Demonical - Hellsworn
Cyclone Empire
Groovy Death Metal
9 songs (35:23)
Release year: 2009
Demonical, Cyclone Empire
Reviewed by Khelek
Surprise of the month

The description of this band said old-school death metal, so naturally I had to check them out. These days it's tough to find a bands that still play in this style. As soon as I heard the song Baptized In Fire the groovy guitar tones and low, brutal growls reminded me of bands such as Kataklysm, Fleshcrawl, and Morbid Angel. I knew I had to hear more. This is the Swedish band's second album, and it sounds pretty damn good for a sophomore effort. Unsurprisingly it appears the band members do have a lot of experience from being in various other bands throughout the past couple decades (e.g. Centinex, Grave, and Diabolical to name a few).

Baptized In Fire starts the album off with a short, spoken word intro (it's actually a quote from the movie The Devil's Rejects if I'm not mistaken), then comes in with crushing riffs and the guttural growls of vocalist Sverker "Widda" Widgren. The tempo of the song is pretty fast and really gets you into the music with quick riffs and blasting drums. The overall atmosphere is a mixture of aggression and brutality, yet there is also some foreboding tension, like a thunderstorm bearing down on you. The song is also short and to the point (under three minutes long). So far I'm pretty impressed. The next song, World Serpent, starts out with some nice drum work from drummer Ronnie Bergerstahl. Then the guitars smash in and just crush everything in their path. The groovy, extremely rhythmic playing that is going on so far really appeals to me. If you want something you can really headbang to this is it. Infernal Void continues with the same brutality, keeping the energy going, but also going into some slower territory. I hear some technical guitar work, which there hasn't been a whole lot of yet, but I hope that there will be before the album is through. Bloodridden begins slowly with some really heavy guitar riffs, the drums backing them beautifully as the energy builds up. I can almost see columns of demons marching along as I listened to this. Then the tempo picks up drastically and the growls of Widda tear in. I have to say that so far I have not been all that impressed with this vocalist. He definitely knows what he's doing in this genre, but unfortunately I am not hearing much variety in his voice. Not that that's completely necessary in music like this, just something I like personally. The second half of the album continues in much the same way as the first. Goetter Des Nordens does throw in some more melodic guitar work towards the end of the song. The final track, Hellsworn, starts out with some heavy riffing as usual, and then some great melodic guitar work starts to weave itself into the song. Next we get some spoken word type vocals, which, I have to admit, are kind of lame. However, the guitar work throughout this song is excellent, I just would have liked to see a bit more energy in the song as a whole.

Overall this album is a solid slab of groovy, old-school death metal from a relatively new band. I think these guys definitely have the potential to become leaders in this genre if they step up their game a bit. I think it would have been great if they could have worked some of the melodic guitar elements found in the final track into more songs on the album because it sounds really great and would definitely spice the album up a bit. It definitely is not as varied of an album as I would have liked to hear, but even so these guys are great at writing songs that embody a solid death metal feeling. Huge riffs, catchy song structures, brutal vocals, and, above all else, something you can listen to a few times and not get tired of. This album crushes from start to finish and I will certainly look forward to the next release by this talented band.

Killing Songs :
Baptized In Fire, Bloodridden, Goetter Des Nordens, Bow To The Monolith
Khelek quoted 84 / 100
Other albums by Demonical that we have reviewed:
Demonical - World Domination reviewed by Alex and quoted 83 / 100
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