Reviewed: January 2002
Released: 2002, Spikefarm Records
From the seemingly endless supply of great Finnish bands comes Demigod. These Finns play a style of metal on SHADOW MECHANICS that is hard to put a finger on. One minute it hints at death metal the next it could be more like an abrasive version of Metallica’s “black album.” One reason why it’s a little harder to put your finger on this bands exact style is because they have three people handling the vocals! We have Ali Leinio who is from the death metal band Adramelech, Tuomas Ala-Nissila from the band Mythem and Mika Haapasalo. Their three styles blend nicely and it’s not a huge contrast when the vocals switch as they complement each other nicely. The full line-up for the band is: Jussi Kiiski (guitars), Tero Laitinen (guitars), Sami Vesanto (bass), Seppo Taatila (drums), Ali Leinio (vocals), Tuomas Ala-Nissila (vocals), Mika Haapasalo (keyboards & vocals). Since fellow reviewer, Luxi, is also covering this album this month, I’ll leave the “history lesson” on the band’s origins to him. I have him to thank for turning me onto this band…so take it from both of us – check out Demigod!!!
The CD opens with the powerful track “My Blood, Your Blood.” They picked a great one as opener because it immediately made me crank it up and take notice. This one is one of the more death metal styled tracks with the growling vocals and riffing. “Silent With Earth” was another stand out track for me thanks to the very cool riffing. It’s clear that this is the strong point in terms of the guitars because there is very little in the way of rip your head off leads on the album. Most lead parts are melody lines and not all out solos. I think that is one thing that the band should incorporate into their songs. Another stand out track on SHADOW MECHANICS is “Derailed” beginning with an awesome riff, kind of Slayer styled with some very nice double kicks…nothing super technical mind you, just very tasty. The vocals switch between the aggressive and the “singing” voice on here. The song is a bit short – my only complaint. “Trail of Guilt” reminded me at times of Sentenced or a bit of Paradise Lost for it’s dark depressive sounds. This is not the band’s strong point in my opinion. But of course, that would depend on one’s personal tastes. The song does pick up ½ way in with some nice riffing that sounds more technical and there is actually a guitar solo in this one!! “Drifting” is another of the more death metal styled songs and again caught my ear. The end of the song drags on for quite some time though and they could have shortened that section down easily. The song that takes the cake in terms of brutality is “Gates Of Lamentation.” This one is the heaviest of the lot with some very fast guitar/drums parts. The closing song, “Burning” is also one of the heavier numbers. I guess the wanted to end the album with a bang. The only song on here that I felt like skipping over was “Crimson Tears.” This one is a slow and plodding track that didn’t do much for me at all. Perhaps it was the tempo? Or perhaps it’s just that the riffing was not too interesting on this one. It’s good this one doesn’t open the album because it would give a bad first impression.
Watch for this album in February 2002 on Spikefarm records. It should get this band the recognition they deserve. Until then, drop by the official Demigod homepage at www.demigod.xrs.net
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