Daemon – The Second Coming

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Reviewed: June 1999
Released: 1999, Diehard Records
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: Nathan Robinson

In a piercing burst of flames, Jesus Christ falls from the heavens, giving mankind a gift well deserved…Armageddon. Beasts arise from hell and kill the tortured human souls and mankind perishes in a tumultuous inferno. This frightening vision is displayed in excellent form on the cover of Daemon’s latest offering, appropriately titled The Second Coming. After the downright dirty and nasty taste of brutality served up on Daemon’s debut Seven Deadly Sins, one look at the new album and you have to think “holy shit…I’m in for one hell ride!” But I may quench your expectations a bit.

The beauty of Daemon’s debut album lies in many places. At that time, being just a side project, it was meant to be just a quick dose of death metal brutality. The rough production and slightly sloppy performances gave the album a spontaneous feel rarely found on other albums. Seven Deadly Sins was written and recorded in only three days! I don’t know what the guys’ approach was with the second album, but not only does it sound too polished, it is too rehearsed. Daemon switched from Fred Etsby to Tomas Skogsberg for production duties. Although the sound is as heavy as expected from Tomas, it just doesn’t compare to the grimy, scummy, dirty, and heavy-as-fuck sound Fred got the first time around. In addition, Daemon has shifted more towards the death-rock approach, like some of Entombed and Konkhra’s previous works. Sure, Seven Deadly Sins had its moments of dirty grooves here and there, but the overall style was straight death metal. The Second Coming is a little too rocky. In addition, Anders vocals are not as aggressive as they were on the debut.

Another disappointment is the departure of drummer Nicke Anderson. Yes, it seems Nicke has altogether abandoned metal indeed. His absence from Daemon affects the feel of the music to a certain degree. Nicke is an incredible drummer. One needs only to hear Entombed’s Clandestine for proof. His performance on Seven Deadly Sins sounded inspired and was definitely a highlight. New drummer Frank Hellmet does belt out some brutality, but doesn’t quite match the warmth and weight of Nicke.

Album highlights would include: “My Kingdom is a Sacred Place”, which has some disturbing samples and sinister riffage, even if it is a little rocky; “The Prince of Lies” harkens back to classic death metal and is a faster number. One lowpoint is the Sabbath cover “Symptom of the Universe”. It is pretty brutal, but the acoustic part doesn’t fit. And besides this, do we really need another Sabbath cover?

Don’t get me wrong, The Second Coming still kicks some ass, but I was expecting more spontaneity and brutality. When I listen to Seven Deadly Sins, I imagine three dudes thrashing away in a garage on a rainy day, with Fred Etsby in a corner handling the tape recorder. When I listen to The Second Coming, I imagine four dudes in separate rooms in an air-conditioned studio, with Tomas Skogsberg behind the glass at a mixing desk. Which thought is more provocative?


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