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Don't download this album! Pirates kill music! - 98%

Cheeses_Priced, May 12th, 2007

While it’s not true that all death metal sounds alike, it could certainly stand to be less true – and this is not a call for flutes or jazz or… Hell forbid, Egyptian music. The worst path to supposed originality in any kind of music, and probably any kind of anything, is to take something stereotypical and combine it with something weird and call it a day. Genre conventions are usually not completely arbitrary – death metal’s aesthetics exist for a reason, and breeching them simply for the sake of doing so rarely leads to satisfying results.

The best path to originality, on the other hand, is simply to have a unique point of view. Unfortunately, I suppose you either have your own perspective or you don’t, and calculated attempts to simulate one are sure to make for an inadequate substitute for the real thing.

Demilich possesses a unique point of view. This album’s booklet encodes the lyrics in a cryptogram. Note the bizarre, surreal song titles as well. More conspicuously – most conspicuously, in fact, of all the band’s idiosyncrasies – are those vocals, which sound like… a pitch-shifted demon frog from the bowels of Hell? Could be. Only he’s not using any processing after all, which just makes it that much scarier.

Those are only a few of the more visible signs of the strangeness permeating this music. It is probably not possible to adequately describe the riffing style in words. I have heard Demilich described as technical metal, but I’ve never really thought of them as such. This may be tricky music, but it doesn’t sound forced, or like a demonstration. It simply sounds unnatural, lurching from one note to the next in a very wrong-sounding way.

Insanity is a standard theme in metal and especially in death metal. Ordinarily it’s dealt with from the perspective of a criminologist, callous and apathetic, like an autopsy. Nespithe makes me think of insanity, but viewed from the inside out, in a state of alienation from reality. That would be Demilich’s unique point of view?