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Demoniac – So It Goes

Demoniac
So It Goes
by Kenn Staub at 14 January 2021, 4:59 PM

DEMONIAC was formed in 2011 for the express purpose of playing fast and ferocious thrash metal. In December 2020 the quartet from Limache (Chile) released their second full-length studio album, “So It Goes.” On “So It GoesDEMONIAC challenge the standard conceptualization of thrash, incorporating both traditional elements of the genre with more experimental components. The result is a wild ride, full of musical twists and turns, from the opening three-parter “RSV – Fools Coincidence – Testgo” to the 20 minute curtain jerker, “So It Goes.”

Vocalist Javier Ortiz sings the first two parts of “RSV – Fools Coincidence – Tesitgo” in English and the third in Spanish. It’s not just the vocals that vary over the course of the track, but the musical sensibility also undergoes a transformation. The song comes roaring out of the gate, a very dense, aggressively driving, hardcore-styled blast of thrash. After the initial thrust of at times discordant aggression, Ortiz and company have seemingly spent their bile and the track slows, becoming less cluttered and easier to appreciate because of its cleanness. The guitar playing is exemplary, at times thrash and at others taking on tones of Chilean folk.

The Trap” is the shortest track on the album. It begins with a light piano, bassy elements over top. The band soon joins and the tempo kicks up, the playing more rhythmic and typically thrash-like than on the opener. “The Trap” is an appropriate name for the song, as DEMONIAC, after the overt displays of power of the first two numbers, is now ready to spring a major swerve on the listener.

Starting with the slow, calming sounds of woodwinds, “Extraviado” initially seems as if it should be on an album made by a low key jazz ensemble rather four purveyors of thrash. Heavy parts come in over the woodwinds, eventually surging so they blend to create a pleasing, metal-hard sound. The track continues in this vein, a melodic interplay of jazzy woodwinds and metal. You wouldn’t think it should work, but in actually the two components complement each other to create a unique jazz-metal fusion.
Equilibrio” is a fairly traditional, straight forward trash song, albeit with accents reflecting the band’s Chilean heritage. The stage is thus set for the final track. “So It Goes” is a 20 minute blend of musical styles that allows each member of DEMONIAC to have his moment in the spotlight. Because of the track’s length, it’s tempting to think that “So It Goes” would be akin to a thrash jam; each musician given space to lay down individual licks for the others to riff off of. The track is, instead, a well-organized and carefully structured thrash experiment, it’s differently styled segments seamlessly transitioning from one to another.

As opposed to dissecting “So It Goes” in a minute-by-minute manner, I’ll touch on those segments that proved aurally interesting (and there were quite a few). The track begins with a mysterious sounding guitar, the bass and clarinet joining before seguing into driving thrash. Eventually Vincente Pereira lays down a solo bass line, he and guitarist Nicholas Young then coming together to form a solid combo as they take turns playing a metal passage. As the melody begins to slow, Rodrigo Poblete jumps in with his drums to move things along, Pereira’s bass still strong underneath. At one point, the whole tone of the track lightens to become a carnival of jazz, led by either a clarinet. The woodwind and bass engage in an interplay reminiscent of the jazz-metal fusion previously heard on “Extraviado.” Throughout it all, thrash acts as a binding agent, giving “So It Goes” a coherent wholeness.

DEMONIAC’s second studio album is far from predictable. At times “So It Goes” is a sampler of true thrash, following the genre’s expected template, while at others it represents the creation of progressive thrash fusion. To this end, DEMONIAC demonstrate that the can be both brutally aggressive and also lighter (dare I say mellow). This is certainly an album for those wanting to hear not only traditional thrash, but also the envelope being pushed in newer and interesting directions.

Musicianship: 8
Songwriting: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. RSV – Fools Coincidence – Testigo
2. The Trap
3. Extraviado
4. Equilibrio Fatal
5. So It Goes
Lineup:
Javier Ortiz – Vocals/Guitar
Nicholas Young – Guitar
Vincente Pereira – Bass
Rodrigo Poblete – Drums
Record Label: Edged Circle Productions
     


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Edited 27 February 2021
 

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