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Demon Eye - Prophecies and Lies Award winner

Demon Eye
Prophecies and Lies
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 12 September 2017, 10:44 AM

I’m a sucker for Doom Metal—always have been, always will be.  Thick riffs, old school sound…what isn’t like to like about this genre?  It is actually a genre that has a lot of variety and its own sub genres—this review focuses on DEMON EYE, a traditional doom metal outfit from Raleigh, NC, and their third album “Prophecies and Lies.”  You know the type I’m talking about here—a doom band with influences from the originals of the late 60 and early 70s, such as DEEP PURPLE (hence the band’s name, taken from a DEEP PURPLE SONG) and BLACK SABBATH.  Yes, I have heard it all before and so has anyone reading this.  However, and I’ve said this before and I will continue to say it: its not what you play that matters but how you do it.  There are very few things new under the sun, especially in metal and its one billion different styles and sub genres, but DEMON EYE play with such skill and conviction that it doesn’t really matter.

DEMON EYE really focuses on the more hard rock side of doom than the dark, depressive atmosphere of some of the others.  I can definitely imagine a bunch of people sitting around smoking dope while jamming this album but instead of getting high and looking morose in front of a crude pentagram drawing, they are more chilled back and relaxed.  Opening track, “The Waters and the Wild,” really sets the tone for the entire album, which doesn’t have a bad track on it.  The beginning riffs, courtesy of Burlison and Sugg, are thick, groovy, and undeniably catchy. I really love the galloping riff they switch to during the verses.  Speaking of the lyrics, they are belted about by Sugg, who is the poster child for how a vocalist of this genre should sound.  He doesn’t sound stoned or too far away or even too shrill; he has an even and easy to understand voice that goes perfect with the music.

The crystal clear production allows for each instrument to shine.  While rocking out, I could easily pick out any of the instruments and follow along with ease and without any strain on my ears.Walz’s bass, which runs the gauntlet from muddy to melodic, is the most monstrous part of the band and he gives the album the heavy tone it needs to compensate for the production Eagen’s drums shine on every track because of his accurate, tight, crisp hits and his ability to stay with the song while also being adventurous.  “Spider’s Eye,” features a section at 2:39 where the riffs sort of slow and wind down a bit while Eagen cascades across his kit, giving both a hypnotic and slight chaotic vibe to the song’s ending.

As I went through the album, some other influences, such as PRIEST and MAIDEN begun to shine through.  Several parts of “Vagabond,” such as the beginning, recall the best melodic moments of the NWOBHM movement and even some of the playful song writing of PRIEST’s more fun moments.  After the 3:37 mark of “Morning’s Son,” the seven minute long epic ends with the entire last half being instrumental and it shows how emotionally charged and passionate the band is.  The riffs, drumming, lead guitar…everything from this mark all the way to the end is one of the best example of traditional doom metal I’ve heard in some time. If anyone were to question my love of doom, or even ask for an example, I would strongly consider throwing this one their way.  One of the best doom metal albums of the year.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Waters and the Wild
2. In The Spider’s Eye
3. Redeemer
4. Kismet
5. Infinite Regress
6. Dying For It
7. Politic Divine
8. Power of One
9. Vagabond
10. Prophecies and Lies
11. Morning’s Son
Lineup:
Bill Eagen – Drums, Vocals
Paul Walz - Bass
Larry Burlison – Guitars (Lead)
Erik Sugg – Guitars, Vocals
Record Label: Soulseller Records
     


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Edited 22 September 2017
 

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