(We present DGR’s review of the latest album by Demonical, which is out now via Agonia Records.)
Considering the various skulls, demon bones, and other awesome metal ephemera in the album art gracing the front of Demonical’s Chaos Manifesto it is probably a strange situation to open with the idea that, with this album, the comfort-food nature of the Swede-death genre and its effects on your reviewer have been firmly established. There’s something near instantly recognizable in the genre’s chosen pacings and structures that feels immediately familiar and speaks to the lizard segment of one’s brain, so much so that just about any band who embrace the mid-to-high tempo thudding nature of the music are bound to at least put on a decent live show, and, with a genre whose foundations and blueprints are so solidly in place at this point, those who merely follow it with a checklist can at least kick out a decent disc.
Which just makes it all the more difficult for a group to stand out from the pack or, given their aims, to make an album that at least ranks as a “solid good time”. Demonical, a group born from the hiatus of another Swedish purveyor of mid-tempo thudding death metal (Centinex) and now with a lineup that includes a pretty healthy chunk of the newly reactivated version of the aforementioned group — three of whose members were made official in 2017 — have released what could be considered the most straight-shooting Swede-death album of 2018 so far. In Chaos Manifesto there are no pretenses, no real attempts at breaking genre conventions, just a solid eight-track, thirty-six-minute slab of death metal that gives metal fans across the variety of the circle-headbanging genres something to salivate over.