Released: 2011, Stormspell Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Good to see all these past demos being released on CD-format. Stormspell Records earns a few extra thumbs-ups for doing great work in that particular department – and Puerto Rican Dantesco´s debut 4-track demo from 2004, has received the same treatment now, even if this time the demo has relevantly been remastered – and comes out with 3 additional bonus tracks.
Dantesco´s self-titled 4-track demo shows clearly how the band has improved and refined their sound over the years, from one album to another. The first traces for the band´s sort of operatic epic doom metal can be heard on this demo recording of theirs, in which Erico la Bestia´s unique vocal style sort of trademarked Dantesco´s signature sound – and gave the band a couple of aces already for becoming Puerto Rico´s most important metal institution at that time.
The demo songs sound naturally relatively raw and unpolished (just like how many other debut demos of bands did actually sound like back in those days) – and the song performance is kinda clumsy at times, but still enjoyable nonetheless. But anyway, this was the way Dantesco were pushing themselves up from the ground, step by step making them known across the borders of different nations by their epic and doomy heavy metal. The band´s 4-track 2004 debut demo was more than only a decent stepping-stone for that purpose indeed. Obviously it was the Swedish doom pioneers Candlemass that fed the fire in the Dantesco camp mostly back in the day, as the strongest influence for the band´s ´soon-to-be-widely-recognized´ sound.
There are additional bonus tracks, of which 2 are cover songs of Sorcerer and Warlord (both sounding really good, by the way), “I Came from Hell” sounds quite different: more aggressive and more straightforward than what we have used to hear from Dantesco before. “I Came from Hell” is basically a very straightforward heavy metal song, including some occasional acoustic guitars played in in the middle part of the song. Erico´s vocal style is also much different than normally: Harsh and raw sounding, having the same primitive power in his voice like Udo Dirkschneider has.
The early times of these Puerto Rican epic and doomy metal titans, Dantesco, are nicely revealed on this release, so do not miss this if you are offered an opportunity to sneak into the musical history of them a bit more.