Not too long ago Redefining Darkness Records digitally released a pair of demos (and launched pre-orders for forthcoming cassette tape editions), and I caught up with them last night. They set my hair on fire. After dousing the flames and getting a bit of fitful sleep I couldn’t resist the urge to let them set my head on fire again this morning. It’s not a good look, but the music sure woke me up in a big damned hurry, and felt just as good the second time around (and by “good” I mean “raw and riotous”).
The two demos — by the French/Dutch marauders in Horrid Apparition and the Cleveland hellfire arsonists in Exorcisme — make very good companions for each other. Both of them thrash like demons, with elements of punk in the mix and a char of blackening.
Evil Reigns is the name of the two-song debut demo by Horrid Apparition, whose two members are also involved in the old school black metal band DungeönHammer (their debut album Infernal Moon was released last year). Redefining Darkness introduces the new demo with references to the likes of Midnight and Hellripper.
The opener on the EP, “Baphomet“, kicks off with a bounding drum rhythm and riffing that writhes, whiplashes, and boils. The vocalist’s wild, throat-rupturing yells are matched by wild, flickering solos. When the drum rhythm changes to a less hard-pumping pace, the song becomes darker and more ominous, yet still demented. And indeed there’s a crazed feeling to the song as a whole, a sense of barely restrained chaos, even though the performances are tightly executed.
The demo’s title track is also fast and deranged, sinister and sulphurous, and damned electrifying. It delivers another bout of neck-wrecking drum rhythms, and this time the soloing sounds dismal and diseased. The band briefly ease up on the throttle in this song too, and create an even more pestilential feeling when they do so. When they shift into higher gear again, the music sounds ferociously ecstatic, and as the drums methodically hammer, the riffing seethes and darts like a demon horde engaged in a livid feeding frenzy.
This EP is available for download now, and it looks like tape orders will be filled on August 30.
Like Horrid Apparition, Exorcisme is a two-man wrecking crew, and Visceral Lifestyles is also a two-song debut — and a scorching experience.
A fast, skull-snapping, snare-driven propulsive drive pushed “Enter the Flames” into high gear, and there’s a high, frenzied, seething quality to the riffing. The caustic, reverbed vocals sound barbarically nasty and as unhinged as hell. The song flies like a horde of bats loosed from the gates of Hell, whipped to greater frenzies by a maniacally swirling, swooping, and diving solo.
An electrifying, fret melting, fast-skittering riff kicks off “Behold Eternity“, backed by battering percussion, and then the song surges into a mad gallop and a flurry of quick-slashing chords. The larynx-lacerating vocals again sound enraged past the point of madness. It’s a potent head-mover of a song, with the piston-driven drive punctuated by gut-punching drum blows, and freakish, flame-throwing solos.
“Pure, uncompromising filth-laden Metal Punk from Cleveland” — that’s how Redefining Darkness describes this uncompromising and unholy attack. Once again, it’s available for digital download now, and tape orders can also be placed via the link below.