Friday, March 25, 2016

Demonstealer - This Burden Is Mine (2016)

I think it would be best to consider this one man Indian project with guest drumming by George Kollias of Nile as something of a modern/melodic progressive death metal. I'd say this, because the vocal approach utilized here reminds me very much of early Shadows Fall and later Jungle Rot – it is very lightened in the growls, which leaves frontman Demonstealer (Reptilian Death, Demonic Resurrection) with a very small amount of pebbles in his mouth. As far as the riffs are concerned, the work is heavily melodic and quite technical, but seems to offer much in the vein of clean vocal elements, which are delivered beautifully. The disc has a decidedly raw production value, but is audible enough that such a thing won't matter. The clean vocals really try for Garm/ICS Vortex territory, but seldom every reach that level of intrigue. But you'd better get used to the cleans, as you'll be hearing far more of them then you will the death metal sections. Even so, there's an obvious effort being put into practice here and a definite sign of passion.

Here, you get that kind of raw passion and energy that can't be filled with high quality gloss. There are no special effects here to aid the vocals, they come off just as realistically as you'd expect for a live performance, and much of it sounds like it's coming from a band whose members are all playing in the same room. Sometimes we have keyboard atmospheres, which help the performance just a little and would probably be a greater asset if they could be heard a little better. But the very fact that these guys are definitely taking cues from acts like Borknagar and Edge Of Sanity says something. Sure, there's a definite modernism to these cuts as I explained with the Shadows Fall earlier, but Demonstealer have a lot more to offer than that and I think we'll hear an even greater effort the next time around.

This Burden Is Mine is an awfully heavy record, but it's also a rather classy and clean one as well. You'll get a beating, but you're also going to get a slew of wonderful serenades. I don't think they're on the level as the (now defunct) Disillusion (GER) debut, Back To Times Of Splendour but this is definitely in the same vein I think and could become something just as great with time. I hear loads of promise from a young band like this, and I hope that I'm completely blown away the next time around. Even so, I'd still recommend that you give this one a listen, as you might really be able to get into it and there's a lot of meat to chew on here in lieu of song structure and length (in which these gentlemen truly excel). It's still good metal.

(9 Tracks, 57:00)


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