Candlelight – Out Now.
Coming from a country as tradition-orientated as India and playing Extreme Metal cannot be an easy thing but this is exactly what the six members of the Blackened Death Metal outfit Demonic Resurrection decided to do fourteen years ago.
The process of building up a name for themselves was slow but, following the release of two interesting studio albums the Mumbai-based outfit managed to attract the attention of the UK-based label Candlelight Records with whose assistance they released their first ‘International’ album “The Return Of Darkness”.
Now, four years since the inaugural release of that working relationship saw the light of day, the two parties are ready to further strengthen their commercial ties through the release of studio album number four entitled “The Demon King”.
As far as music influences are concerned, the band’s insistence on combining fast repetitive riffs and bombastic blast beats with melodic piano and atmospheric keyboard passages brings justifiable as well as unavoidable comparisons with the likes of Cradle Of Filth and Dimmu Borgir.
Is that a bad thing? It would be if the band’s intentions were to become a tribute act, but that is certainly not the case here. While what we are presented with by the ten tracks on offer can hardly be described as original or unique-sounding, there is a clear attempt by the members of the band to find an identity of their own – a quest that, while not completed, has come dangerously close to fulfilment on this release.
One cannot help but admire the amount of hard work and imagination that have been put behind the creation of a song like “The Assassination” – a five and a half minute composition featuring bombastic drumming, flamboyant leads and a combination of brutal and clean vocal passages that not many bands are capable of presenting in a convincing manner.
Equally fast but much more commercial in nature, “Facing The Faceless” and “The Promise Of Never” will delight fans of modern day Dimmu Borgir, creating an interesting contrast with the more pompous and atmospheric-sounding “Death, Desolation And Despair”.
It is at that point that you will become introduced to the highlight of the album, the Morbid Angel influenced “The Demon King” whose heavy riffs and epic key tunes are an absolute aural delight.
The second half of the album is much more ‘classic sounding’ in nature as suggested by the Heavy Metal riffs of the duet “Architect Of Destruction” / “Trail Of Devastation” as well as the Thrash tempo of the cleverly-crafted “Shattered Equilibrium” which definitely stands out.
In “Even Gods Do Fall” we have another example of a thematically varied composition whose closing theme is nothing like its rhythmical drum-led opening while “The End Paradox” offers a short and simple moody/atmospheric ending to the album.
Providing a rating for an album like “The Demon King” is hardly what one would describe as an easy task.
While the musicianship on offer is of very high standards indeed, the ten compositions that have been created by these lads somewhat lack the flair and spark needed in order to make their fourth studio album more than simply an entertaining musical proposition.
I do hope that it will not be too long before this fine group presents us with something that’s impressive and unique-sounding as all the signs are clearly there.
Rating: ***1/2 (3.5/5.0)
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David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 4 July 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week.
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