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Death metal, taking a melodic direction. - 88%

Zodijackyl, August 18th, 2011

Eucharist are one of the lesser known and less successful Gothenburg melodic death metal bands. The band broke up four times in their nine years, recording a full-length album, A Velvet Creation, with the original line-up, the same band that appears on this demo. Their other album, Mirrorworlds, was a swansong done by the core two members of the band.

The three tracks that appear on this demo were re-recorded for the first LP. The production on this demo presents the songs much better than the later versions do. Overall, it sounds more like well-balanced death metal production of the time, not polished, but everything is audible and sounds pretty good. The drums sound good, a bit dampened, which really complements the music. Each drum hit sounds through, plenty of separation even in the fastest parts. The guitar sound is sufficiently thick and crunchy, not extremely polished like most of their Gothenburg peers, but a perfect tone straight out of the amp. The bass fills in the bottom end and complements the punch of the guitars and drums nicely. The vocals sound great, a bit rough, which fits the music quite well. The production captures the songs perfectly, a balanced mixture of early death metal which highlights the melodic guitar lines that characterize the band, with a great vibe that feels like you are in a practice space or small club hearing the band's best performance.

The song structures are non-standard, typical of 1992 death metal. Riffs are repeated, there isn't a use of choruses or refrains, but they know how to repeat and use riffs well. It isn't too often that a melodic Gothernburg style is heard separated from the production that helped characterize the sound - it is clearer and sharper than At The Gates' first two albums, but less polished than their last two. The guitar work features a lot of tremolo picking, mixing harmonies, making great use of suspended chords for tension. It isn't the stacked guitars of In Flames, it isn't the brutal beating of early Stockholm DM, but it finds a place somewhere between. The guitars have a straight-forward/live feeling where there isn't layering, there aren't overdubs, so the tones come through roughly, but the performances are really tight. The acoustic intro is solid guitar work too, and it transitions into the first song quite well. The acoustic outro is cool, but seems to be tacked on to the end of the demo.

The drumming is exceptional. Nearly 20 years later, Daniel Erlandsson has become a legend. His performance is flawless, with blasts, tons of fast double-bass work, and some well placed fills. The drumming has none of the simplicity or rawness of a lot of earlier death metal. He blazes along with the fast sections with remarkable kicking, but he also complements spacier guitar work like the beginning of "Into The Cosmic Sphere". I haven't heard a demo with drumming like this, versatile and clean, coming across as a genuine performance, not studio trickery.

Eucharist very well might be the best of the bands from their highly regarded scene, and this work certainly bridges the earliest works of the genre towards the later ones. The songs on this demo very well might be their best work, ahead of their peers in many ways, with an output that would stand up as an impressive recording even if it were released today.