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Female Death Assault! - 85%

Arowanna, July 20th, 2011

This is one of those bands I wasn't searching for, but just randomly stumbled upon when I was listening to a compilation and I'm so happy that I did! November Grief is an all-female death metal band from Canada and with that said, some might think that this will be some boring, generic radio-friendly pop-music. But think again! November Grief delivers some brutal death metal that will make your head fly back and forth in an instant!

The demo kicks in with Veil of Disgust, which features a rather doom-like approach, guitars slowly building up a moody atmosphere. But in an instant the music changes and the death metal sound we all know comes crushing through; guitars mangling, drums bashing skulls and growling vocals. But the big bonus here is the bass, it's heavily distorted, but gives the track (and the whole album for the matter), a rather unique atmosphere. This assault continuous throughout the album and weirdly enough with a lot of variation and frequent samples from movies and radio-programs. Tracks such as “Infanticide” even gives a tingling feeling of punk-influence from time to time.

But there are more tracks that really stand out from the rest here, “Exit Life (With China White)” and “Grass is Gold”, takes a more doom-like approach, but the brutal death mangle is still present and both tracks jumps back and forth between death and doom. Another being the very short “T.w.o.d”, only 43 seconds long, which brings raw black metal to mind and might even serve as an intro for the psychotic rage that “Psychotopsy” throws at you with its pondering blast-beats, distorted guitars and rather raspy vocals.

And it should be noted that the production is almost crystalline for its time, it's 1996 and the demo is way better produced than most other demos and albums from it's time and even better than some of the stuff that is made today. When it comes to lyrics, I'm unable to judge as I can't find them anywhere. Judging from titles and what little I can make of them, it seems to be about life, nightmares and despair, which fits right in with the music.

All in all, this is one of the best demos I've ever heard , it's just 25 minutes of brutal slaughter from four gals totally unknown to me, which from this day and onwards, are among my favorite artists of all time! And I've to give kudos to the bands vocalist and bassist, Stéphanie Masson. I'm not the guy to judge if a vocalist is fantastic or not, but in my opinion, Stéphanie is one of the most amazing female-growlers and bassists of all time!

So if you find this hidden gem in a store or on the Internet, make sure to make it yours!

Highlights
I would mention all tracks here, but if I've to choose a few of them, I'd pick “Exit Life (With China White)”, “Veil of Disgust” and “Psychotopsy”. But listen to this demo as a whole, it's better that way!