Demonoid - Riders of the Apocalypse
Nuclear Blast
Death Metal
9 songs (47:00)
Release year: 2004
Nuclear Blast
Reviewed by Keegan
Album of the year

Expectations for Riders of the Apocalypse have been enormously high since the heart of Therion announced the release of their more death metal oriented side project. The results of the band’s excursion into their past is purely brutal. Having strayed from their roots in the last decade to explore symphonic soundscapes and choral arrangements with an outstanding outcome, the band prove that they still have plenty of speed and aggression left in them to create one of the heaviest, most devastating records I’ve heard this year!

Demonoid’s lineup features Therion guitarist/arranger Christofer Johnsson, acting this time solely as vocalist and lyricist, and Rickard Evansand, formerly of Therion and Soilwork, currently playing in Chimaira, on drums. The core of this band is Therion’s lead guitarist and bassist, Kristian and Johan Niemann, who had both been working on songs for Riders of the Apocalypse for some time.

The album begins like a sledgehammer and does not relent for twenty minutes. Opening with Wargods, the band unleashes a barrage of double bass, blast beats, colossal riffs and insane solos. After the initial assault, the slower and darker 14th Century Plague ushers in the second period of the album. On this song, Evansand displays some of the finest ride cymbal fills I’ve heard. Tracks that follow, such as Hunger My Consort prove to be much darker and intense with excellent atmospheric guitar playing and Christofer Johnsson’s finest vocal performance to date. The next track features parts from early Therion albums, but with a much more brutal edge than the band had been able to muster up years ago. The subsequent song, Arrival of the Horsemen builds with an intro that brings back memories of early nineties Slayer, followed by one of the best thrash songs I’ve heard in years. Niemann’s solo in the song is nearly on par speed wise with Michael Romeo.

Although I believed that the energy level of the album could not be sustained after Arrival of the Horsemen, I was proven wrong in seconds with End of Our Times, a blisteringly fast death metal song with a catchy harmony in the chorus. Ending with just as jarring an explosion as it began with, the nine-minute epic Death takes many forms. Opening with heavy grooves, it soon picks up the pace, powered by Niemann’s murdering riffs and Johnsson’s vocals, which even border on black metal.

Riders of the Apocalypse was recorded at Therion’s own studio and it shows. The production of the album is crisp as can be, and absolutely perfect for an album like this: loud, up-front, and brutal. Demonoid pack such a huge old-school metal punch that this album will suit everyone regardless of taste: death metal, thrash, black metal, even hints of Therion, and its on one album. Without a doubt one of the heaviest and best albums of the year, Demonoid proves that old fashioned death and thrash metal still have a place in today’s convoluted scene.

Killing Songs :
Wargods, 14th Century Plaugue, Hunger My Consort, Arrival of teh Horsemen, Death
Keegan quoted 100 / 100
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