Reviewed: March 2021
Released: 2021, The Artisan Era
Reviewer: Demitri Levantis
In all the years I have been listening to black metal, one term that crops up a lot to describe some of the more technically advanced bands is “Norsecore.” This is a band that exhibits all the strength, agility and precision you’d find in a grindcore or tech-death band but keep it at an overwhelming level of stamina to last over an hour-long album. Said bands include 1349, Dark Funeral and the like.
It was this sort of feeling that came to mind when I was sent the debut EP “The Final Tyranny” by the American band Demon King – a name one would more associate with doom metal, but you can’t judge a band simply by that.
When I put this record on, I had to say I was impressed at the howling intensity of “Tyrannical Reign of the Deceiver”, which combines the technicalities of tech-death and the dark, lo-fi rancidity of black metal. As it progressed, there seemed to be an exhibition of agility afoot, which I soon felt was a darkened form of the most educated metal on the market.
Speaking as a drummer, I felt percussionist Jack Blackburn had taken the jaw dropping agility of George Kollias and combined it with the extreme stamina of Frost to amaze me in how he kept the barrage of notes going whilst Matt Brown screams and howls like a freshly butchered zombie over some very complex guitar riffs.
Though this critic must point out that a low attention span is not ideal for technical extreme metal, and having loved this 17 minute EP without losing concentration, one must remember that a full length album might not bode as well when it comes to this band’s style.
Demon King have wowed me with this debut release, however it will be interesting to see in the future when they grace the stage again with a full length record. Will they be able to hold the low attention span fans like myself in the palms of their hands like the best in “norsecore,” or fall into the easily confusing depths of a great deal of tech-death? I’ll leave you to be the judge of that.
Excellent work from this Tennessee outfit; add Demon King to your collection if you want more technically advanced black and death metal in your collection.