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popevil versatile
Artist: Pop Evil
Title: Versatile
Genre: Hard Rock / Alternative Metal
Release Date: 21st May 2021
Label: eOne Music

Album Review

Turning 20 this year with only frontman Leigh Kakaty & Dave Grah remaining from the band’s formation back in 2001, it’s not unfair to say that POP EVIL has been though a lot over the last two decades. Now with their sixth full LP ‘Versatile’ about to be release, the question that always arises is, does the band still have the intensity and ambition of their earlier days. Thankfully the answer to that question is very much, Yes!

Opening track ‘Let the Chaos Reign’ is a Modern Alt-Metal equivalent of ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ a song that instantly declares that the band means the business like an instant punch between the eyes. This tone is continued with ‘Set Me Free’ which is reminiscent of SEVENDUST and then ‘Breathe Again’ takes the direction of Anthemic Arena Rock, which has the 21st century sound nailed to a tee, and is guaranteed to be a crowd favourite when this album is taken out on the road by the band.

The first slower and some might say experimental track is ‘Work’ with a bouncing bass and backwards guitars both superbly supplemented by TOM MCDONALD style rapping over the top, with lyrics which rant about the “all work and no play” life style that millions of us have to endure. Following on from this is the self-reflective ‘Inferno’ and provides the first Classic Rock style guitar solo of the record provided by Nick Fuelling. The pace picks up again with ‘Stronger (The Time Is Now)’ another number which is certain to go down well in a live music setting. This completes the first half of ‘Versatile’ which alongside living up to its name, has been a joy to listen to.

The three songs which make up the third quarter of this album, ‘Raise Your Flag’, ‘Human Nature’ & ‘Survivor’ all take the direction of radio-friendly Rock, none of which would sound out of place on a SHINEDOWN record. All of these songs are perfectly listenable, but a bit like for like and them all being in successive order doesn’t help the notion that one of them could or should have been left out, in order to keep a better momentum. The Alternative-Metal feel returns for ‘Worst In Me’ another self-reflective song lyrically that looks back on one’s previous actions and is followed on by ‘Same Blood’ which calls for unity and equality before the album’s finale ‘Fire Inside’ which is a collective summary of both this record and the band’s own mindset.

This is a well-produced slick sounding album, where everyone has played their parts well and has a very strong first half with an above average but not great second half. A solid album in its own right, but not one which is destined to become an all-time classic.


01. Let the Chaos Reign
02. Set Me Free
03. Breathe Again
04. Work
05. Inferno
06. Stronger (The Time Is Now)
07. Raise Flag
08. Human Nature
09. Survivor
10. Worst In Me
11. Same Blood
12. Fire Inside


Leigh Kakaty – Vocals
Nick Fuelling – Lead Guitar
Matt DiRito – Bass
Dave Grahs – Rhythm Guitar
Hayley Cramner – Drums


Cover Picture

popevil versatile


Music: 7.5
Sound: 8.5
Total: 8 / 10

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