Review: Evolution: Deathmatch Action Twisted Industrial To by Keepforest


For many years now Keepforest have been the titan heavyweights of hybrid cinema sound design. Through volumes such as the Evolution and AzierX series they have proved time and time again to deliver the most genre bending hybrid instruments. Can these pioneers continue this trend with Evolution: Devastator or is it time to let the end credits roll?

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Review: Evolution: Deathmatch Action Twisted Industrial To by Keepforest

Evolution: Deathmatch Action Twisted Industrial Toolkit is the latest instalment of the excellent Evolution series that saw volumes such as Atlantica and Dragon dominate the trailer scene. In those libraries we were treated to more braams, benders, subs, sequences and impacts that we could squeeze into a two-minute trailer. What made these so popular was the incredible and contemporary sound design straight out of the box. With that in mind, what makes Evolution: Devastator build on this concept and how do Keepforest take this to new realms? Weighing in at an impressive 20.2gb, not only is this volume larger than its predecessors, it promises so much more.

Evolution: Deathmatch Action Twisted Industrial To sells for $199 for each volume or $349 for the complete collection. from Keepforest


In the competitive market of hybrid libraries, Keepforest have always set the bar high and delivered exceptional products. With that in mind, Evolution: Devastator Action Twisted Industrial Toolkit has some big shoes to fill and I began exploring with high expectations. The first point of note is that you can buy Evolution: Devastator Action Twisted Industrial Toolkit as either a complete version or as one of the single volumes, Evolution: Devastator or Evolution: Devastator Deathmatch. Both contain a significant amount of instruments yet each volume contains what I regard to be trailer essentials. For example, Evolution: Devastator contains Trailer Hits and Trailer pulses which I regard to be the foundation of hybrid cues. On the other hand, Evolution: Devastator Deathmatch has the Braams, Megahorns, Suckbacks and Downers which are again essential. No single volume covers everything you’d need so I recommend that you get both. I really commend Keepforest on giving the option of separate volumes, the idea being you can upgrade later if you wish and decide for yourself which areas you need newer instruments for. There is of course a discount if you buy the complete version.

Having loaded the first volume, Evolution: Devastator, my first “wow” moment hit me. The GUI is gobsmacking in its design. An exceptional vibrant piece of art with a cryogenic, frozen robotic figure as the centre piece. The robot looks futuristic, menacing and industrial, which punctuate the key characteristics of this library. The robotic red appearance tells us this is the Evolution: Devastator library whereas the Evolution: Devastator Deathmatch library has a blue robot. A simple way to distinguish between the two but this becomes really useful later on when using several instances of Kontakt and trying to navigate through the different instruments. The GUI has all of the essential information on the main screen with the AHDSR envelope settings on the right, reverb selection from a choice of around 60 different reverbs and various impulse response filtering controls. The other two pages contain the effects and the sequencer, which can be used on each instrument. By clicking the “load” button on either the FX or the sequencer, you can load pre-made FX chains or specific rhythms. These give you a great jumping off point to start learning the instrument parameters and start customising your sounds. A great feature from Keepforest!

Diving straight into the first folder of Trailer Hits, we are greeted with no less than eight different categories. From Classic Hits to Metallic Hits, every kind of impact is catered for. Each category has 43 different hits and these can be tonally mapped via key switches. None of them are melodic in any sense but there are pitched elements that can further sync to your project. Each impact is meticulously designed and sounds fantastic. They are easily accessible, and you do not need to load any sub-menus or snapshots which is a massive time saver. The percussion folder follows the same trend, with folders of one shots ranging from traditional basses and snares to punchy percussion and noise percussion. These are varied, punchy and ready to be mangled into all the unearthly sounds you can imagine. The Trailer FX folder contains wooshes, risers, downers, screams, noises and glitches, all of the ear candy needed to make your trailer cues stand out. There are 13 NKI instruments in this section alone, an impressive amount to dress up your cues and make them stand out. The Tonal Effects has four instruments with soft braams, alarms, specific tonals and signatures all ready to be placed in your project. The Synths have all manner of basses, plucks and leads to give your cues that cyber edge. These are really impressive synths, grandeur in design and perfect to sit on top of a solid foundation of sound design, pulsing rhythms and aggressive sequences. The final folder is full of a variety of trailer pulses utilising different rhythms, patterns and pitches. Of course, these can be fully customised to suit your project yet there is a versatile rang on offer. Again, these are controlled using key switches as opposed to being playable instruments in their own right. In my opinion, this is a great way to save time as you can use several different pulses on the same track. This is very easy to split later for mixing purposes or you can create your own combination of tonal sequences.

