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What a disgusting beast of an album released by Demilich back in 1993. After listening to the first few seconds of the opener “When the Sun Drank the Weight of Water”, you know you are in for something quite different and unusually strange. Demilich is labeled as technical death metal, however I don’t see them as exactly technical, because they leave out all the unnecessary wankery that you may find in a lot of music labeled as technical. What Demilich does manage to do is create a wonderfully unusual blend of guitar riffing that is fairly high-pitched and tends to be broken and somewhat unrelated, but they manage to make all of the riffs work together to form one highly unique album. The guitars basically sound like a sonic boom bouncing all over the walls of a deep cave (I don’t think that will help much). The guitars swamp you will a swirling wall of sound unlike anything I’ve heard before.
To be honest, it is difficult to write a review that really gives you a good idea of what the guitar work sounds like on this album, but there are some aspects that can be described in relatively close proximity. For example, the vocal work on this album is just insane. Antti Boman sounds like a belching demon frog unlike any other. Not that there are many belching demon frogs as a vocalist in death metal, but that is about as close as you can get to describing the vocal style on this album. This is actually quite close and it is really a good change to hear something so bizarre and unique that is just makes you wonder how Antti Boman’s voice is able to do this over the course of the album without becoming permanently damaged. Antti Boman uses some cryptic lyrics as well giving just a little bit more of a mystique to this already out-of-this-world album (just look at the song titles).
The drumming on this album is really balanced well. Mikko Virnes does an excellent job in playing to the guitarists and never taking attention off of them since the guitars are the main focal point in Nespithe. If you don’t stop to listen to the drumming you may never realize just how entertaining they are since they are a little lower in the mix. The great thing about the drumming is that he doesn’t use blast after blast, the style is more of a Tomas Haake-esque of broken fractured drumming that I tend to love. Of course, Nespithe in general sounds like a mixture of broken glasses fused together to create the overall song structures, which makes them very confusing and technical in a loose sense of the word.
I would go through the album giving some sort of a relative description song by song, but I think I lack the words (and the energy) to really capture whatever this album is. I will say this album manages to suck me into the sick disfigured world that Demilich has managed to construct and keep me there throughout the album without any trouble. The best thing that you can do if you fancy yourself a death metal fan is to give this album a few listens, but I’m betting it would be difficult to find any death metal fan that hasn’t listened to this album except for people new to death metal.
It is a real shame that this is the only full-length ever put out by Demilich, because this album was simply chaotic brilliance. Nespithe was ahead of its time and still sounds fresh and highly original 16 years after its initial release.
The Sixteenth Six-Tooth Son of Fourteen Four-Regional Dimensions (Still Unnamed)
The Echo (Replacement)
The Putrefying Road in the Nineteenth Extremity (...Somewhere Inside the Bowels of Endlessness...)
And You'll Remain... (In Pieces in Nothingness)