Archive for the ‘Demo Review’ Category

Edinburgh based death/doom newcomers Wolf Sermon have got their 2016 demo out on cassette now through the always reliable Carvetii Productions. This is four slabs of dense, savage and dark metal for those of us drawn to the Asphyx/Autopsy axis of death metal. Be prepared for a couple of surprises though.

‘Pagan Skin’ rides out with a vicious, chugging Swedish death buzz to its riffing, while a strong Asphyx vibe laces its way through. Dark melodies are woven into each monolithic riff, bringing it above your standard Autopsy clone fare. It’s that sense of melody that lifts the superb ‘Violent Art’ into the realms of greatness; where mournful lead guitar meets crushing bass riffs and howling growls. When a band makes sure on their DEMO to do things a little differently to stand out, that’s a potential marker for future greatness.

Anyone who enjoys great, heavy music can appreciate the shifting sands of ‘Pillars of Vengeance’, but Wolf Sermon plant little nuances within each track that only enhances your joy at the pure spirit of their demo. Wrap that up in a tasteful cassette package from Carvetii and I’m frankly embarassed I’ve only just come across this now, because I love this shit. Grab a copy as soon as possible!

https://wolfsermonmetal.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/wolfsermon/

http://carvetiiproductions.bigcartel.com/store

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onefntdemo

How kvlt are you? You’ll never be this cult; a demo by an unnamed band of Portuguese black metal, possibly recorded between 2012 and 2013. That’s it, all that is known. I was sent this pomo and immediately intrigued. It’s going to be released as part of a three way project from Signal Rex, Óreiða and Harvest of Death, releasing obscure cassette discoveries. So, that’s where we are…

‘Ónefnt I’ is barebones, raw as fuck black metal with an insatiable buzz. A lonely vocal hides in the background, a mourning plainitive voice. Bleak and miserable, yet strangely alluring, ‘Ónefnt II’ is more of the same, except a shade more propulsive, more hypnotising. This demo casts blackened magic upon you, drawing you into its web, leaving you lost and alone. It exudes a feeling of being lost, of being afraid of something intangible, without form or substance. ‘Ónefnt III’ raises the intensity, seemingly building towards something just out of reach.

Well, I don’t know if we’ll ever find out who made this, but this demo is brimming with potential. Black metal at its bleakest and rawest is always a cathartic experience, and the Ónefnt demo is both. Grim as fuck.

https://www.facebook.com/signalrec

https://signalrex.bandcamp.com/

http://www.signalrex.com/

A Ceremony in Darkness cover art

The second release from Glaramara, Cumbria’s newest black metal band, is their EP ‘A Ceremony in Darkness’. Like their last one, this is more harsh and traditional black metal, wreathed in the blackness of Darkthrone and Mayhem,

‘Gathering of the Legions of Hades’ opens with a ghostly keyboard and a building percussion; setting the scene of a gloomy forest clearing, with snow falling around darkened figures. Torrents of black magic writhe in the mists of ‘Psychopathic Afterlife’, and snarling vocal bile coats the frozen assault of ‘Transylvanian Moon’, a track that could be a lost Darkthrone classic.

The blackened punk vibe that is shot through the veins of the rapid fire ‘Destroying the Realm of Light’ is fucking excellent, and it’s a shame almost that it’s over so soon. But the gloriously creepy acoustics and ambient hum of ‘A Weak and Frozen Sunrise’ leads into the nightmarish thrashing chaos of ‘Eden of Despair’, and finally the icy title track, which revels in its second wave worship.

‘A Ceremony in Darkness’ is the better of the two releases from Glaramara, as it shows a bit more of what they can do. ‘Blackest Apostasy’ is great but it stops just as its getting started. ‘A Ceremony in Darkness’ builds upon that quality, adding the gloomy melodies and some nice interlude touches to create something more rounded, and more impressive! Download both immediately!

https://glaramara.bandcamp.com/album/a-ceremony-in-darkness

https://www.facebook.com/glaramara/?fref=ts

Blackest Apostasy cover art

The first of two Glaramara releases I’ve had the fortune of getting my hands on is their three track demo ‘Blackest Apostasy’. A new member of the vibrant Cumbrian black metal scene, Glaramara’s sound conjures the dark spirits of Carparthian Forest and Mayhem.

Back to basics black metal is the order of the day, and the opening title track is ferociously cold and savage. Scathing riffage scythes through your veins, while the raw, guttural shriek of Matt H is enough to turn your blood to ice. Like all good black metal, there are eerie melodies hidden within the blasting and howling rage, like the gloomy ‘Lunar Madness’ and its killer solo.

