Written by: PP on 29/09/2021 19:36:10

If you ever listened to indie rockers Mae and thereafter accidentally stumbled upon guitarist Zach Gehring's other band Demons, you're in for quite a stylistic shock. Instead of soothing and smooth, they are discordant and gravelly, where their sophomore album "Privation" takes you towards Norma Jean's brilliant "Redeemer" rather than anything even remotely close to Mae material. Genre-wise, we're knee-deep in southern fried hardcore and metalcore, with nods towards the chaotic hardcore scene in the process.

It's a rowdy, gritty sound that thrives on its dirtily distorted, groovy guitar dynamics that feel purposefully loose to create that saloon-style chaotic atmosphere that you remember from the Norma Jean classic. You could just as well draw parallels to the early records by The Chariot, cult legends in Since By Man, the underrated Belgians from Rise And Fall, or even Every Time I Die, given how much dirty groove the expression is delivered with. The screamed vocals by Gehring in particular are noteworthy, deliver in a soaring, scratchy style that breaks and crackles in the atmosphere in perfect symbiosis with the instrumental landscape - his style is like a mix between Cory Brandan and Frank Carter during the Gallows debut album.

A song like "Hosanna" or "Placeless" could've easily been on "Redeemer", that's how close Demons are stylistically to Norma Jean's post-Josh Scogin work. It's an unpredictable sound that fires at you with all cylinders, leaving behind a chaotic expression, which nonetheless contains a red thread that barely holds it all together. Slick bass lines, plenty of horror chords, and other discordant elements provide the heavy elements, whilst the tempo ranges from the pedal-to-the-floor Converge style hardcore of "Ravage" to the faster edge of mid-tempo on "Play Acting Virtue". Its headbangable aggression combined with the unpolished, rough production leaves behind exactly the kind of gritty chaos that makes records like this so good. The result is an angular record of dirty grooves and scratchy screams that'll leave you wanting more.


Download: Placeless, Hosanna, Ravage, Full Stop, Lever
For the fans of: Norma Jean, The Chariot, Converge, Since By Man, Every Time I Die, Evra, Rise And Fall, '68, (old) Gallows
Listen: Facebook

Release date 30.04.2021
Spartan Records

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