Monday, 21 May 2012

DEMIGOD - Slumber Of Sullen Eyes (1992)

01  Apocryphal
02  As I Behold, I Despise
03  Dead Soul
04  The Forlorn
05  Tears Of God
06  Slumber Of Sullen Eyes
07  Embrace The Darkness / Blood Of The Perished
08  Fear Obscures From Within
09  Transmigration Beyond Eternities
10  Towards The Shrouded Infinity
11  Perpetual Ascent
12  Darkened

Demigod was a death metal band formed in 1990 in Loimaa, Finland by Esa Lindén (vocals), Jussi Kiiski (guitar), Tero Laitinen (bass) and Seppo Taatila (drums). The band's 1992 debut album 'Slumber of Sullen Eyes' is highly regarded in the heavy metal community. Terrorizer included it in their list of "40 death metal albums that you must hear", commenting: "It is with this often overlooked classic that one of the greatest love stories of all time unfolded: Florida's pummeling groove meets Sweden's buzzsaw guitar work in a union so deliciously evil it could move the hardest of bangers to tears of joy.

Aesthetically, the core of this, Demigod’s debut album, is straight-up Death Metal that pulverises from start to finish; crushing any mere mortal that finds itself on the same path. Originating its roots in such albums as Morbid Angel’s “Blessed Are The Sick”, the style of progressive riff-development is adopted, with intricate melodic workings and playful technique being incorporated into songs that include more ideas than some whole albums. The comparisons with Morbid Angel end there, as sonically this album is a part of the melodic tendencies of the Scandinavian movement, not nearly as influenced by the Speed Metal of the 80s. The tempos range from slow to mid-paced, as heavy palm-muted strumming and slow Doom riffs are contrasted against low tremolo riffing and counter-point melodies. Melody is also worked into the mix by supplementing or accentuating the original riff with great finesse and control.

The obscurity surrounding this record only enhances its power for those who eventually get to hear it. Aside from that, the masterful, relentless, mid-paced death metal speaks for itself. What really sets this from the pack is the foreboding atmosphere it creates. Followers of the `Scandinavian black metal' sound that emerged at around the same time will be able to relate to the cold, shrill guitar sound (most noticeable on the title track). This injects a hint of darkness to the band's uniquely crushing approach. To sum up, this is one of the most overlooked death metal records of all, an absolute must for serious followers of the genre. Stan-out tracks include; "As I Behold, I Despise", "Dead Soul" and the monstrous title-cut.

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