Released: 2015, Agonia Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Some people will never ‘get’ modern death metal. With trends in music coming and going as fast as the music it’s no wonder that new (and old) bands will try to capitalize on every new nuance that appears in the metal community. Fans become disillusioned with bands trying for some profound experiment in death metal, shaping their blast beats and harsh vocals into a synthetic affair, simultaneously losing any originally and distancing most new listeners. Surely enough, with all this modern metal being fed to the masses there’s always those that will attempt to hop on the latest trends in another attempt to be noticed and stand out from the crowd. It’s also important to note that ‘standing out’ is both easier and harder to do in this modern age. Let me explain: With all this access to every corner of the globe at the end of a mouse-click, new acts can record, produce, release and promote their new band/album as quick as they can write new music. This is not a bad thing. With services for streaming such as Youtube and Soundcloud and hosting/selling services such as iTunes and Bandcamp (I’ll say it again, thank fuck for Bandcamp) new albums can hit the world’s ears and earn new fans instantaneously. The problem with all of this is simple; sorting through the mountain of albums and Eps that are released daily can be a huge albeit rewarding task. Since most bands these days can appeal to how “brutal” their potential fans are, selling the new record on clichés and cheap gimmicks in order to fill an imaginary bank account, it’s no wonder that the chances for disappointment is fair. These bands will miss out on making that ‘all important’ first impression and while that’s okay, there’s no real point in looking for mediocre, money-grabbing bands. What I’m trying to say here is keep looking, you’ll find that album you want to listen to over and over again.
With all that in mind, some bands will ignore current and future trends and make the music they want to. It’s a simple concept; making music that pleases yourself as a person and in turn, helps bridge the gap between new listener and loyal fan for years to come. As it works internally, it also works externally. Most metal fans aren’t looking for the next “big act” or something so transcendental they forget why they even started looking for new music. We all know it, we’re fans ourselves, we look for good music that will appeal to our own values and expectations. Listeners want an honest listening experience.
Demonical’s ‘Black Flesh Redemption’ is an exercise in old school death metal aesthetics. Despite being a rather constricting genre, the group manages to bring elements of early Incantation, late Deicide and even some nuances from recent Cannibal Corpse. ‘Black Flesh Redemption provides worship for the hey-day of death metal drawing directly from their influences to create an EP as menacing as it is honest. There’s a reason why bands would recreate (to a point) the bands that led a metal revolution, they emulate what death metal should be and why it’s still relevant in the year 2015. Despite being only four tracks (it is an EP after all), Demonical’s 2015 effort doesn’t end all too abruptly. Running at a succinct eighteen minutes, ‘Black Flesh Redemption’ blends gravel soaked growls, blast-beats and pounding riffs in and out of the speakers. No track feels rushed or jaded; showcasing just how everything you hear, is actually supposed to be there. “Throne of Perdition” is a monster of a track (and also the EP’s longest). An atmospheric introduction swells the rustic industrial setting, building a stereotypical death metal track from the ground up. All the typical elements are present.
Keeping all of these quality attributes in mind, it’s hard to give much more praise to a band that is rehashing old ideas into a modern release. It’s what it says on the can: “old school death metal”. It’s been done before. The band knows it, we know it and yet it doesn’t change this EP for what it is; A solid listening experience for your average death metal fan.
Review by Robert Garland