(Album Review) “Viscera” by DEMON HEAD

Describing themselves with the term DIABOLIC ROCK, the talented five piece bring in a dark, Gothic element to their sound. The quintet have come a long way on their journey exploring an array of different sounds and musical styles with each releases. 2015 saw the release of ‘Ride The Wilderness’ and it’s classic rock focus. 2017’s ‘Thunder on the Fields’ and 2019’s ‘Hellfire Ocean Void’ saw Demon Head’s sound transition to the darker, more ethereal side in this Friday’s release “Viscera”.

Opening with ‘Tooth and Nail’, the album has a strong introduction. The guitars bring the rock element which seems to act as a grounding for the music. The vocals from Marcus Ferreira Larsen are very distinctive – I’m almost getting some post-punk vibes similar to the likes of New Order. The vocals in ‘Arrows’ are particularly haunting with the layers of harmonised parts. This track has quite a theatrical feel whilst also remining rather minimalist. It’s very interesting to see how Demon Head are able to take their sound in different directions whilst maintaining a very cohesive overall effect. The theatrical atmosphere that runs across the album, to varying degrees, is created through their clever manipulation of the instrumentation. Fragments of orchestral instruments really enhance the soundscapes and the dynamic percussion is also consistently present. The drums are never up in your face, but always there having a greater effect than is necessarily consciously realised.

‘The Lupine Choir’ does what it says on the tin really. It’s a wonderfully ethereal, ghostly piece with subtle instrumentation which follows the same chord progressions as the choir soaring above. A couple of lead parts in the instruments add a nice little bit of variety without detracting from the Grande effect of the simplicity of the piece. It flows nicely into the following track ‘A long Groaning Descent’, which sees the same Gothic orchestration but this time the rock aspects are brought in with guitar and drums. The lead guitar riff is nicely distorted so that it cuts through the smooth orchestral instruments, yet it remains subtle so as, once again, not to detract from the powerful soundscape that takes the focus.  Both of these tracks are short and sweet but they have a very powerful effect when listened to in succession.

This album was a wonderful surprise, having gone into it not really knowing what to expect. The Gothic darkness that is omnipresent in their sound is just wonderful. Those of you who enjoy the more theatrical elements of music will thoroughly enjoy and appreciate what Demon Head have done with their sound. The rock elements blend in seamlessly with the huge atmosphere that they bring. This album has been very artfully, and tastefully, done.

Metal Blade Records Release: 29 January 2021

‘Viscera’ track listing:
1. Tooth and Nail

2. The Feline Smile

3. Arrows

4. Magical Death

5. The Lupine Choir

6. A long Groaning Descent

7. In Adamantine Chains

8. Black Torches

9. Wreath

10. The Triumphal Chariot of Antimony

Demon Head line up:

Mikkel Fuglsang- bass

Birk Gjerlufsen Nielsen- guitars

Marcus Ferreira Larsen- vocals

Thor Gjerlufsen Nielsen- guitars

Jeppe Wittus- drums

Demon Head sites:

www.facebook.com/Demoncoven
www.demonhead.bandcamp.com
www.demonhead.org
www.instagram.com/demonhead_official/

Check out the music video to “The Feline Smile” by Demon Head below:

Author: Holly Royle

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