Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Demigod-Unholy Domain demo

What better way to introduce myself, as well as the new name and title of this very blog, to the digital ether than with one of, if not the best, Death Metal demos of all eternity right here. Yes, folks, this is Demigod, with their classic Unholy Domain demo.

I first heard these dudes in late 1991 from a local tape trading buddy who assured me this would be my new favorite band. He was correct. In a time when demos were still the order of the day, not the hastily recorded/packaged/released full-length Cd that became the rage a few years later, or the overnight myspace success stories of today, Demigod stood head and shoulders above their competition. Upon first listen, I immediately hit him up for their contact address and mail-ordered this masterpiece for myself, and wore this thing down to nothing. So what made these dudes so special for their time, and helped them to solidify their place in history?

I assure you it wasn't the cover. No, it was the music. These dudes were all pretty young when they recorded this, mean age being around 17. For a 3 piece, they were very tight, and had a very direct style of playing. Imagine a more musically adept Boltthrower with a Scandinavian style guitar tone, as well as a drummer who knew more than 3 beats, and you are getting close. Esa's vocals are also a real treat, as they are deep and heavy but still being intelligible. Plus Demigod just evoke darkness, not relying upon imagery, gimmick, or crafty photography to swathe their lacking music in a cloak of illusory brutality: they were the legitimate article.

Sure the playing on Slumber of Sullen Eyes, their first full-length record released on Drowned Records in late 1992, was much more polished and rehearsed, and the sound much cleaner. But this is fucking death metal, played the way only some young and hungry cats could do it, and they certainly did the damn thing. All these years later this is still one demo I will reach for above and beyond damn near anything else, and in my opinion it has yet to be topped. Slumber of Sullen Eyes is one of my all-time fave records, but the rest of their recorded non-demo/reh output doesn't do a goddamn thing for me.

3 notes regarding this demo. 1-they sold almost 2,000 copies of this. How many bands could dare to do that now? 2-they wrote (in my opinion) the best track Succumb to Dark literally the day before they went into the studio. 3-this was also released as a split Lp with Necropsy by the legendary (and rip-off to all get out) Seraphic Decay Records. If you are a fan of old school death metal, that name surely rings a bell. In fact label owner Steve O'bannon still owns the master tapes to this, so if you find him snag the tape from his crib and send it to me.

Being a fan of quality, first and foremost, this is ripped from the Xtreem Music reissue, which contained a remastered version of Unholy Domain, and it is by far the best sounding version of this you will find. I ripped that shit to FLAC, transcoded it into V0 using dbpoweramp, and voila. Enjoy friends, and allow yourself to Succumb to Dark.