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Hailing from London, the debut of Matron’s “demonic metal” comes in the form of a four song demo. Here I must confess a slight impartiality, I’m good friends with a couple of the members of the band, and I’ve seen them live once before. Readers should then judge for themselves accordingly.
A spoken intro leads into the first song proper “Welcome to Hell”. Although the band makes heavy use of keyboards, it’s done tastefully and adds to the evil atmosphere, rather than standing out on its own. You never hear it as keyboards, more like a horror movie soundtrack. The vocals were done by guitarist Marcus on the record (although now they have a vocalist), and is almost impossible to decipher without a lyric sheet. This isn’t a bad thing, because the growls are brutally satisfying, although a little too far back in the mix to have the molar-crushing impact it should have. DEMONIC SANATORIUM is also a very guitar-driven album, with Sam and Marcus giving a good showing on the six-string front.
Musically, they are hard to place. They have strong influences from the melo-death sound, and the vocals certainly sound like a deeper throatier Johan Hegg. At the same time, the symphonies and keyboard melodies wouldn’t sound out of place on a Cradle of Filth or Dimmu Borgir record. (Coincidentally, Matron’s current guitarist James McIlroy played with Cradle of Filth for two years, co-writing on the NYMPHETAMINE album.) Lyrically, they write pretty standard stuff, “Ride with me, brothers in arms” type. If you’re wondering how they fit almost HammerFall-ish lyrics into a brutal death framework, check them out!
Matron have since expanded their material (and line-up) since this demo came out, and with a bit of luck will go on to big things. With a chance to be in Terrorizer and landing a couple of high-flying gigs already, keep half an eye on them!
1. Intro (The Prophet)
2. Welcome to Hell
3. Blood of Knights
4. Ultimate Bones
James "Bonegrinder" Griffiths - Vocals
James D'ath - Guitar
Sam "Bog" Brandon - Guitar
Marcus "Hell" Matusiak - Keyboards
Adam "Shredator" Betts - Drums
Luke "Bloodlord" Potter - Bass
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