In the course of trawling through independent review requests that slid down the sluice and plop into the promo pit, a rough-n-tumble process, of sorts, has formed. After sampling tracks, this slumbering invariably breaks submissions into vague categories, as to maintain a little bit of order 'round this joint.
The first category: "that was good, I want to examine this further and could be easily persuaded to write about it.
The second category: "that was decidedly not good, if anyone writes about it, it shan't be me."
The third category: "that was outstanding, I must write about this immediately."
Said third classification is exceedingly rare, but when it makes an appearance, it is a wonder to behold. Extensive intro aside, let me assert that "Black Seas," the latest single from Toronto's so-called "Satanic Blues" peddlers Demonchrist, is a track that makes me want to drop everything, run to the scriptorium, and sharpen my quill.
Before getting into "Black Seas," however, it's worth talking about the band in general. Judging purely from their prior work--see 2019's Lucifix--one wouldn't exactly have a clear idea of what genre umbrella we're dealing with. This album is a confounding conglomerate of blues, punk, blackened thrash, and...horror country? This makes sense to a degree, given the musical background of the composite parts: Randy Jordan played bass for Montreal/Ottawa punk band The Obscene Bastards, and Trash Gordon previously made his name as a horror-core rapper. As such, it's an oddly eclectic mix, and the genre-dancing on this album and their previous singles makes it difficult to draw a larger conclusion about what Demonchrist sounds like beyond the scope of their latest. It's good stuff, but invariably throws any system of classification out the window. But. "Black Seas" turns a laser-like focus on the blackened thrash end of Demonchrist's spectrum, and good lord, this hallowed ground is absolutely where the duo excels.
"Black Seas" is a gloriously short affair, closing out just under two minutes. As there is very little room to mess around, Demonchrist dive headlong into the fray with a churning and frenetic riff--indeed, it sounds like they started recording a few seconds into the track. As such, the energy is incredibly potent and unrestrained--exactly what music of this ilk relies on. And, just when you think things can't get any wilder, a squirming lead takes the stage, establishing a brief earwormy riff before devolving (or evolving?) into a scale-climbing solo. A chanted chorus appears and reappears to close things out, and then the track promptly slows and drones to extinction. The only reasonable reaction is to hit repeat--and, no hyperbole, I've literally hit repeat on this damn thing ten times since yesterday evening. It's a positively furious track, and, needless to say, comes highly recommended.
While I appreciate and am quite enjoying the oddity of their prior work, "Black Seas" nails the blackened thrash sound so powerfully that I can't help but dream of an album consisting of similar material. Regardless of future direction, however, Demonchrist have solidified a place on the Sleeping Village's primordial radar. Without further ado, then, check out "Black Seas" below:
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We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!