Connect with us


Stereo Six: EVILDEAD Recollects Some of Their Favourite and Influential Records

With the recent release of ‘Toxic Grace’ thrash metallers, EvilDead joins us for Stereo Six to share six of their favourite records.



EVILDEAD, photo by Alex Solca
EVILDEAD, photo by Alex Solca

It’s a good time for thrash metal with the return of EvilDead, one of the genre’s true purveyors. The band returned last month with the release of their latest record, Toxic Grace. Released via Steamhammer/SPV, the album is the long-awaited follow-up to their 2020 comeback release United States of Anarchy. The world has certainly changed in the last four years, and so has EvilDead. While staying committed to their classic thrash sound, they have also changed things up. Toxic Grace is perhaps the band’s most diverse record yet. It features a wide range of heavy metal styles, including doom, melodic, and traditional metal. Never fear, though; the band has not abandoned the foundation of their vintage thrash sound. The songs are both powerful, and they move at breakneck speed.

Lyrically, Toxic Grace is the most political and profound EvilDead has ever released. Lead singer Phil Flores acknowledges the cynical, bleak, depressed view of the world that is quite common nowadays. He feels we should all try to hang on to our optimism, but it doesn’t deter him from writing about serious issues. Flores prefers to focus his songwriting on the darker side of society. The band intends to say something meaningful that might also make you think. All the while pounding out some of the most intense modern heavy metal you’ll encounter.

For our latest Stereo Six, we are joined by EvilDead drummer Rob Alaniz and guitarist Juan Garcia. Analiz shares with us albums one to four of metal and non-metal records that have significantly influenced him. Garcia, also a member of Body Count, reminisces on the early days of the Los Angeles metal scene and tells us of his two favourite releases that had a massive impact on him.

1. The B52’s – Self-Titled (1979, Warner Music)

“I always loved their weirdness and off-the-wall poppiness. So much so that we finally covered ‘Planet Claire’ on our last record, United States Of Anarchy, as a bonus track. (We had planned to cover it for our debut Annihilation of Civilization record, but never got a chance to.)

“In retrospect, I’m glad we waited as I think we are all much better musicians now and have managed to add our own spice to the song. Mainly the metalized solo at the end and predominant double bass (what would Dave Lombardo do?) patterns during the chorus. Really fun song that we may add to the live set one day. RIP Ricky Wilson, the OG four-stringer!”

2. Judas Priest – Stained Class (1978, Columbia/CBS)

“For me as a drummer, this record was a huge influence. Double bass madness in 1978 on ‘Exciter.’ Still holds up! The whole record was a blueprint for metal to come. All the songs are tight, and well-written while still showcasing their unique songwriting style that was unheard of at the time. Our three-and-a-half-minute rule for songs comes from this. All killer, no filler attitude. Meat and potatoes only. Memorable songs only. I still remember getting this and Van Halen’s debut at the same time. Both are timeless and integral parts of my musical upbringing. They don’t make them like this anymore.”

Artwork for the albums EvilDead lists in this Stereo Six

Artwork for the albums EvilDead lists in this Stereo Six

3. Mercyful Fate – Melissa (1983, Roadrunner Records)

“Complex and catchy tunes plus Satan! Can’t go wrong! Excellent musicianship, too. King Diamond’s falsetto was somewhat laughed at then, but now we have legions of bands using that approach. I do recall thinking, how long ‘Satan’s Fall’ was and marvelling at the crazy proggy twists and turns. In a way, this is how we came to write a song like ‘Holy Trials’ from the Annihilation of Civilization record, which is still the longest track we have ever done. A direct unapologetic cop from this record for sure. Huge fan and they’re still going to this day! RIP Tim Grabber…”

4. Black Flag – Damaged (1981, SST Records)

“Seminal punk from SoCal. We covered (and subsequently recorded) ‘Rise Above’ back in 1988 for our debut EvilDead EP when we signed to SPV Steamhammer. There were other bands like Bad Brains, Circle Jerks, and Dead Kennedys, but this record was a huge influence on me personally.

“I still remember going to a Black Flag show and punks throwing bottles at us because back then, if you had long hair, punks hated you. Crazy terrifying times for sure. I think Henry Rollins was the David Lee Roth of punk! We may revisit their catalogue for more covers in the future. Super influential. I’d like to have a go at ‘Six Pack’ or ‘TV Party.’ This and Never Mind The Bollocks by The Sex Pistols are in heavy rotation to this day!”

5. Iron Maiden – Killers (1981, Harvest/EMI)

“This is an amazing slab of molten metal, an iconic, timeless masterwork of songs that had a heavy influence on me as a guitarist. The musicianship of this masterpiece is on another level! Eleven tracks that took me on a metal journey, starting with the brilliant ‘Ides of March’ intro right into Steve Harris’ classic opening basslines to the punky battering ‘Wrathchild’ track.

“This album was on constant repeat in my bedroom. The twin guitar attack of Dave Murray and Adrian Smith always had me wanting to listen to this record over and over again. Killers album staples Iron Maiden as metal pioneers of the NWOBHM sound and influenced countless up-and-comers, including EvilDead. A favourite of mine is the song ‘Ghenkis Khan’ (one of the greatest metal instrumentals ever!).

“Their second studio and the last Iron Maiden album with vocalist Paul Di’Anno; his raw vocal delivery is second to none, swaying the fine line between punk and heavy/rock metal. Clive Burr’s drumming on this release is mind-blowing and motivated Rob Alaniz when we were working on our debut EvilDead EP and full-length.”

6. Motörhead – Ace of Spades (1980, Bronze Records)

“A huge rock album that had a massive influence on my previous work with the LA Metal band Abattoir. We even covered the song ‘Ace of Spades’ on our debut release, Vicious Attack, for Combat Records in 1985. Rumour has it the legend himself, Lemmy Kilmister, once heard the Abattoir version of ‘Ace of Spades’ and tried to recruit our lead guitarist for Motörhead when Eddie Clarke left. The spirit of Motörhead helped us mould our sound when we launched EvilDead right after Abattoir disbanded. A very authentic fusion of punk and metal like no other rock album at the time. Rest In Peace, Lemmy, Filthy Phil, and Fast Eddie!”

EVILDEAD ‘Toxic Grace’ album artwork

EVILDEAD ‘Toxic Grace’ album artwork

Born in 2003, V13 was a socio-political website that, in 2005, morphed into PureGrainAudio and spent 15 years developing into one of Canada's (and the world’s) leading music sites. On the eve of the site’s 15th anniversary, a full re-launch and rebrand takes us back to our roots and opens the door to a full suite of Music, Film, TV, and Cultural content.