My overall feeling is the Evolution: Devastator library sounds incredible and packs a tremendous value for money. As mentioned earlier, while the single volumes do not cover every aspect of hybrid trailer production, the instruments contained within are presented in so much depth and have masses of customisation potential. I am so happy that Keepforest have opted for breadth and depth in each volume, rather than trying to cram less of everything into a smaller package! But where are the braams you say?

The braams appear in the first two instruments of Evolution: Devastator Deathmatch in several guises. Firstly, we have the Trailer Low Brass and Mega Horns. This was my second “wow” moment. You load up a mega horn and instantly can’t help grinning like a lunatic. They are the biggest and most over the top, yet usable braams I have ever heard. There are nine varieties with subtle differences and span almost three octaves. These need to be heard to be believed and fit effortlessly into the mix. The Braams and Pads instrument is clever in that of the 35 different instruments, many can be used as braams low down in the register, but all can be used as sustained pads. These can conjure up dystopian soundscapes or somewhat angelic textures. From here, the typical trailer elements to complete the set are all present. Basses, synths, suckbacks and a small amount of trailer hit complete the roster. There are some more curious instruments such as Devastator Distortions which are massive, in you face over the top sounds, and some very unsettling Hybrid Screams. While these sound prominent and quite frankly awesome, it is these types of signature sound that whilst are great to have, might be quite tricky to use in a project without tweaking. That said, there is no denying the level of sound design in these categories is still top notch, especially the tick tock one shots.

Finally, two folders remain that are yet to be explored, namely the Loops and Plucks. The Loops section contains all manner of looped percussion ranging from the Trailer Drums to Dirty Percussion and Tick Tocks. These are all tempo synced and are triggered by a single key. Use the mod wheel to create a modulation curve and you have instant playable and dynamic percussion loops at your disposable. Of course, you can fully customise these loops to your hearts content yet I had a lot of fun building tension and pressure points using these loops. The Plucks are a menagerie of hybrid sounds that can easily play melodies or be used as pings. These complete the playable instruments in Evolution: Devastator Deathmatch and across the two volumes you have the most comprehensive and modern collection of hybrid trailer instruments.

My global impression is that Keepforest have knocked this out of the park. The content is pro level, vast in scope, clean in design and highly customisable. They clearly took care and attention with this release as the months of build up to release was nail biting and certainly not rushed. Aspects such as the GUI with the menacing figure in the centre where on occasion it looks around. Little details like that do not go unnoticed. The overall quality of the effects, filters and sequencer have been well thought out with the welcome addition of pre-sets for those parameters. Keepforest have always been a class act but instead of releasing more of the same, they have advanced the hybrid trailer genre to a new level offering all kinds of new content and sound design. In my opinion, this library is not a maybe, it’s a must have. Sure, not everything will instantly fit in your project straight away, yet if you want to stand out from the competition, there are enough signature sounds accompanying the trailer staples to ensure that will be the case time and time again. On a personal note, on occasion I have had to receive technical support from Keepforest. During these times their technical support has been fast, effective and extremely professional. The sign of a company who truly values their customers.

Evolution: Devastator Action Twisted Industrial Toolkit is a perfect tool for trailer and hybrid orchestral composers. It is not for the faint of heart and has it’s roots firmly in the Futuristic and Industrial realms of sound design. For the relatively low cost for the complete ensemble, you will have the tools to make aggressive hybrid trailer music for years to come. While many composers have the skills to create their own sound design, this all in one library will save time and due to its extremely high level of sound design. If, like me, you do enjoy creating your own sound design, Keepforest have included the option to import your own samples allowing you to use their engine to shape them. This is a great option for those who wish to take customisation even further and cements Evolution: Devastator Action Twisted Industrial Toolkit as a all-round exceptional product.

In conclusion, Keepforest have created another brilliant addition to their Evolution series and I’d find it difficult to see how they can top this in the future. I fully urge you to check out the full walk-through to hear this excellent library for yourself. For composers of the hybrid trailer genre looking to inject energy and flair into their productions, quite simply this is an essential purchase.


The entire library downloads at 20.2gb.

Premium custom signature sound effects

Meticulous futuristic design

High-quality samples at 48kHz/24bit

CPU-friendly for fast performance

Full version of Kontakt 6.0.2 or newer

Kontakt 6 VST, AU, AAX, Standalone


Evolution: Deathmatch Action Twisted Industrial To sells for $199 for each volume or $349 for the complete collection. from Keepforest


Demos of Evolution: Deathmatch Action Twisted Industrial To by Keepforest

Videos of Evolution: Deathmatch Action Twisted Industrial To by Keepforest

Contributor Pete Checkley reviews Evolution: Deathmatch Action Twisted Industrial To by Keepforest
Keepforest‘s Evolution and AzierX series deliver genre bending hybrid instruments, but can these pioneers continue this trend with Evolution: Devastator or is it time to let the end credits roll?”