What’s that? You’re not supposed to review demos? All hail the great traditionalists who put that idea in motion! Moving on…
Here at The Metal, we don’t give a flying fuck if you only have a demo out. If we like your shit and we think other people should hear it, they read about it here, regardless of what you have laid down in the studio. The only time we won’t pump a demo we are super psyched about, is if the recording quality is so god awful, we can’t discern what the fuck is going on. Once again, this is not the case, thanks to Tony Lorenzo at The Loud Table and new Buffalo death metal band, Nethergrave.
Cody Bollinger, resident photographer here at The Metal and of Coming of Rage Productions, slipped me his band, Nethergrave’s 3 song demo today and to put it mildly, I’m a little upset it took so long to reach my ears. But other than that, I’d say Buffalonian death metallers need to watch the fuck out.
The demo kicks off with “Out of Skin”, a completely goretastic rendition of a textbook death metal track, with ominous doom intro, blast beat littered progression and insane gutturals to boot. But what death metal effort would be complete without some serious low end tremolo riffs from the guitars, along with some sludgy chord knockout punches. Thankfully, this track has all of that, and despite the “home studio” feel of the demo overall, you can still feel a sense of completion and accomplishment, since after all, it’s a fucking death metal demo.
This demo also has some uniquely haunting screams on it. I’m talking about the sustained evil cries of a demented plastic surgeon who likes sewing people’s ears to their anuses or some such nonsense. There’s also an awesome amount of chorus on these vocals- very black metal in my opinion; perhaps unintentionally, perhaps not. The next song is called “First Contact Orion” and it has more of that “bad news” vibe you’re craving by this point in the listen. If I had to describe the riffs on this track, along with the drums, I’d say it’s more “gallopy” than the first tune. Actually, it kind of reminds me a lot of The Black Dahlia Murder’s Miasma mixed with some Cattle Decapitation, because why the hell wouldn’t you mix those two sounds? “First Contact Orion” also gets a little more higher end and dissonant. It’s the kind of stuff that makes you wish Converge had just gone full death metal and said fuck the full bore dissonant chord trend setting.
The 3rd and final track is called “Annihilator” and the opening riff is badass. The whole song is really no nonsense, actually. There’s no calm before the final storm here. “Annihilator” ALMOST has a breakdown early on, but it goes somewhere a bit more pleasant for the traditional death metal fan. You’ll hear what I mean after your listen. This song also gets a little more tech death than the first two, with more dissonance, off time sounding slides, cool blasts and fills and fantastic vocal layering. The vocal range is killer throughout.
The songs are a little short and anticlimactic at times. I guess I’m just looking for a bigger bite out of this band’s intentions next time around. But that’s what demos are supposed to do- build anticipation for that first EP or LP.
Definitely pick up this demo at your next/first opportunity, which will be a show at Rockin’ Buffalo Saloon on September 8, with Hobbs’ Angel of Death. You can check out that event here.
Take it easy guys, and stay tuned for our review of the debut demo/EP from Varices!