Tuesday, 19 July 2011
Demonical - Death Infernal
I've honestly been waiting for this album more than for anything else, as two previous Demonical LPs, "Servants of the Unlight" and "Hellsworn" were absoFUCKINlutely killer. Already since my first listening session with Demonical (few years ago when I got their demo), they became one of my favourite death metal bands of nowadays and so there was no hesitation whether I should or should not buy their third LP, "Death Infernal", again released on vinyl by Cyclone Empire. And here it is... Packed in cool artwork with the crucified one, hanging on the cross on the hill of skulls, from the start it looks grim and promising.
Music wise I didn't expect anything more than I already know from the previous albums. Let's be honest, once the band finds their formula and myself, as a listener, I like it a lot, I don't expect the band to take too extreme steps into other directions. Of course it's also bad if the band cannot find anything more in their style and explored it to death, starting to repeat themselves, but I wasn't worried about that happening to "Death Infernal". There are still many killer riffs and songs to be composed in the Swedish death metal style and Demonical surely is one of those bands that are able do that in the best possible way.
Definitely there are songs on "Death Infernal", which are played in classic Demonical way - straight forward, aggressive as hell, relentless and killer, heavily influenced by the cult Swedish albums, like "Left Hand Path", only played in much more furious way. Such anthems as "The Arrival of Armageddon", "Ravenous", "Through Hellfire" are exactly like that and well, if you think that your death metal should be pure fast riff slaughter, these songs are for you. I think each of them could easily have been taken from "Hellsworn" LP, as they're played in the recognisable Demonical style totally. But they're great, I think "Ravenous" especially is one of the best songs this band has recorded so far, so respect!
Meanwhile "Death Infernal" offers also songs, which are slightly different to the previous albums. Oh, don't think the band started to wimp out, no way! All songs are Swedish death metal, although few of them bring some new kind of riffing for the band. Three tracks on "Death Infernal" are so melodic and catchy that one may think they've been played by Amon Amarth, really, and honestly, at the first listen I was very surprised by that, but also not totally convinced and sure if I like it or not. I rather prefer Demonical playing more aggressive and fast tunes, but with every next listen of "Death Infernal" I started to find songs like "All Shall Perish (The Final Liberation)" more and more enjoyable. Man, they're really catchy and infectious, with the scream-with-me kind of choruses, etc... I think the coolest song is the so called bonus track (which I have no idea why is it called like that, as it's normal part of the album), titled "From Northern Shores". Epic Amon Amarth-esque melodic riffing is brilliant here and even the lyrics I think are about the vikings: "...From Northern shores, fearless soldiers breathing war. From Northern shores mercy shown nevermore...". Cool!
I must also say a word about song titled "Darkness Awaits", which reminds me Dismember a lot and its final melodic instrumental fragment is I think one of the best minutes of the entire album, I really love it and such melodic riffing on the Swedish death metal albums are always highlights and special. From the other hand "Slain Warriors" seems to be rather mediocre song, it's definitely the weakest part of the LP and it's the first time I have a feeling of listening to filler instead of a killer.
Even though I have "Death Infernal" on LP, I also had to download the mp3 version of it, as I was really intrigued by how did Demonical play the cult Emperor song, "Night of the Graveless Souls", which unfortunately didn't end up on the vinyl. I must say I'm not totally convinced if it was good choice for the cover, as the raw black metal differs too much to Swedish death metal, above all in the production standards. Raw and filthy black metal sounds primitive and obscure, but thanks to that it has the charm and special feeling. And then if you take song like "Night of the Graveless Souls" and give it polished death metal production, I think it loses all the magic. And that's the case here... Even though it's OK and Demonical tried to play it their own way, I can't say I really like that cover. Definitely it doesn't have the atmosphere of the original and that's the main reason why I don't think it was good choice. Try Sodom or whatever else next time, but leave raw black metal.
Uffff... And here it is. "Death Infernal", great album, one on which I couldn't complain much. I love it: the production, razor sharp riffs, which are cutting without remorse, fantastic vocals from Sverker... It was worth waiting for this album and surely Demonical didn't disappoint.
Best songs: "Ravenous", "From Northern Shores", "The Arrival of Armageddon", "Darkness Awaits"
Final rate: 90 / 100