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This is the first demo from Warmarch, a Canadian band playing black/death metal. It features the guitar/vocal work of P. Kressman from Sacramentary Abolishment and Rites of Thy Degringolade, and the drumming of D. Relf from Disciples of Power. I've never heard the bassist, E. Lampimaki, before, but his work here is certainly on a par with the others.
The sound on this demo is totally frantic, with drums that switch from blasting to plodding in an instant, all set behind equally varied guitar. The snarled vocals have plenty of power, and even come in with some heavy metal screams and clean vox. It's nice to hear a metal album with the bass up front in the mix, and the nimble bass work here more than deserves the honor.
"Flame Giver" is a short, fast song with plenty of start-and-stop tempo changes. The vocals on this one are especially impressive. This song would be amazing live!
"The Declaration" starts out with a huge doom section, and speeds up just a bit from there. Halfway through, the plodding pace gives way to some neckbreaking fast riffs. After a break, the original theme comes back in for a clean-vocals encore that wouldn't be out of place on a Candlemass record. The bass on this track is crushingly heavy!
As the title "Eternal Spiral" implies, this song is chock full of cyclical riffs and bass lines. The development of theme and repetition here is sublime. Vocals are used sparingly, just enough to reinforce the killer instrumental work.
This is an excellent demo, a must-have for those into metal that combines a punishing sound with intelligent songwriting. Warmarch packs more variety into fourteen minutes than most bands manage in thirty. A full-length album from this band would be most welcome! Highly recommended.
Standout tracks: "The Declaration", "Eternal Spiral"