We’re back at the Demos from the Vault. This time, we go with another broad mixture of music from all over the world, ranging from Black Metal to Hardcore and back. If you are still wildly digging for demos, make sure to find your picks in this list.
Bloodswamp – Daylight Illuminates A Miserable World (Black Metal/Sludge/Drone – UK)
As a lover of astronomy and science fiction, I really like to listen to atmospheric albums, in which exactly these aesthetics are used and often use this to support my reading. With the British band BLOODSWAMP I was attracted by the awesome artwork of DAYLIGHT ILLUMINATES A MISERABLE WORLD and I was practically condemned to listen to them and hoped to dive into faraway places with their sounds. The quartet crosses atmospheric Black Metal parts with somewhat psychedelic sounding Doom. I like the slow, melody-loaded passages much better, though, than the sometimes a bit static sounding blastbeat outbreaks. Even if the songs are quite complex and demanding especially for a debut it bumps a bit, mainly in the tempo changes and due to relatively moderate production, the intended atmosphere can’t develop completely. Even if this sounds like a lot of criticism you have to keep in mind that this is the first output of BLOODSWAMP which gives you an idea in what direction it will go in the future.
Misery Bloc – Leaking Turmoil (Hardcore – USA)
If you’re into blastbeat hardcore, with elements of power violence and grindcore, who brings along evil moshparts and breaks so that you’d like to demolish your own interior at home, you can’t miss MISERY BLOC. This new combo from the States made me so angry with their hard sound on their debut LEAKING TURMOIL that I was exhausted after just 5 runs. Although you can make various comparisons with bigger representatives of the scene, like CANDY, BAPTISTS or HELL TO PAY and also a bit of REGULATE, the band still manages to bring in their very own touch. A special highlight are, besides the beating drums, the tempo changes, which are characterized by many-sided but always heavy done guitar playing. The vocals are solid and extremely frustrated, but it may take a little more work on the individuality of the voice to fit more into the instrumental sound. MISERY BLOC are definitely a band to keep an eye on as a hardcore fan and deliver a remarkable debut with LEAKING TURMOIL, which will probably soon be even more popular.
Symbiotic Growth – Symbiotic Growth (Progressive Death Metal – USA)
On the one hand you get whipped towards brutal, slightly dissonant Death Metal, while on the other hand you are treated to extended atmospheric passages that bring the dystopian setting to the front. In most parts you are being shouted at with sinister growls, while the progressive, melodic passages of SYMBIOTIC GROWTH are based on clean vocals, which is really ok in itself, but should definitely sound more distinctive in the future – or be left out altogether. There’s absolutely nothing to complain about on the instruments, the drumming blasts evil and adapts perfectly to the interlaced songs and their tempo changes, while you can’t get enough of the riffs and melodies. Even the production is right in my opinion, as it doesn’t seem too raw and gives the instruments enough space to unfold, but also doesn’t sound as polished as many other progressive bands. SYMBIOTIC GROWTH has been one of the biggest surprises for me so far in 2020, because I have been looking for exciting Prog. Death Records. You like DEATH, GORGUTS and the first two TRIBULATION albums? Then take three quarters of an hour and let yourself be carried away into this dark oppressive vision of the future, that SYMBIOTIC GROWTH creates with their Death Metal in an impressive way.
Sterile – Disappointment (Nwobhc/Noise Punk – UK)
The English hardcore punk scene has been spitting out great bands on a regular basis since its birth and has done so again with STERILE. Members of the new hardcore punk bands are also active with MASTERMIND, THE ANNIHILATED or FLACCID (some super cool Psychedelic Hardcore by the way) and therefore no new faces in the UKHC. With DISAPPOINTMENT the Brits have now released their first musical output and show where they want to go. Even though the sound is a complete demo production and sounds super raw, it’s fun to dive into this noisy hardcore. An individual touch, with which STERILE stand out from most of the other current UKHC bands is delivered by dreamy guitar playing, which surprisingly can merge wonderfully with the fast and rough punk. This 4-track demo makes me really hope that STERILE will remain active and will soon give us some better recordings to which you can rage out properly.
Spirit Flaw – Demo 2020 (Crossover Hardcore – USA)
With SPIRIT FLAW I came across a crossover hardcore demo that doesn’t sound one hundred percent round yet, but at the same time has parts that can get stuck in your ear. In general, the songs consist of groovy Hardcore Punk with a lot of Metal riffing and scratchy, catchy vocals. Sure, SPIRIT FLAW don’t reinvent the wheel with their sound, but if you like mosh and sing-along parts, you should definitely check out the demo and make up your own mind. The first two songs after the cool intro are a bit weak in my opinion and are not as strong as the last two tracks of the record, where the Americans are throwing out their most violent breaks and angriest lyrics. As mentioned, there is still some space left for more, but what has been delivered makes you enjoy it and you can listen to it 5 times in a row without being bored. But I’m also pretty sure that SPIRIT FLAW still sounds a bit too hardcore for metalheads, especially because of the not so deep voice. But let’s wait and see how the band presents itself on upcoming records and let the demo fuel us until then.