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Sounds Like Early Amorphis - 75%

OzzyApu, June 12th, 2010

Or should I say early Amorphis and this sound alike? Yes, since this came out before Amorphis was a full entity. Now the middle of 1989 put this demo up against some really tough acts like Autopsy and shit, and those guys released their debut full-length. Paradise Lost was still on the last bit of demos, so this wasn’t as impactful as the previous demos. For early doom / death, it’s basically dark death metal – yes, dark because of the effects emitted from the malevolence within.

Three songs all above five minutes pushes this over fifteen minutes, so there’s a bit to love here if you can deal with it. To me, it’s a little weird, specifically because of the guitars. Most of what’s being played is standard, crushing riffs from a thick, grimy guitar tone, but a lot of the leads flip out and the atmosphere radiating from their notes just gets creepy. You are meant to feel uncomfortable while listening to this demo, and Makintosh’s leads push you to the edge of sanity. Holmes is only there to let you know what lurks in the deepest, darkest regions, and some synths help a ton to make this some hellish sounding death metal.

With Holmes, he sounds like Koivusaari from Amorphis in the early days of that band. He does the same exhaled growls that were very deep and relaxed, working superbly with the guitars to creep up on you. He’s never louder than the guitars, so you don’t clearly hear him (you won’t understand what he’s saying, either), but those snarls don’t let up. The sinister riffs are backed thoroughly by a blubbery bass that keeps pounding on that tone without mercy. Drumming is behind the train-engine guitars with every piece of the kit audible and mixed properly: marching snares, pillow fighting double bass, and sparkling cymbals alive and well.

The cover art alone looks psychologically wacky and otherworldly, so I can tell you not to judge it lightly. The music reflects it well, and you’ll beg to hear the less tormenting full-lengths. Now that I think about it, the debut, which is the heaviest full-length by the band in my case, is less twisted than this demo. This must have scared people shitless and made the band tone down their music just a little bit so people could listen without going crazy. Pretty dramatic if it was true, but who knows…