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Demon King – The Final Tyranny

Demon King
The Final Tyranny
by Eric Moxon at 14 February 2021, 4:02 PM

DEMON KING are a “supergroup” composed of members of such Technical Death Metal acts as ENFOLD DARKNESS and INFERI, among many others. Jack Blackburn is on the drum kit, who has played in many amazing acts such as VITAL REMAINS, GUDVEIKI, GARDSGHASTR, ENTHEOGEN, SKAPHE, CHAOS MOON, and many more. Needless to say the talent is very high among this circle. The self-proclaimed “purveyors of blackened technical death metal” released their first EP on February 12th.

DEMON KING bring to the table extremely polished Technical Death Metal, with some tremolo noodling in minor keys. The production is rather contrived and overproduced; lots of sweep picking and shredding guitar solos, leaving almost no room for any sort of nuanced atmosphere. Kind of like if INFERI had a kvlt phase; producing a sound which would be like if THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER had a love child with Black Metal, but Black Metal became furious when the kid came out the colour of OBSCURA.  Each song is loaded with continuously shifting meters and technical wankery played through a squeaky clean guitar tone, mechanical blasting and wicked drum fills accompanying impressively typical Tech-Death bass lines. Any sort of Blackened element is almost non-existent, and shuffles awkwardly around through each song, transitioning from tech-shredding to feigned, short lived tremolo riffing.


Despite my level of ambivalent dispassion surrounding this release, I can expect this band to produce an immensely powerful live performance, although I might still be in the parking lot drinking beer for their set.

This EP opens up with hyper-speed blastbeats beneath a frosty tremolo riff before succumbing to some cliché tech riffs that send off some NECROPHAGIST vibes. This is short lived, before changing paths completely and entering a dark, jazzy interlude of dissonant chords, intricate basslines, and a few spoken words from Matt Brown before erupting back into that INFERI style of Melodic Technical Death Metal. A random synth shows up before Matt Brown starts saying some spoken word lyrics and screaming again; revolving right back to a ripping guitar solo and some tasty fills and techy riffs, concluding the song.

Tyrannical Reign of the Deceiver finishes and without the intro at the beginning of Invoking the Spirit of Chaos, it would be hard to tell the songs apart, as it may as well be an extension of track one. Both songs have extremely dynamic structural arrangements of varyingly different parts, maintaining the same vibe throughout. Jack Blackburn rips some gnarly fills throughout each song; the tom-toms in these fills sounds rather organic, leading me to believe this was recorded live and I would expect nothing less from lads with these sort of chops.

The name DEMON KING is a reference to some sort of anime trope and track 3, Transmutation of the Artilect is referring to an artificial intellect, powerful enough to outstrip its human creators in mental capability. Possibly a pale reference to The Artilect War, written by Hugo de Garis. I feel as though this theme fits the song well as it sounds almost mechanical in nature, as though an AI studied some metal and simulated Technical Blackened Death Metal. Lacking the depth and soul a real human would pour into the music. The solos shred impeccably as per usual, but I found they didn’t really transition well with the rest of the track.

The Watcher, Wreathed in Flame, concludes the album, clocking in at 5:12, it is the longest track on this EP. To be honest, this tracks opening riff may be the closest one to being vaguely Blackened Death. Much shredding ensues, as the simplicity of the blackened riff becomes possessed by Tech-Death basslines and little runs on the guitar before breaking down into some overtly Technical Melodic Death passages with copious tapping and sweep picking; baring an odd resemblance to Sonic the Hedgehog as he loses his rings. Matt Brown rips yet another solo over a melodic passage before speaking some spoken words overtop a spooky little interlude. Any sort of atmosphere this interlude gives off is short lived and overshadowed by another solo. Transitioning to a very rhythmical passage, somewhat akin to a breakdown. Rollicking double bass drums take a hold, before fading into nothing with some clean guitar noodling.

All in all, if you like stuff like ARCHSPIRE, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, INFERI, etc. this band is most likely right up your alley. Tremendously talented people involved in this project.

Songwriting: 4
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 1
Production: 4

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Tyrannical Reign Of The Deceiver
2. Invoking The Spirit Of Chaos
3. Transmutation Of The Artilect
4. The Watcher, Wreathed In Flame
Lineup:
Matt Brown – Vocals/Rhythm and lead guitar
Malcom Pugh – Bass
Jack Blackburn - Drums
Record Label: The Artisan Era
     


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