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Demilich has got to be one of the most awe-inspiring death metal bands ever from the early days. Four demos’ and one full-length later they broke up which is sad, leaving us with only these releases to marvel at. The full-length “Nespithe” is absolutely essential to any technical metal heads collection.
From the opening riff and double bass section on the first track you get the idea that with most of these songs being released in the early 90’s on the demos, this band was ahead of their time. The first seven songs are completely flawless. Dual guitars with some of the catchiest leads of the time are on display here, while the drum work of Mikko Virnes is on par with that of Mike Smith and Pete Sandoval. His doubles bass work is the perfect speed which complements the whirling guitar work, while the well placed blast beats were some of the best of that era. I personally think his blast beats were the best of the early 90’s.
The band also spices up the low end with some great rhythm work on tracks one, four, and six. Rhythm riffs ride underneath the leads or the solos, in a profound yet catchy sense, leaving you wanting more. In fact that’s the one aspect I can’t seem to get enough of, and wish they had released a second album expanding on this songwriting idea. The eighth song is an instrumental which goes a little overboard at times with the technical instrumentation, sort of like a foundation for “Cabinet” era Spawn of Possession. However that is all but a small complaint. The remaining tracks fall right back into place with the first seven.
The overall catchiness of the riff writing and song writing is unparalleled especially for 1993. No other band sounded like this that I know of and the overall technical prowess of this band was a tier above all others in the death metal scene in that era. This release is inspiration for bands we know today such as Spawn of Possession, Sulaco, Carpharnaum, and later era Gorguts. Check out the first demo “The Four Instructive Tales of Decomposition" while you’re at it for the proof that the vocals on “Nespithe” were done without effects.