I really have to talk to Sahil of Demonstealer Records, these four way splits are all nice and dandy, as they give a little taster of many different bands, but in the end they are darn hard to review!
The latest effort is titled “Rise Of The Eastern Blood” and features four bands from four different Asian countries. Let’s start with my Indian faves of DEMONIC RESURRECTION, aptly fronted by Sahil himself, which had so taken my heart by storm with their brilliant “A Darkness Descends” album a while back. For the “Beyond The Darkness” EP, which is the Indians’ portion of this split, they seem to have taken a different approach musically, as it seems a little more influenced atmospheric/melodic Black Metal this time around (at least that is the first impression I got), with added keyboards, but do not fret, they still know how to shake things up and be far more than just your latest run-of-the-mill band. Melodic and harmonic solos, some added clear vocals and overall a high level of maturity within the songwriting take care of any such worries, DEMONIC RESURRECTION definitely are a highly talented band just waiting to be discovered by a wider audience, opener “Journey To Solaris” is a prime example for both the described style and the talent, especially as they continue to add elements from bordering genres such as Death Metal, some Thrash and even Power Metal into their sound, I just love them! Want proof? “And The Dream Will Cease To Be” starts out balladesque with clear vocals, before adding more crunch and the great thing is that it does not sound forced or pieced together, do yourself a favour, check these guys out as soon as you can!
Then we come to country no. 101 on our pages: Bangladesh. Hailing from the capital Dhaka, SEVERE DEMENTIA are flying down a more brutal lane than DEMONIC RESURRECTION, with brutal and technical Death Metal, which still maintains a certain melodic backbone to it so not to lose listeners such as myself. Lyrically they also steer clear from the usual gore and dismemberment topics and instead concentrate on history, more precisely wars under the English colonialists, making everything a little more interesting. Their “Epitaph Of Plassey” EP does not stand behind most the more established bands from the western scenes, so you don’t have to bring the fact into play that the band hails from an “exotic” country. Musicianship and production are top notch, tight, clear and powerful, so exactly what this kind of music needs, very recommended as well.
Next up my old friend Babar Sheikh from Karachi, Pakistan. His band DUSK laid the foundation for Metal in his home country and they are a truly unique band, always have been and probably will continue to be. To pinpoint their style is a hard task, as they process elements from Death Metal, Doom and even Prog and some violin, everything topped off with vocals that you definitely need to get used to, as they are either like spoken vocals or deep growls that seem kind of drawn out, all in all resulting in a listening experience that will challenge you, but in the end it will satisfy you just as much, if you have the attention span that it needs and deserves.
The rear is made up by two tracks of Singaporean HELMSKEY, which have the maybe “easiest” style to get into, as they are straighter and thus also catchier, delivering a more melodic version of Death Metal, which is lacking in the originality department, but still is well played and written.
Overall a very interesting split release that will bring you some of the best talent in Southeast Asia right into your home and any of the first three bands will prove that this region has talent aplenty that rivals many established bands with ease!
(Online October 18, 2007)