Released: 2012, HSP Productions
This month I had the good fortune to be contacted by an up & coming Canadian record label, HSP Productions. This Quebec-based outfit has been slowly gaining some traction in the metal underground, and sent me six of their most promising releases for review. Those are: Demonolator, Hell Crucificator, Iapethos, Outre Tombe, Sights of War, and Svalbard. Please feel free to check them all out this month.
Saguenay’s Demonolator has been around for over twenty years, and yet somehow 2012’s OCCULT INCANTATIONS OF EVIL is their first (and only) release. From doing some research on the band, it’s clear that main man Antichrist is busy in several other bands as well, but I really don’t know why such a long-running band has been so quiet.
Regardless, 2012’s full length effectively broke the silence from the band. The music is an intriguing blend of atmospheric death metal, to the point that much of the music is instrumental, with vocals placed sparsely throughout. For a death metal band, it’s an interesting tactic, as the music sounds designed more to creep you out than pummel the bejesus out of you. Make no mistake, there is still plenty of battering metal here, but Demonolator’s music is certainly some of the more moody that I’ve heard. Each of the four songs is quite long, all in the 8 – 9 minute range. This gives the songs plenty of breathing room to add the atmospheric passages that separate the band from their more generic brethren. However, this is also the band’s weakness, as there isn’t enough memorable riffing to fill nearly 10 minutes songs, with the end result being boredom. It’s truly unfortunate, because I feel that with some more variety and some improved song writing, these guys could be special.
Having said that, it’s clear that Demonolator are after more than your average death metal sound, and OCCULT INCANTATIONS OF EVIL is a promising first step down a unique path. For fans looking for something a bit different, this is worth checking out.