Demoniac - _The Fire and the Wind_
by: Paul Schwarz (
This is my first real taste of Demoniac. I saw them perform live in London nearly two years ago, and they sucked [CoC #28]. Thus, though I heard a number of tracks on samplers, I didn't check out their last record, _Stormblade_ [CoC #23]. Not that it would have helped much for serious comparison in this case, since Demoniac have almost entirely changed their line-up and have totally re-thought their sound. Where previously the band retro-thrashed their way through rather uninspiring cracks at black/thrash metal, they have now forged a way with very few to keep them company by opting to play speed metal with some thrashing involved, and about six tonnes of melodic riffs, fills, and insanely lengthy solos. What is weirder than the transition is that somehow it works. Even the fact that Lindsay still expresses himself vocally in all his hoarse black metal anguish succeeds in elevating rather than reducing the record's overall quality. The blazing solos come thick and fast and the muscular-though-simple drum backing gives guitar widdling Sam all the space he needs to weave his indulgent magic. The chorus and lead melodies will be stuck in your head for weeks on end and Lindsay will even have you tuning in to his intense delivery as a way to play the two opposing considerations of heaviness and melody off against each other. Unfortunately, however, Demoniac have a rather rash sense of humour and rather low-brow view of people's feelings, a quality which has got them into trouble with people via the lyrics of certain songs on _The Fire and the Wind_. The particular culprit is "Myths of Metal", which originally laid claim to the moniker "Hitler Metal". The chorus of this song ends in the words "...Hitler metal, zeig heil!" Though this is sure to be mistaken by countless people in the future as a truly racist proclamation, close to the issue as we are at present, we can find an explanation. Demoniac have stated that the reason they chose the song title was because the music in the song sounded like old German speed thrash. Thus, the lines in the chorus translate to "German metal, hail!". It requires idiocy to be that unthinking, but considering the alcohol quantities Demoniac consume and the laid back syndrome of pure enjoyment which _The Fire and the Wind_ represents, I think it is possible not only to forgive Demoniac, but also to lie back and enjoy _The Fire and the Wind_ in all its undiluted metal glory.
(article published 12/10/1999)
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