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Earthless – Night Parade of One Hundred Demons

Earthless
Night Parade of One Hundred Demons
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 23 January 2022, 4:35 AM

  There’s an ancient Japanese legend in which a horde of demons, ghosts and other terrifying ghouls descend upon the sleeping villages once a year. Known as Hyakki Yagyō, or the “Night Parade of One Hundred Demons,” one version of the tale states that anyone who witnesses this otherworldly procession will die instantly—or be carried off by the creatures of the night. As a result, the villagers hide in their homes, lest they become victims of these supernatural invaders.  Such is the inspiration for their latest album. “My son is really into mythical creatures and old folk stories about monsters and ghosts,” bassist Mike Eginton explains. “We came across the ‘Night Parade of One Hundred Demons’ in a book of traditional Japanese ghost stories. I like the idea of people hiding and being able to hear the madness but not see it. It’s the fear of the unknown.” The album contains three lengthy tracks.

“Night Parade of One Hundred Demons” leads off the album. It’s a 20-minute beast, opening with clean guitars and some echoes, along with cymbal swells. I hear a distinct Post-Rock tone here. Melodic elements swirl in and around. At the five-minute mark, it transitions to a more breathable sound, with howling winds. It reminds me of the beauty of that first spring day, when winter has yet to loosen her grip. From there, the riff gets a bit dirty, and that only feeling from the 1970’s pokes up with fuzzy guitars and a chugging bass line. Lead notes join in and the free jam commences. The rougher parts of the song remind me of the genius of early RUSH.

The second track with the same namesake is a 22-minute opus, beginning with bass and drum thuds. This continues through the first several minutes, then the song takes a trippy turn. You feel like you might have just taken a few magic mushrooms and are slowly fading into the very music you are listening to. It begins to pick up, and really catches on fire at the half-way mark, with smoking leads and backing bass that piledrives forward with purpose. The colors, all around you, are they real? Am I going insane? At some point you just don’t care and let the sound just ride…ride down a lonely desert road in the heat of the summer, the wind in your hair, and not another car in sight.

“Death to the Red Sun” begins with darker and slower notes…big guitar and drum strikes. It gets going pretty quickly as there is no long build-up, and if off to the races. The lead guitar work here is fantastic, especially when it really picks up close to the half-way mark. The sprint finally begins to die around the ¾ mark, when the opening sound returns, with eerie lead guitars riding that feedback into the sunset. Though at this point the sound is getting just a little repetitive, you have to love it. Pick up your guitar and jam along, because you won’t often get the chance. The final minute is a slow spiral into sleep, something that you haven’t yet in days, but your eyes slowly close and it’s lights out.

I am going to summarize the review first with a general note regarding the fact that their EPK was completely blank of any bio information, no band line-up, and no liner notes or lyrics. I can do without the latter two, but the first two are very important when writing a review. A band this big still needs some press coverage, and shame on the label for not providing any. That being said, the album was fantastic. Three long songs are offered for your listening pleasure, each distinctly different from the other. You end up with one the oddest combinations of sounds…BLACK SABBATH meets RUSH if you will. The three tracks are creative, engaging and quite catchy. I have no doubt that you will love this album and find hidden gems with each additional spin.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Night Parade of One Hundred Demons
2. Night Parade of One Hundred Demons
3. Death to the Red Sun
Lineup:
Isaiah Mitchell – Vocals/Guitar
Mike Eginton – Bass
Mario Rubalcaba – Drums
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records
     


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Edited 05 December 2022
 

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