Demonic Resurrection - The Return to Darkness
Candlelight Records
Melodic Progressive Black Metal
10 songs (64'08")
Release year: 2010
Candlelight Records
Reviewed by Alex

Presented with the need to review Demonic Resurrection’s The Return to Darkness I was obliged to do some research on the band. Melodic black metal or not, I honestly could not name a single band which counts India as its origin. And it is Mumbai which Demonic Resurrection calls home. Thus for me this band represents my first foray into metal of any kind on the Indian subcontinent. Despite my unfamiliarity with Demonic Resurrection, their black metal journey has been ongoing for almost ten years now, The Return to Darkness being the third full-length since 2000, and the last album in the Darkness trilogy of sorts. Trying to dig up this info, I could not possibly avoid peeking at other folks’ opinions of the band and found the overwhelming opinion to be fan-gusher galore.

I never thought I would say it about an album as professionally executed as The Return to Darkness, but I can’t quite join the fanfare as for me the album lacked teeth, grit and brutality. Demonic Resurrection is a fine-tuned, well-oiled, slick and polished melodic black machine, which impresses with its musicianship. Finger nimbleness, weaving and flying arpeggios (Bound by Blood, Fire and Stone; Dismembering the Fallen), carefully piped and oft-shifting kaleidoscopic synth – you could even call the band progressive in their approach. But as expansive as their melodies and solos are, the true sickly seeping Darkness, with bite, is missing. You find yourself nodding approvingly to the likes of The Warriors Return and Omega, I, but the pall is never fully cast and you are never completely submerged or hooked. Every Demonic Resurrection attempt to get brutal is over-calculated, predictable and, for the lack of better word, timid. The guitars are way too careful and jumpy, trying to frame the debate in a Gothenburg-like fashion on Where Dreams and Darkness Unite and lose themselves entirely to keyboards on The Warriors Return in the most inopportune moment. It is if the band premeditatedly decides, “here we are going to slam”, and then get tough, when the bearish stomp replaces the shy pitter-patter on The Unrelenting Surge of Vengeance. But even when Demonic Resurrection gets it right at times with the good’n’rough death march on Omega, I, they still manage to drown it in the pool of celestial uncertainty towards the end. No, I was not expecting to hear the nastiest ripping piece of black thrash, but Demonic Resurrection could definitely use more affirmation in their delivery. It does not help either that drum sound on The Return to Darkness is rather weak, shy, and lacking any sort of juiciness and heft.

Vocalist Sahil “The Demonstealer” Makhija produces an impressive range of various megaphone-sounding grunts, evil whispers and even some not overly sugary clean vocals. In places the vocals are slightly layered, creating the impression there is a number of little demonstealers out there, most notably on The Final Stand, which for a while sounds like a heavier more brutalized version of Rhapsody with its power metal riffs and symphonic approach.

Conceptual, philosophical, but way too inoffensive, Demonic Resurrection reminded me a bit of Tvangeste, a band from Kaliningrad area of Russia, but with significantly better vocals and a lot less ethnic angle. If you want to see this style done with more soul, try Blood Stained Dusk ( but then you have to lose a bandmember to tragedy), and if you need more pomp then the choice is obviously Dimmu Borgir. Demonic Resurrection steer clear of over-the-top pretentiousness and orchestra, and do not need gimmicks to display their undeniable quality. A little sacrifice of polish for the spine, and I join the bandwagon.

Killing Songs :
A Tragedy Befallen, Bound by Blood, Fire and Stone, Omega,I
Alex quoted 76 / 100
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