Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Life Demise - Forbidden Chants of Morbid Euphoria

Life Demise is a melodic black/death metal band that leans strongly towards black metal. Most of the riffing is a more melodic variation of the riffing found in classic Mayhem and Judas Iscariot, ringing tremolo-picked chords that provide both a moving melody and atmosphere. Seemingly taking their name from the first track of Unanimated's classic "Ancient God of Evil", their influences are quite clear, with more than a strong nod to the melodic black/death scene of the mid-late 1990s. The riffing is also reminiscent of Sacramentum, but the atmosphere is not the misty feel of old Sacramentum, rather closer to Judas Iscariot's "Heaven In Flames", including a similar riff to the opener of that album. It's more oriented with the melodic leanings of atmosphere, but at times steps towards the more cavernous, reverberated production of Sargeist or Drowning the Light.

The band seems to switch between being driven by the sheer force of riffing and letting the atmosphere take hold, perhaps a weakness at times as the moods of the songs feel like homages, but change direction far too often. Within one song, a collage of influences and subtle deviations of one style appear in both the riffing and overall sound, each being pleasant. Due to this, the band is unable to form a cohesive atmosphere and feeling to the album, certainly to the detriment of some solid riffs that seem lost in wandering songwriting. Unfortunately, this is a significant shortcoming as their ability to conjure these different atmospheres is a strength of the band, but their inability or unwillingness to sustain them is a much stronger detriment.

The fourth track highlights their inability to package a cohesive vision. A sad piano piece similar to Vinterland, accompanied by the sound of a crackling fire, the major flaw isn't within the piece, rather that it has absolutely no place in the flow of the album, instead being a significant distraction. The few interludes worked into the songs disrupt the flow, and this separate track really doesn't fit into the piece as a whole at all. Something like this could be integrated into this style of music well, but it is not done so here, disconnecting the first three tracks from a driving black/death finale that does not need this introduction.

Life Demise are an interesting band that I'd like to hear more from, but they need to focus and direct their songwriting and compile a coherent vision for each song that gives these riffs the necessary impact to achieve their potential.


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