Though metal fans of the underground have made an impressive effort to uncover all of the lost gems of the old-school death metal scene, it is inevitable that some bands have fallen through the cracks. One such example is the UK’s Blasphemer. Although they never put out an album, they did put together a few demos in the early 1990s, and recently resurfaced. In 2015, they unleashed the appropriately titled “Demo of Darkness”, and gave everyone a reminder of what old-school death metal should sound like. The riffs on this release hearken back to a time when the thrash influence was still prominent in death metal, with many of the faster riffs sounding like something you would find on an early Cannibal Corpse or Morbid Angel record. Similarly, the vocals also take an old-school approach; they’re fully growled, but also entirely understandable. A good comparison would be to modern-day Autopsy (another band that Blasphemer worships, as they throw some slower, doomier sections into their music occasionally).
One really awesome thing about this demo is the approach to soloing. Both tracks have numerous guitar solos (though “Immortality” definitely favours them more), and go for a noisy, spastic, Trey Azagthoth approach. The solos are incredibly furious, and although they pay little attention to coherent musical form, they do appear quite deliberately planned.
Of the two tracks, “Immortality” is probably slightly stronger, if for no other reason than it feels a bit more consistently fast. In reality, both of these songs are a prime example of a band that fits in with the early 1990s quite well (because they were there). Once again, it is the thrash influence that makes this obvious; bands are usually better when they sound like they’re developing with a scene rather than simply worshipping it. As much as I love modern rehashes, sometimes you just can’t beat the original, and Blasphemer is original UK death metal!
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4.3/5 or 86%.
Written by Scott