Saturday, December 17, 2005

Demiricous - One

Demiricous are a band whose nascency was conjured deep within the damp, dark streets of Indianapolis back in 2001. Following an initial self-released EP and some demos, they were signed onto the legendary Metal Blade Records label (ya know, where little known bands such as Metallica and Slayer began their careers). One is their debut full-length album, recorded in June 2005, and is due out on 24th January 2006.

The press release for the album describes the band as a “mixture of pure American metal and thrash”. I think the band’s website puts it more aptly when it says “death/thrash metal band”. It certainly is a mix, the musical framework is undeniably thrash with some occasional death metal-esque riffing, but the vocals are skewed more towards a death metal variety. In fact the first band that leapt to my head upon my first listen was death-thrashers The Haunted; those tremolo picked riffs in ‘Repentagram’ are very reminiscent of the Swedish assemblage.

The band are attempting to produce a no-frills, straight ahead piece of heavy and raging metal. As far as that concerns, it does what the tin proclaims, there ain’t no frills to be found here, it’s heavy and raw. Chuggathon riffery writhe spasmodically against a solid and energetic rhythm section. Scott ‘Fuckin’ Wilson deserves some kudos for his picking-hand stamina on the rhythm guitar duties, for this is indeed some fast shit, the sort of blurred-hand work to admire the jowls out of.

Now, I hate to have to get all negative but it’s only necessary. Let me once again recall the sacred words of the press release (for it is a bible of sorts, if looked at from the correct angle): “One without doubt delivers all the rage, hooks, and solos metal heads have been waiting for.” It is respectable that the band is trying to hark back to what they dig from back in the day, the day of the heyday of thrash to be precise, but I’m sorry lads there’s jack shit all hookery on this here. The simple fact is that it may be raged up in a cauldron of The Hulk and Mr Furious from Mystery Men, but so much of it is dull and generic. True, this music doesn’t require catchiness and hooks and melodies to be great, just look at Slayer’s seminal Reign In Blood, fuck all melody there but yet it is revered for it’s brilliance by many, including me. But Reign In Blood has the kind of invention and inspired musical meandering that is sorely missing from this release. So many of the songs plod along with one fast low-E bashed riff followed by another series of power chords chugged up in a furor of palm-mute. It’s boring, and only makes me want to wrench Dark Angel’s Darkness Descends from the CD collection to remind myself how rip-your-face-off thrash metal can really be done.

A special mention to the lyrics, which are particularly bad. Most of the songs concern the standard negative things, killing, and fighting, and hurting, and yadda yadda. It nevertheless does provide some wonderful moments of comedic inadvertency, such as “Badge the worm” from ‘Matador’. Badge the worm!!! Haha, don’t know what the fuck that means but I’m sure it’s a reference to Hegel, or St Augustine.

It does have some decent moments (two minutes into ‘Ironsides’ presents a rare moment of riff excellence, unfortunatly no mention of Michael or Robert), and I’d hypothesize that were I at a live show of Demiricous I’d have a good time, but being at a live show and sitting solitary in your room listening to a CD are completely different environments. You could probably take the best bits from the twelve tracks on One and perhaps end up with three or four decent songs, but everything is spread way too thin, unoriginal and monotonous are the unfortunate labels to be lashed upon the album.


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