Slay The Shepherd

Rise Of The Antagonist EP

Written by: PP on 17/07/2011 03:43:54

I'll readily admit to a healthy amount of skepticism to the debut demo by Silkeborg/Århus combo Slay The Shepherd, whose ranks include an Iraqi dude and a guy from Norway aside from your usual Danish peeps. Usually when we receive a demo by a Danish metal band with artwork as awful as the one for "Rise Of The Antagonist", the record sucks so much dick that it's a pain having to suffer through it objectively enough times to muster up a review. I won't call out any names, but regulars will know which bands I'm talking about. So keeping that in mind, Slay The Shepherd were already facing an uphill battle against my inherent bias; a battle, in which they gloriously triumphed my narrow-mindedness by proving they're one of the few metal bands without a recording contract worthy of keeping an eye on as they progress as musicians and as a collective.

That's because their demo successfully avoids sounding like all the other underground Danish metal out there. The production isn't echoing in a vain effort to making it sound as brutal and heavy as humanly possible, and likewise the composition has been focused on writing actual songs instead of boring chug-fests and monotonous blast-beat hell-type of tracks. Sure, their expression might not exactly be original considering its tendencies to lean towards the heavier end of metalcore (think Lamb Of God style but without the southern groove), and some metal heads might not be happy about their strong focus on lead guitar melody that isn't too far off older All That Remains material, but don't tell me that a song like "Antagonist" doesn't sound impressive for a band that doesn't even have a full year behind them. After all, we've heard much worse from bands with far more experience than these guys.

That being said, "Rise Of The Antagonist" doesn't yet demonstrate a fully developed band ready to encounter the metal scene at large. The songs have some potency in their melodies, but it is clear that the band still needs to develop as songwriters, where they'll develop more of an identity as a group. Hopefully, that'll make their future material a little more focused, and then we're starting to talk about a band with some serious potential. For now, they are merely showing promising qualities which is more than can be said about 90% of Danish metal demos we receive here at Rockfreaks.net.

Download: Antagonist
For the fans of: Danish metal toying with metalcore
Listen: Myspace

Release date April 2011
Self-Released

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