Most people seem to know that this was covered by Metallica as a B-side to the single Creeping Death released in 1984, but people quickly forget that this was a track taken form the very first Diamond Head album! Am I Evil was originally written and performed by the NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal) group Diamond Head. however, the Metallica version has made this song written in 1980 enter the mainstream metal consciousness. History aside the song is made up of several distinct parts.
The Intro is at a sedate 116bpm and features a loads of triplets first on the snare and then on the snare and floor tom. Be careful not to flam these! Next up is a guitar solo thats not in time with the Intro or the upcoming Verse. Thankfully the Instrumental starts with the main guitar riff, and what a riff it is! This is great news for the drummer for two reasons. Firstly, as there is a tempo change (we’re now at 162 bpm) we don’t have to lock in straight away, and also, we can just enjoy this huge sounding riff!
The next tempo change is a really awkward one! It can be found at bar 130 on the third page and gives us NO time in which to settle with the new speed before needing to execute a really rather tasteful triplet fill. Thankfully this new tempo and the shuffle feel now means that the drummers job is slightly easier! Most of the grooves and fills in this section are straight forward but as always, should you need to, take any fill that you’re struggling with and play it really slowly until you’re confident with it.
The final tempo change occurs right at the end, at bar 267 where the main riff comes back in for the Outro. Although this is slightly slower than the first time it came in, it’s not really noticeable and will not cause any problems.
Above all, enjoy this slice of early Metal, and share the chart with your drummer friends!