Candlelight, which might their strongest effort to date; for the review, done with passion and pleasure by undersigned, see elsewhere in this review-section]

Bad Men Do What Good Men Dream brings groovy and melodic, high-tech Thrash Metal in the vein of the former album, yet with a big difference. This new album sounds catchier, more neoteric and better polished than What Will Remain … The riffs, for example, sound more Power Metal-oriented this time, the vocals are more diversified, and the production indeed is neat and clean. It does not mean that 23rd Grade Of Evil have lost their talents. The compositions (mainly written by guitarist Alexander) still combine technical skills with a rhythmic drive, and in spite a certain ‘commercialisation’, the album never gets infantile.

The inspirational sources are still the same for the better part: the Swedish, especially Gothenburg-based scene, with bands like In Flames or Dark Tranquillity coming to mind, as well as Soilwork or The Haunted. There are a couple of American acts that might come to mind as well, like Lamb Of God, Beyond The Sixth Seal and even later Machine Head, or one might think about fellow countrymen Sybreed too.

72/100

Ivan Tibos.