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...if all tech death was as good as this?! My opinion on that rhetorical question is quite obvious. Still I could have chosen an easier album as my first review here in MA. Because Demilich's Nespithe is all but simple. In fact now that I think of it probably wasn't my smartest move...Oh what the hell let's get it on shall we?
Demilich, historically speaking, is one of the most important bands to have come out of the Finnish underground of the early nineties. And this is probably the most famous Death Metal record to have come from that country, alongside Demigod's Slumber Of Sullen Eyes. So what does Nespithe sound like? As I said before it's music is all but simple. In fact this album has some of the most complex and atonal riffs this side of Gorguts! Got you interested?
The first track begins with Mikko Virnes displaying his amazing skills behind the drums, blasting his way around until the guitar comes in. And boy does this guy know how to use a drum kit! You'll then immediately notice that this is all but your conventional riffing. If that wasn't weird enough Antti Boman starts...well, singing. Let me just say that he doesn't sound human at all! Is tone is so deep and gurgling that he seems to be exhaling from his stomach rather than his lungs. Then the show of atonal riffing and amazing drum work continues, dragging you into a totally different dimension. Just try and listen to this album with your eyes closed without feeling the creeps. It's like a dreary landscape of an outside universe, and you're traveling through it without any chance of escape as if you were being sucked by a black hole. At this point there's no return and no tomorrow, just the insurmountable wall of blast beats and atonal riffing that Demilich brings you, complimented with a voice that would make any Alien run off to his mommy!
There a lot of tempo changes throughout the album and many in every song. The guitar work alone will leave anyone trying to emulate it with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome! The distortion they use is one of the best I've heard, and along with the odd riffing it only ads to that otherworldly feeling. The amazing thing about Nespithe is that it was all accomplished with just one guitar. The bass is very good, very audible and with deep tone, sounding at times as if it was a second guitar. It normally follows the guitar which already screams how hectic it is, although at some points it does shine on its own. Now apart from Aki Hytonen's amazing guitar work, what shines the most about this album are the drums. Holy shit, this guy drums as if he was an epileptic having a seizure, with incredibly weird tempo changes, blasting away just to crawl to a slow pace the very next second. At this point I begin to wonder if Demilich are even human and not a bunch of exiled aliens because frankly some of the tempo changes have to be heard to be believed.
The production on this album is also very good. Every instrument is always perfectly audible, and the bass tone alone will leave any Metal fan salivating. The drum and guitar sound are perfect and the mix is perfectly complimented by that inhuman voice. This album isn't an easy first listen, that's for sure. In fact some will probably dismiss it in seconds. But believe me, once you got yourself acquainted with their type of riffing and Antti Boman's vocals it will be just a matter of time until you start spending more and more time on that outer world they create in your room. If you like atonal riffing, insane drums that go from blast beats to a slow pace, a bass that's always audible and an inhuman voice, then go listen to Nespithe. It's an amazing and very complex album that will take some time for you to understand, but will definitely grow on you.
Oh, you're looking for highlights on this album? I recommend you listen to the whole album from start to finish. I guarantee that by the end of it you'll fell like you've been away for hours when in fact only 39 minutes have passed!