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The bloody beginnings - 84%

Drowned, January 5th, 2006

"Human Relic" is the debut demo from Nyköping's Gorement. When I first listened to this tape many moons ago, it sounded like typical gore/death metal to me and not something that would leave a lasting impression in the way that "Obsequies..." did. This was recorded at Gorysound Studios and not surprisingly sounds similar to other Swanö-related projects at the time, notably Masticate and Incision. The cheesy processed vocals and buzzy guitars are what really give it away. The worst thing about the vocals is that they are way too high in the mix and frequently override the other instruments, causing volume level discrepancies. In addition, the highs on the drums sound synthetic and noisy, while the bass drum and snare have a very similar tone to them and at times it's almost impossible to tell them apart.

Once you learn to accept the faulty production, this demo has a way of opening up to the listener and displaying that it has more to offer than just second-rate gore. The music is always what matters the most, and this is where Gorement shines. The three songs here, while fairly basic in structure and sloppily performed, are definitely precursors to the band's future material. The memorable, melodic leads and heavy tremolo riffing give everything that special touch that places Gorement in the front lines of Swedish death metal.

The first two songs are similar to each other, mainly played at a quick tempo and offering an endless supply of catchy guitar riffs. The only gripe I have is that both of these tracks end very abruptly and aren't given the opportunity to fully develop in the process. This is most evident with the brief title track, which was actually later re-recorded for Gorement's full-length album. The final song, "Moulder Within", has a more suitable length but unfortunately the guitarwork here is much sloppier compared to the other compositions. The music itself is reminiscent of Carnage, comprised of traditional-sounding, mid-tempo riffing along with simple fast thrash beats from the drummer. There's a pretty cool Possessed-style guitar solo towards the end, and an acoustic accompaniment that allows the song to fade to a close.

The toughest part about "Human Relic" is getting past the production and vocals. If you're easily irritated by processed singing then I wouldn't recommend this to you, but if it's something you don't mind and are already of a fan of Gorement's other material then I'd advise you to check this demo out.