Demoniac (CHL) - Nube Negra
Edged Circle Productions
Progressive Thrash
8 songs (41:42 )
Release year: 2023
Bandcamp, Edged Circle Productions
Reviewed by Goat

Following up such a genuinely bold and exciting album as 2021's So It Goes would be a challenge for any band, and Chilean thrashers Demoniac are no exception. There are no smoothing out of the band's rougher, more black metal-influenced edges here as the opening title track makes plain after an atmospheric intro with some tasteful acoustic strums; a galloping, post-Maiden-esque classical thrash storm ensuing with plenty of lead guitar widdles and snarled Spanish vocals. It's a gleeful joyride, very much in love with metal and thrash for their own sakes, and more than sets the scene for a fun album if not pushing the experimental boundaries that Demoniac have extended previously. Few would have been surprised if Nube Negra upped the progressive elements and showcased a softer band as a result, yet the group are clearly very mindful of their musical heritage as Sudamericanos and the heaviness and rawness is intact across the likes of Ácaro and La Caída - particularly the latter with its blackened bursts of speed, even with that piano outro!

Throughout the album sounds great, with a clearly audible bass and just enough reverb on the vocals. The clarinet makes a return but to lesser effect than on So It Goes, making itself known on instrumental Synthèse d'accords alongside an accordion in a doom-tinged piece that feels a little dreary alongside the more exciting, thrashier songs. Its presence on the following Granada is much more effective, a slower-paced but more obviously prog-thrash piece that builds slowly then erupts into a vicious, post-Sabbatian (UK) churn, driven by the excellence of the riffs. And although there's no twenty-minute epics here, the longest track present Veneno spends its near-eight-minute running time moving from infectious thrash crunch to melancholic doomy prog like some otherworldy King Crimson/Sarcofago mixture before fading to ambience. Ending it all with the delightfully arrogant El Final is an entertaining choice too, a thrashing declaration of intent that ends proceedings with a flourish of nexercise amidst an epic choir.

Some will be annoyed that Demoniac haven't tried to outdo themselves by making Nube Negra even more progressive and experimental but the band's heart is clearly in thrash and they've made a terrific thrash album here that works well as a follow-up to So It Goes if doesn't outdo it. Little improvements like moving brief instrumental Marchageddon later in the tracklisting and doing something else with weakest piece present Synthèse d'accords would have improved things, but as it stands this is a fine album. It's also worth highlighting that mainman Javier Ortiz played not just the guitars and keyboards here, but also drummed and provided the clarinet and vocals, too! Impressive performances all around, and further proof that Chile has one of the hottest thrash scenes of the moment.

Killing Songs :
Nube Negra, La Caída, Granada, Veneno
Goat quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Demoniac (CHL) that we have reviewed:
Demoniac (CHL) - So It Goes reviewed by Goat and quoted 88 / 100
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