March 8, 2014

Dave's Demo Roundup Vol I.

By Dave Schalek.
By Dave Schalek.

Very little is known about Pennsylvania’s Dumal, a black metal outfit playing semi-melodic, war themed black metal with a crunchy guitar tone and rasped vocals. The drums sound a bit weak, but the catchy, riffy guitar playing more than makes up for the relative lack of depth. This four song demo was originally released on cassette, although calling a release limited to 10 copies hardly constitutes a “release”. Well, that’s what Bandcamp (and this site, for that matter) is for. Recommended.

Cold, barren, and grim, Italy’s Orhorho play stripped down, rather thin black metal with a rotten atmosphere, deep vocals, and a fuzzy background anchored by an audible bass. This three song demo of untitled tracks is thematically based around an ancient African occult princess is the debut from Orhorho, a duo with connections to Gottesmorder. Orhorho vary their delivery with tempo changes, moments of hypnotic drone, and surprisingly dynamic songwriting. A few tribal elements creep into the third song, a standout track, and Orhorho are worthy of investigation.

New Zealand has a way of churning out rancid blackened death metal with bands such as Diocletian, Witchrist, and Heresiarch leading the way. Add Trepanation to that list with Hideous Black Abyss, their debut demo. Consisting of very powerful blackened death metal with muted, high pitched rasps, Hideous Black Abyss nicely straddles the line between black metal, death metal, and even grindcore and crust with a very fast approach and short songs. A swirl of riffs and blastbeats are backed up by a very powerful, bottom heavy production that gives the whole affair a thick layer of miasma.

Cover art by Jose Gabriel Angeles

Oakland’s Caffa are treading the ground laid down by Hellhammer and early Sodom, a standard that’s now held high by bands such as Coffins, Teitanblood, and countless others. Caffa combine the deep heaviness of their influences with some dynamic songwriting and a few tempo changes, enough to distinguish themselves from countless other bands. Released by Transylvanian Tapes, Day of Disease is deeply heavy and is sure to satisfy fans of the early, primitive days of death metal.

Day of Disease from Caffa immediately led me to browse a few other releases from Transylvanian Tapes, and this demo from Fiend immediately stood out. An all out blast of thick, heavy grindcore with guttural vocals, this seven song demo clocks in at about seven minutes and demands multiple hits of the repeat button. Nihilistic and caustic, Fiend, from Fresno, California, should be the next big thing if there’s any justice in the world. Wow.

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