News broke yesterday that Ol Drake was leaving Evile, in the grand scheme of things this isn’t the biggest news in the world, at the time of writing shit is kicking off to an insane extent in Syria and Rolf Harris just got charged with kiddy fiddling. However, I just wanted to take time to mark the occasion as it’s a – to steal a phrase from mid-80s US teen movie – major bummer.
This won’t be a big post, just a few words to mark the end of a rather enjoyable era in metal.
Despite his young age, Ol has become one of the top guitarists in the thrash revival, and indeed metal in general. It is partly his solos that have pushed the band above so many of the others, though let us not forget the excellent song writing from the band in general. It’s fair to say that one of the best though unfortunately ignored guitarists in metal is Annihilators Jeff Waters. Jeff took the picking styles of the greats before him, studied them and eventually channelled all those great players to become what he is today. Much like Jeff, you can pick out various guitar players in Ol’s playing, but can also hear Jeff in his playing. He’s buggered off down his own route giving him a unique blend of Hetfield worthy picking accuracy mixed with the insane Waters solos. This is why it’s such a gutter to lose him from Evile. Not only has he studied the greats, but he’s forged his own unique style from them instead of purely emulating them.
This is why Ol is one of my favourite guitarists at the moment, rather than copy he advances and it has been a genuine challenge trying to learn his work (though that might be crap tabs, always better to blame crap tabs than yourself). Thankfully he isn’t quitting music completely, he’ll still write and record but we won’t be seeing him live. This is a gutter as his personality on stage was a winner as well; much like the rest of the band, he and they don’t pretend to be tough guys up there, they let the music do the aggression and just look like they’re having a great time.
As I said, this isn’t intended to be a big piece, I just wanted to pay homage to a guy who has helped advance my playing leaps and bounds over the last few years. Evile look set to continue so I wish them good luck as well; I genuinely can’t wait to hear where they go next.
Good luck Ol!