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This is another fantastic demo of Afflicted! - 90%

dismember_marcin, February 9th, 2013

With their second demo Afflicted started to go into the progressive territories more and more, I think. The music and the riffs were not only more complicated, but their style has changed. There’s less and less of pure death metal riffage, the band dropped much of those fast, grinding parts, which they had on the earlier demos (but don’t get me wrong – there’s still some kick ass aggressive stuff in here). On “Wanderland” both guitarists really show off with their talents and skills, playing many solos and some twisted melodies with unusual patterns. The opener “Astray” is the best example for that. Although it’s pretty much brutal Swedish death metal anthem – a great one, mind that – many riffs from here would easily find its place in any kind of prog rock / metal group or bands like Atheist least saying. I guess Voivod influence really started to live at that time ha, ha! We get sudden tempo / rhythm changes, many breaks… Well, a lot of ideas have been putted within this one song I have to say. But over these weird riffs there’s still harsh and fantastic growling voice of Joakim, fast drumming, as well as the fat, heavy production courtesy of Sunlight – so the Svensk Dods Metal feeling is still present!! Great!

“Tidings from the Blue Sphere” is more epic and slower song, but has some classic Swedish melodies and solos, which make it just wonderful. This is probably my favourite song from this demo. It isn’t so complex in the structure, so it is quite catchy but damn heavy, if you ask me. It also has a great mid paced pattern in the middle part of the song, so as overall it just shreds!! “Spirit Spectrum” from the other hand is probably the weirdest track he, he. It starts with this schizophrenic melody in Voivod style. But then we’ve got that completely lunatic fragment with the clean vocals, which I don’t like so much, but luckily they don’t last too long and soon everything changes into another motif. But as overall this song is mad and I honestly don’t like is as much as the other tracks from that demo. And finally the last song comes – “Ivory Tower” may be the most known Afflicted song, as it’s been also released on “Astray” 7”EP (by Relapse Records), as well as later on “Prodigal Sun” LP and had a video recorded as well. I like that song. It starts with great melody, which automatically sticks in the listener’s mind. After several variations over that motif Afflicted moves on with almost Entombed-esque riff! Great stuff! I love that long solo in it as well. And what about that closing slower part? What brilliancy. Let me just add that the demo has absolutely top class sound – very heavy and professional, maybe not 100% Sunlight, but that’s good I guess. It must be also reminded this recording has been also released as a 7”EP (by Relapse), including two of four songs on it – “Spirit Spectrum” and “Astray” and surely is a collectible item nowadays.