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Echoes From the Very Depths of Hell - 89%

Vortic, March 28th, 2018

Just imagine yourself in the following situation: you're casually scrolling through YouTube when you see a recommendation for some album called "Nespithe", you look it up beforehand and learn it's by some tech-death dudes from Finland. "Huh" you think "probably your casual tremolo, palm muted death record", but you decide to give it a try. You put the album on and the moment you're done you're clutched in an embrionic position, sucking your thumb and wondering which plane of existence you're in. Yeah, that's Demilich in a nutshell. If the album cover isn't already a good summary of what the band is about then let me tell you more about this bunch of devillish composers.

First, the guitar sound is... bad. It's mostly what stopped this album from reaching a score of at least 93-94. I mean, come on, it's one thing having a lo-fi production, but really? Did it have to be so... egh, I can't even describe what's wrong with it, it seems like it lacks distortion or the amp used was overall shit. Anyways, while the sound is somewhat irritating the riffwriting is off this Earth. I mean, yeah, you've got Gorguts and their dissonant stuff, but it is not as atmospheric as this here. And what atmosphere does the album create, you might ask? Imagine that bunch of zombies from the cover or whatever the fuck they are marching and obliterating everything in their way, their screams heard all over the place with the Grim Reaper overseeing the whole thing from the back, it's safe to say this is the type of music that would be playing. Tremolo is used only when it fits the moment, the rest of the riffs are technical fretting on the low and middle strings so it's a steady deviation from the norms of traditional DM. The bass can at least be heard, and I mean it's really loud, and there are a few interesting parts from the instrument, but I expected a bit more. And, boy oh boy, the drums here! Sure, they are slightly inaudible, but not enough to ruin them as is the case with the guitar tone. The guy behind the kit shows us that with the least amount of technicality (because, frankly, I've heard way more intricate drumming) you can serve the music 100%. In other words, this is not the best percussion one can hear in an album, but it is exactly what is needed. Last but not least, the vocals. You play the record for the first time, expecting to hear a bear and-WHAT THE FUCK, ARE THOSE BURPS?! Yep, the guy sounds like he downed a whole case of beers immediately before delivering this one of a kind performance. Never have I heard such a thing and I doubt I ever will, but you should really check for yourself what I mean.

So, the biggest complaint I have to make is towards the producer of the album, who more or less ruined the whole thing. If this album had a slightly beefier sound, with the drums higher in the mix and the vocals centered more expertly Nespithe would've been very close to the 96-97% mark for me. But as terrible as it might be it is not unlistenable (or whatever the proper adjective is). Besides that, there isn't really much to point out when it comes to the negatives. The songs, while obviously constructed with the same theme in mind, are not repetitive and all feature something distinctive. The musicians are professionals who apparently grew tired of the bland and talentless death metal scene that emerged in the early 90's, so they took matters into their own hands, sat down and built (and I deliberately use that word) the most intricate, dissonant and virtually impossible to listen to record. Additionally, the lyrics and song titles add to the eerie feeling of the "thing".

While Gorguts delve into the very depths of chaos Demilich focus primarily on utter destructive power. I mean, look again at that album cover, look at the fucker on the far left, he looks like a Terminator. This is alien colonisation music, this is what will be playing when some Zen-like creatures invade our reality and we are left hopeless and screaming. Demilich somehow summarised what terror is in a single album, actually, in a single song, each of these tracks alone is enough to send chills down your spine. So get yourself a diaper and some joint pain medication, because you will be headbanging and shitting yourself at the same time as long as this record is on.