2004 – present (14 år)
In 2000, former school friends Matt Drake and Ben Carter came together over a mutual love for thrash metal and heavy metal and formed a cover band (primarily playing Metallica classics) named Metal Militia. Matt's brother, Ol Drake, joined as the lead guitarist, and after London-born bassist Mike Alexander responded to the band's advert in a local guitar store looking for a bassist influenced by bands such as Metallica, Sepultura and Testament, the lineup was complete.
At the band's first live show, at the Ukrainian Club in Halifax, an audience member had a brick thrown at their face by area locals.
Birth of Evile: 2004–2006
In 2004, the band ceased playing covers and dedicated their time to writing original material. Soon after, they independently recorded and released two EPs in limited quantities (250-500 units): All Hallows Eve (2004) and Hell Demo (2006). Evile toured extensively throughout the UK (2004–2006) and Netherlands (2006), played as the support act for Exodus and eventually signed to Earache Records. Though Earache had received the band's Hell Demo, it was after label head Digby Pearson witnessed Evile's set at Bloodstock Open Air in 2006 that he contacted the band and signed them to the label. In a interview Matt Drake said that they were supposed to be called "Exile", but there was "a million other bands that called themself that" so they switched the X to a V. Evile
Enter the Grave: 2007–2009
Prior to the album's recording, Matt Drake contacted producer Flemming Rasmussen (Metallica, Morbid Angel, Blind Guardian, Artillery) by doing a search for his name on Google and enquired as to whether or not he'd like to hear Evile's material. Flemming responded positively, prompting Matt to send him some Evile mp3s via e-mail. Supposedly, Flemming never commented on the mp3s, causing Matt to presume that he "hated them", but when Earache Records contacted Flemming to request his skills as producer for Evile's debut, he swiftly accepted the offer.
In 2007, Evile recorded their debut album, Enter the Grave, at Sweet Silence Studios in Copenhagen with producer Flemming Rasmussen and assistant engineer Anders H Mortensen. The album reached #33 on the UK rock album charts, and Kerrang! magazine awarded the album 4 out of 5 stars while dubbing Evile as "Carrying the genre's whole 'revival' on their shoulders". Generally, the album was received positively and received some highly rated reviews, including those from Terrorizer Magazine (9/10), Metal Revolution (100/100) and Classic Rock (the 38th best album of 2007).
The band played many shows with bands such as Machine Head, Sabbat, Sanctity, Gama Bomb, Severe Torture and Desecration.
On December 11, 2007, Evile participated in and won Metal Hammer's Get in the Ring 2, at the Kentish Town Forum, London. Four bands (Evile, Engel, Viking Skull and Goat the Head) performed thirty-minute sets inside a boxing ring and the public selected their favorite via SMS texts. The show was compered by Oderus Urungus of Gwar and the judges included Ville Valo of HIM. Valo commented that Evile were "really tight and rhythmic" but they weren't his "cup of tea." The competition was rebroadcast on Rockworld TV on SKY Channel 368 throughout January and February 2008 and included an hour-long supplement dedicated to Evile's GITR2 set.
In February and March 2008, Evile supported Megadeth on the European leg of their Tour of Duty and the UK leg of their Gigantour, opening for American deathcore band Job for a Cowboy. The band was received warmly throughout the respective tours, and on the final date, they briefly joined Megadeth on stage at the Hugennottenhalle in Frankfurt to sing the classic Peace Sells.
In March 2008, Evile's track "Thrasher" was featured on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 video game Rock Band as downloadable content (part of the "Earache Thrash Pack"). The song is listed in the 'Impossible' Tier for all instruments in the game(s) except vocals, and is considered one of the hardest guitar songs in the series.
In April 2008, the band embarked on a European tour alongside thrash band Exodus. During the tour, they allowed a 14-year-old fan to join them on stage to perform "Enter the Grave", and on a few occasions they joined Exodus in backing vocals on "The Toxic Waltz," which was followed by the members of Exodus handing their instruments over to Evile to close the set..
In May 2008, the band invited fans to design their own 'Evile Shirt'. A competition that allowed fans to submit as many entries as they desire. The rules also comically included entrants must 'Live on Earth'. The winner (Gary Hall from Liverpool) would win Evile memorabilia, signed items and a shirt including their own design. The shirt would also be sold on an upcoming Evile tour.
Along with Airbourne, Engel, Baroness and Suicide Silence, Evile was nominated in the Best Debut category at the 2008 Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards.
October 8 saw the release of Evile's first official Music Video. The video was for their track "Thrasher" and was directed by Dan Fernbach (who directed bands such as Bullet For My Valentine).
October 8 also saw the re-release of Evile's Enter the Grave via Earache Records. Included in the package was a lengthy DVD, Evile guitar pick (with 3 alternate designs), A woven patch and 3 bonus tracks.
