Demons of Old Metal

Demonic Chronicles - Volume III (EP)

Written by: EW on 05/03/2014 23:04:37

From the accompanying information to this album I cannot tell if Demons of Old Metal are one of those comedy acts that have never failed to be anything remotely decent. Their image is described in the press release as "unforgettable schlock-horror" but their chosen name...well, it sounds like a piss-take to me, a contrived stereotype of the kind chosen by those who are not fans of the genre, rather like that other comedic travesty, Steel Panther. Subsequent listens to "Demonic Chronicles - Volume III" highlight an unintentional comedy to the music, the sub-level heavy/thrash/groove metal template showcasing a desperate lack of songwriting and instrumental talent that makes an absolute mockery of some of the press quotes in the aforementioned press release. So, for shame Terrorizer ("Old school metal the way it was meant to be played") and Firebrand magazine (9/10 - "These guys are damned good!").

First impressions on opener "The Devil That You Know", once the faux-circus introduction has passed, are of a fairly standard modern heavy/power metal band which dials up the thrash a touch once the vocals of 'Tombstone Cowboy' join in. The tempo of the track is adequate, both in the main rhythms and the middle-8, but there is none of the ingenuity required to lift the band off the bottom rung of the ladder, that known as 'local support act only'. Take that middle section for example, it cries out for a solo but instead we get a period of uninteresting guitar pedal effects that are boring on record and, based on past experiences, boring on stage. From there on in the cocktail is a predominance of flat, sloppy palm-muted riffing set against a weak vocal performance which itself is compounded by a muddied production leaving both our Cowboy and his backing vocalists sitting apart from the music. His limited range in harmonising the extended 'buuuuurn''s hampers even the plodding mediocrity of "Ashes" but in "Hellbound" at least the bass-driven punkish tempo off the song fires life into the beast, coming off akin to Manowar's up-tempo and resounding "House of Death". In closer "The Children" some basic attempts at extreme metal tremolo riffing are sandwiched among a welter of chord driven fluff through the verses which head nowhere until a late worthy solo saves the track from total ignominy.

I'm very tempted to put down the lack of discernible direction found in this release to be borne from a lack of integration on behalf of the band members in what good heavy metal is today. I'm not talking about the kind of warm appreciation of Metallica, Machine Head and Slayer, as evidenced here, that so many easily ride upon, but a proper love of heavy metal, of the type that involves digging beneath the surface to find what makes the genre tick in it's many forms today, resulting in a passionate performance that simply cannot be faked. This argument serves for countless metal acts today and leaves me with this conclusion: why should I recommend a metal album to fellow diehard metal fans from a band who I am far from convinced are committed metal fans themselves?

Download: Hellbound
For The Fans Of: Evil Scarecrow, mainstream metal
Listen: Facebook

Release date 31.03.2014
Factory Music

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