without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
I really need to start doing my reviews in a band's chronological order. I just got done writing a review for Whitechapel's second demo, deeming it the "heaviest deathcore release ever", and then some voice on my shoulder whispered "Hey, review the first demo, too!" Damn you, voices. Now I'm faced with an even better demo and I'm perplexed as to how I should write this one because I used up all my good metaphors.
This record has the same scratchy production as the second demo, and for the songs that are on both demos, it's obvious that few changes were made. No atmosphere here, just raw salvaged brutality in the form of relentless momentum. Breakdowns are heavy, and way heavier than any other album I've heard. Basically, this is an unrefined death metal demo with breakdowns, not a "deathcore" album.
The guitars are actually more complex at times than they are on the second demo (some parts border on mathcore), and they have a hollow, ominous tone to them that definitely helps the overall sound. Other than somewhat random wankish parts in select songs, the guitarwork is in the same position it was on Demo II and The Somatic Defilement. The song "Ear to Ear" still has the guitar solo that's present on the next demo but absent on the full-length. And finally, the breakdowns are still "blast-ish" like they were on the other demo. Other than that, there's really not much of notice, other than the assorted distortions at the end of guitar measures.
The drummer, Derek Martin, isn't creating polyrhythms like he was on the next demo, but he's still galloping on the double-bass pedals and blasting as fast as he can. I think this band in general is carrying rhythm a lot better on this first demo than they did on the second. The vocalist, once again, is different. His highs are even more undeveloped and they're still a bit boring. However, on this first demo, Phil's still using the pig squeals, yeah, but they sound awesome! There's no dry, raspy sounds, and it comes out clean as a whistle. The growls are once again lower than they were the last time...This time around I'm not even going to attempt to describe it. Just listen to Exhumed and you'll get the picture.
Once again, it's not very likely you'll ever get your hands on this demo. However, if you get the chance, please do. This is not a perfect album, no, but for a demo clocking in at less than 20 minutes, it packs a punch.