Monday, February 04, 2008



When Demiricous debuted with ONE (HELLBOUND), it was a big "What the fuck?" moment for metal fans. Here was a new thrash band, 20 years after thrash arrived and vanished like a spectacular, beautiful butterfly. Here was a genre of music that was abandoned almost as soon as it was perfected — and the world has been poorer since.

But the question was, was Demiricous offering anything new or had they just solved the riddle of how to make a mathematically arrived replication of greatness? And were there really even enough thrash albums in existence to deny the inclusion of another?

My jury of one was out. We could not come up with a proper judgement. But we were going to watch out for this band and see what happened next. Would they go industrial like Slayer? Would they go Nu-Metal like Sepultura? Head into Death Metal? Pick up the new wave of Groove Metal? Turn to seed like Metallica?

No. They would return one year later with TWO (POVERTY), a nearly perfect thrash album. Two (Poverty) seems to exist in a world where Motorhead's Ace of Spades came out, followed by Venom's Black Metal, followed by Reign in Blood, Master of Puppets and Beneath the Remains and then, finally, TWO (POVERTY). Like it's the best album of 1987 suddenly unearthed and rediscovered in 2007.

It's all here. The pounding double drums, the constant rhythm, the sudden breaks and switches into lightning fast, cough-and-you-miss-them blazing guitar solos, the howling vocals shouting anthems of individuality, raging against hypocrisy, screaming to shut out the noise, talking about the devil like he's the only enemy cooler than god, embracing agressive apathy and nihilsm! And then there's the song titles: Expression of Immunity to God, Knuckle Eye, Leprosaic Belief, Acid Lung, Stress Fetish! ARGHHHHH!!!!!!!! YEAH!

Fucking hell, I'm 15 again.

Does the band have a distictive voice? Yeah. They don't do the lightning changes Slayer was famous for. There isn't a lot of mixing South American rhythms like Sepultura. There really aren't many nods to prog rock like Metallica. They don't indulge in speed metal and British new wave like Megadeath. They certainly don't have the playfulness of Anthrax.

They lean a bit on the sludgier, maybe even grungier side of the tracks (Blackish Silver could almost be a Soundgarden/Alice in Chains instrumental duel). They want to catch you in the rhythm, in the pattern of the bass-driven hooks. The combination is what differentiates them the most from Slayer (who really are the dominant influence on the album). But this is also an album just for the thrash heads — like a special gift. There aren't any singles, no real vocal hooks to sing along with. Just pure thrash.

Now, there was one test I had to perform with the album. How would it sound if I ran up to my room and blasted it as loud as possible so I didn't have to listen to my parents yelling at me. Would it drown noise? Would it be cathartic? Could I swing my hair in perfect circles to it?!

Well, hair and parents aren't what or where they used to be these days, but I do have annoying neighbors. A few days ago, my neighbors dogs started barking at a dog outside our building. The three were going nuts. My neighbors were out, but came home to the barkathon. They started barking at the dogs, inciting even more barking.

This went on for at least 15 minutes.

On went the Demiricous, and holy fucking hell was it the greatest relief ever.



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