The band later announced they would be support to Satyricon on their European "Tour of Nero" in November/December 2008. Unfortunately, On 19 November 2008, while on the tour, lead guitarist Ol Drake reportedly collapsed due to health issues. His jaw was fractured and the under-side of his chin was cut open. Evile were forced to cancel their appearances on the remainder of the tour. He then had to have his jaw wired shut for two weeks for healing.
Beginning in April 2009, Evile began the UK/Ireland 'We Who Are About to Tour' tour along with UK death metal act Trigger the Bloodshed, and London Thrash band Mutant. Warpath, who were originally scheduled for the tour, pulled out two days prior to the start of the tour (though the unfortunate injury occurred a week before the tour) leaving Evile two days to find a replacement band. Evile played two brand new songs which would be featured on their second album; one entitled "Demolition" and one without a title, which on a nightly basis was open to being named by the audience
Infected Nations and the death of Mike Alexander: 2009–present
In February 2009 Evile began the pre-production process for their second album with Russ Russell (who has worked with bands such as Napalm Death, The Exploited and Dimmu Borgir).
May and June saw Evile enter Parlour Studios in Kettering with Russ to record the album. The band would post 3 video updates whilst in the studio, and give fans a chance to "Ask Evile" anything they want via their Myspace blog.
On an Evile studio tour hosted by Ben the working titles of songs to be on the album could be seen written on a whiteboard.
On June 22, Evile revealed the title of the second album will be "Infected Nations", with artwork created by Michael Whelan (who also worked with the likes of Sepultura, Obituary and Stephen King). A video was posted online on the same day of Ol talking fans through the concept of the art, stood in front of a large poster print of the cover. The album was released on September 21 in Europe and September 22 in USA. Infected Nations jumped into the UK top 100 chart at number 91 following its first-day sales.
Online rumors that "Infected Nations" refers to the current global swine flu epidemic were squashed by Ol on the bands official forum.
The band released 3 tracks publicly prior to the album's release. These tracks were "Infected Nation", "Now Demolition" and "Nosophoros".
Evile released a music video for the track "Infected Nation" which, like "Thrasher" was directed by Dan Fernbach and Static Films once again. Also, like "Thrasher", displays the band playing a dynamically aggressive song in a very confined space.
In September 2009, Schmier of the German thrash metal band Destruction asked lead guitarist, Ol Drake, to stand in for them on guitar. This was prompted by Destruction's guitarist, Mike Sifringer, breaking his fingers forcing them to find a temporary replacement.
On October 5, 2009, bass player Mike Alexander died while the band were on tour in Luleå, Sweden whilst being rushed to hospital. He died from a pulmonary embolism, a blood clot on the lungs. Evile unveiled a tribute site (http://www.mikealexander.co.uk) to their fallen member. In early December 2009 the remaining members of Evile held two memorial nights for Mike. One was held in Leeds Rios and the other in the Camden Underworld, London. The night consisted of a covers set of some of Mike's favourite songs and bands, with members of the support bands (Gama Bomb, Mutant and Seregon) on the night stepping in on various instruments. Nick Barker (Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth, Testament, Exodus) also took to the stage on both nights to play drums for several tracks. Both shows saw each remaining member of Evile take to the stage to read out messages of thanks from Mike's girlfriend, children and Mother. The Leeds show saw Mike's mother take to the stage and express her thanks to Evile's fans.
Evile were asked, by UK Magazine Metal Hammer, to cover a Pantera track for their Dimebag Darrell tribute Issue. The band chose to cover "Cemetery Gates" with it being their favourite Pantera track. The track would go on to receive positive feedback, be released via Itunes and get substantial airplay in the USA. This would unfortunately be the last track recorded with Mike Alexander.
A raffle was also organized prior to the nights to raise funds for Mike's children and family. Evile and Mike's family were overwhelmed to receive support from people/bands such as Ozzy Osbourne & Sharon Osbourne, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Machine Head, Exodus, Overkill, Trivium, Andy Sneap, Annihilator, Benediction, Hirax and more. The winners of the Raffle Prizes were announced via Youtube by Matt and Ol.
Evile started auditions for a new bass player in late November/December 2009. They then announced dates for a 2010 UK/Europe tour. On 16 December it was reported that Joel Graham (formerly of Rise to Addiction) is the band's new bass player .
In December 2009 Evile announced their first shows in USA/North America. One tour supporting Kreator alongside Voivod, Kataklysm and more. The other tour being in support to Overkill alongside Vader, God Dethroned and Warbringer.
In April 2010 Evile would pay tribute to their late bassist, Pantera and Dimebag Darrell by performing their cover of "Cemetery Gates" in the latter's birthplace of Dallas, Texas while on tour with Overkill in North America.
In April 2010, it was announced that Evile would be returning to Bloodstock Open Air, playing main stage on Saturday 14th of August. Evile will also be playing Hellfest, Wacken Open Air, Sonisphere and many more European Festivals.
Evile's track "Bathe in Blood" was used in the film Ondine by Neil Jordan and starring Colin Farrell.
Evile have begun planning their third studio album
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