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Some alternative metal bands believe in sensory assault for the sake of sensory assault; they immediately go for the jugular, refuse to take any prisoners and show listeners no mercy whatsoever. Not that their fans are expecting any mercy; some listeners like it rough, and that approach does have its place. Other alt-metal bands, however, operate from the belief that while sensory assault has its place in alt-metal, so do melody and intricacy -- brutality is a tool in their arsenal, but it isn't the only tool. And Evolotto clearly falls into the latter category on their debut album, 1776, which the Toledo, OH-based Sin Klub Entertainment released in 2000. Without question, this is a forceful, hard-hitting, loud-and-proud debut; there's no doubt that lead singer/bassist Schmid, guitarist Chris Sobb, and drummer Ben Bomlitz (the three Toledo residents who comprised Evolotto at the time), are headbangers to the core and are going after an alt-metal audience. But this is also an album that has an appealing sense of melody; 1776 clearly strives to be musical as well as heavy and aggressive. And many of the influences that serve Evolotto well on this CD -- including grunge, punk, Black Sabbath, Voivod, and Helmet -- continued to serve them well on their sophomore outing, Sixers, in 2002. That isn't to say that 1776 is perfect; actually, it's an inconsistent, uneven effort, and some of the songs are more memorable than others. But all things considered, this release paints an attractive picture of Evolotto -- and despite its imperfections, 1776 was a generally promising debut for the Toledo-based threesome.

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