It been demo month here at Metalshopped. With the exception of Overkill’s latest, which was a gift from Mrs Metalshopped, everything up for review is a demo. And I loved it. It’s a little bit more hit and miss, but I was got into some great bands right on the ground floor of what I hope are fruitful careers. I will most likely do another demo month later in the year too.
The band I was most into this month and, therefore, the album of the month is Suffering. I haven’t enjoyed an instrumental release this much in ages. It does have some vocals, to be honest, but they’re so few and far between that what you are really experiencing is band relying on their ability to play. And those Russians can play.
In live music news, I’m pumped up for April. I get to see Emperor and At the Gates. Good times ahead.
As always, you can reach me for critique and commentary at Facebook. You can also hit me up if you have a demo you want reviewed.
See everyone in May. Enjoy.
Album of the Month
Suffering – Devouring Hatred
(Death Metal – Russia)
Self-Released – 2019/01/03
This demo is all about demonstrating how good this band could be with a bit of production support. They aim to be blackened, technical, and progressive; and they swing for the fences to achieve it. Largely eschewing vocals was a sensible idea, because it’s obvious their great strength lies in their score. Super talented stuff.
The Rest in Alphabetical Order
Amdusias – Nocturnal Isolation
(Black Metal – France)
Corpse Torture Records – 2019/03/08
Do me two favours and I will love you forever. The first, ditch the abrupt song endings. The second, never release an album with such a shitty intro again. Once it gets going, this has a malevolently sensual feel to it. Reminds me of Satyricon in a positive way. The flaws are jarring, but they can do this black metal business really well.
Ås – Fortgestank
(Black Metal – Germany)
Self-Released – 2019/02/22
The intensity they manage to introduce into these three songs is seriously impressive. The industrial guitar tone sounds like your brain is full of iron filings and is having electricity blasted through it. And the shrieking vocals are abrasive in a headache inducing way. It approaches black metal in a way that wants to push boundaries.
Deathgod – Demo 2019
(Death Metal – Mexico)
Self-Released – 2019/01/03
I love the “We don’t give a fuck” attitude that permeates through this. It doesn’t wait and leaves nothing behind. Three tracks of pulverising death metal that hits all the high notes while not taking any time out to pad. It’s so taut, you’d think it would snap like an elastic band, but it doesn’t. I have trouble believing this is just a demo.
Internal Purgatory – Demonstration of Apathetic Dissociation
(Atmospheric Black Metal – Australia)
Self-Released – 2019/01/10
Moody intro; a track of fuzzy, dissonant lo-fi; another, longer, track of fuzzy, dissonant lo-fi; a cover track that also leans heavily into fuzzy dissonance; and a moody outro. I enjoyed the experience, but there’s no doubt it’s a one-trick pony. It helps that the one trick is more of a sick kickflip than a worn out ollie.
Orbis Daemonium – Opus Contra Naturam
(Doom Metal – Brazil)
OEO – 2019/03/03
I know the band say they’re black metal, but this demo seemingly dives seamlessly into traditional doom with properly growled vocals. It might be on the heavy end of trad, but it’s performed in a clean, precise way. This is the key to Orbis’ success; this may be a demo, but they’ve made every effort to keep the production as crisp as possible.
Overkill – The Wings of War
(Thrash – United States of America)
Nuclear Blast – 2019/02/22
Old school, good times thrash. Not going to lie, I’ve always found Blitz’s vocals a little tough, but they clicked for me on Wings of War. Good and harsh, they compliment the punkish, bratty thrash perfectly. The whole album rattles with serious groove, but isn’t groove metal. It goes to show that melody done right will always be king.
Scourge Lair – One Hundred Eyes One Hundred Hands
(Blackened Death Metal – Finland)
Self-Released – 2019/03/08
I will always enjoy a band that sound like good Marduk and I’ll sing their praises even louder if they put in the effort to be more than a tired knock off. Congratulations, Scourge Lair, you impressed me. It’s a bit of a slow starter, but you really nailed that clandestine murk meets blitzkrieg dichotomy. I love the sinister fury.
Skullord – In Death
(Doom Metal – Brazil)
Self-Released – 2019/01/01
Come on guys. You play traditional doom. True doom. Not drone. Monotony is not your friend. You live in a realm where the riff should be king, but here the riff is a viscount. It’s power here is far from absolute. That’s a big problem, as there are some good moments on display, but the overall tone is perfunctory at best.
Vomit Spell – Demo 2019
(Deathgrind – Germany)
Lower Class Kids Records – 2019/01/02
Deathgrind loses nothing when performed as raw as this. It takes all the immediacy of grind and marries it to the visceral nature of death metal, while the rough and ready nature of the demo keeps it feral. You might say dangerous. It ensures that the tornado of violence touches ground and tears shit up.