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Demiricous - One (Hellbound) Review

by Mark Hensch

Maybe it's just me, but One (Hellbound) by Demiricous is a tough disc to accurately rate and review. Why? On the one hand, this is one of the best true thrash albums I've heard in years; Demiricous play wicked metal worthy of such classic bands as Exodus, Testament, or Slayer. In fact, few recent bands are really playing music in this vein nowadays. Despite all this, Demiricous bring virtually no new ideas to the table; literally everything on One (Hellbound) is amazing but sounds like another band could have played it first. To wit, some passages on this disc sound so similar to works by previous bands you'd swear that Demiricous may have pillaged them. Whenever I find myself in a tough quandary like this for a mere CD review, I usually try to just allow the music to speak for itself. With that in mind, here we go!

To get things rolling, "Repentagram" establishes the Demiricous credo right away; pure f***ing thrash! There's nothing but strong riffs, frantic drumming, and harsh vocal rasps. Throw in a massive guitar solo and what else could a thrash monger want? The answer is very little, and this is a perfect start to this kind of album. "Withdrawal Divine" features nearly-blasting drums that transition into wicked, evil thrash. This is a fantastic track, but I can't bring myself to love it entirely for one key reason. Following a beastly guitar solo, a guitar bridge ensues which apes the infamous intro to Slayer's "Reign in Blood." Another insane solo saves some face, but the note order is so close to Slayer's I cannot help but point such a questionable discrepancy out.

"Vagrant Idol" meanwhile is a straightforward gut stomping. Around this time I really started to dig the deranged drumming or lack of popular s*** like melodic hooks or "tough guy" HXC breakdowns. This is vintage thrash thru-and-thru.

"Beyond Obscene" is a mid-tempo monster and a real necksnapper. Something about that slaying chorus reminded me of Morbid Angel perhaps, and in a good way. Another strong number there.

"Perfection and the Infection" is a chugging, unholy double-bass massacre with shimmy-shake bass lines and some tight riffing. The chorus vaguely recalls earlier Shadows Fall, and again it seems a bit too similar to be mere coincidence.

"Heathen Up (Out For Blood)" is a thrash assault so full of (meat) hooks you'll swear you're at the butcher's picking up some fresh ground beef. This sick puppy will be stuck in your head for days like an enemy's pickaxe.

"Cheat the Leader" has blasting drum rolls and headbanging riffs that collide like two bullet trains running in opposite directions, while follow-up "Matador" is probably the best on the entire CD. Pestilent clouds of blackened thrash groove your face into pulp as bestial solos, gang-choruses and multiple temple shifts kick your ribs into piecemeal. A real mofo!

"To Serve is To Destroy" is a muscular wall of demented groove, and "Ironsides" is a hail of gunfire worthy of Slayer's punk covers album Undisputed Attitude. "I Am Weapon" is a behemoth of a song that has some really insane vocal tics, and is just straight thrash. Closer "Hellraisers" is a killer that would wind up some gargantuan circle pits and it all ends you breathless and wanting more from the CD.

Despite the fact I mentioned some portions of possible stealing by Demiricous, in no way do I intend to belittle or knock this stunning band. This is the real deal; purist extreme thrash made by thrashers for thrashers. If that hasn't already gotten you to throw up the horns with joy, don't bother with this one. This is for people who like straightforward Slayer thrash and not much else.

1. Repentagram
2. Withdrawal Divine
3. Vagrant Idol
4. Beyond Obscene
5. Perfection and the Infection
6. Heathen Up (Out for Blood)
7. Cheat the Leader
8. Matador
9. To Serve is to Destroy
10. Ironsides
11. I Am Weapon
12. Hellraisers

CD Info and Links

Demiricous - One (Hellbound)

Label:Metal Blade Records

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