Finishing with the unholy incantation of ‘Wings of Obsidian’, Glaramara show great potential here for the future. Another triumph for the ferocious Cumbrian winter, driving the blackened hordes from their icy felltops and bringing the nightmarish howl of the frozen wind with them. Jet black and nasty, but with melancholic melody creeping in, Glaramara are going to be worth watching out for.

https://www.facebook.com/glaramara/?fref=ts

https://glaramara.bandcamp.com/album/blackest-apostasy

Deathcult - Demo '12

Switzerland’s Deathcult are rereleasing their 2012 demo on CD through Invictus Productions, in preparation for their upcoming full length that they are in the studio recording. A ragged, filthy death metal gem, this was the introduction to the scene for Deathcult, and it still stands today as a potent reminder of the importance of a good demo tape!

The chugging thunder of the ‘Intro’ turns into a flailing rabid slice of Swedish death worship, a clattering fiery instrumental that bleeds straight into the cavernous roar of ‘Deathcult’. A vibe that screams early Death or the savagery of Massacre is instantly recognisable, along with the grinding Asphyx rumble. ‘Beasts of Faith’ is equally strong; a dense powerhouse of a track, with thick murky riffage.

But the piece de resistance is the ten minute plus ‘Deus Bonus Est’, which has all kinds of eerie melodies within a monolith frame. The start builds around this crawling, undead riff which then explodes into a cascade of filthy chainsaw riffs and an unholy roar. It’s one of the finest pieces of death metal you’ll ever hear; a definitive old school vibe, stretching the sickening Autopsy groove into that insidious Scandanavian melodic edge. When the fade out comes with mournful acoustics, you know you’ve just been shown something special.

Closing with a bonus track, the ravaging ferocity of ‘Summoned’, Deathcult’s debut demo is a stunning piece of death metal carnage which only raises hopes and expectations for their debut full length. If its half as good as this, it’ll be more than worth the wait.

http://www.invictusproductions.net/

Album Sampler cover art

British thrashers Psython are working on their debut full length record, and have stuck up a couple of tracks on their Bandcamp page as a demo. Now, the demo is slowly becoming a lost art, with bands preferring to make a debut ‘EP’, which is mostly just a demo anyway. So it’s nice to see a band sticking to the old school terminology!

First off: Psython is either a psychic python or a psychotic python. Based on the band’s hyperactive thrashing, I’m gonna go with the latter. Opening track ‘Meltdown’ is rabid, mixing some good aggression with some nice melodic riffing. There’s hints of Bay Area classics, and ‘Dave 1.1’ particularly conjures the spirit of vintage Exodus. For a demo, it is remarkably self-assured and yet full of youthful exuberance. The best thrash is not just fast though, it conjures up something reasonably fresh within the framework of the genre. Psython have got the chops to do that, and with some of the more interesting riff patterns on this demo, show that they are definitely worth watching in the future.

Closing with the chugging thunder of ‘Blunt’, and with the bonus of a live track called ‘DNA’ that also shows a bit of midpaced riff power, I’m looking forward to Psython’s full length. The demo whets the appetite just enough, and I’m anticipating their album to be more of the same. Excellent work

https://psython.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/psythonofficial/?fref=ts

While not the most inspiring name for a band, Middlesborough groove metallers You’re Next at least have the decency to create some heavy riffs on their debut, self titled EP. Taking more obvious Lamb of God-isms and injecting a dash of death metal groove into them sounds like it could work well.

Opening track ‘Suffer Unto Me’ is a rumbling, one speed riff that doesn’t really go anywhere but it lays out a heavy punch to the senses to start us off. ‘War Deities’ is better, with a threatening start opening up into a monstrous groove mixed in with strange ethereal parts and growls. ‘Fuck Everything’ features a guest appearance from Shaun Payne from Silence Fiction, and it feels again very repetitive and doesn’t really go anywhere. The lyrics on this do nothing for me either.

The band are capable of some punishing riffing, as shown on the last song on the record ‘Leave the Seed’ and as it is their debut I’ll forgive somewhat average quality songs but if You’re Next want to get anywhere in the oversaturated groove metal scene, they’re going to have to work on their songwriting. A lack of riff variety really hampers my enjoyment, and the fact that most of the songs pick one riff and stick to it all the way through isn’t really good enough. Sorry lads, better luck next time.

https://www.facebook.com/yourenextuk