Demigod - _Shadow Mechanics_
(Spikefarm / XIII Bis, 2002)
by: David Rocher (7 out of 10)
With Demigod's cult debut _Slumber of Sullen Eyes_ released no less than a full decade ago (before the band dislocated and partly mutated into the equally cult Adramelech), the expectations related to these Finnish death-metallers' heralded return were unquestionably high. Opening fire in pure Scandinavian death metal tradition with the downright impressive "My Blood, Your Blood", _Shadow Mechanics_ rapidly takes to a far less predictable orientation; straying from the old school death metal aggression reminiscent of their vintage first release, further excerpts from _Shadow Mechanics_ witness Demigod venture down more melodic, brooding and doom-laden pathways -- not unsimilar in style to Edge of Sanity's slower, "ballad"-style numbers --, alas with only mitigated success. Whereas this seven-Finn act's potent, driving low-case heavy death metal material indeed proves to dispense pure surges of death metal-laced adrenaline (thanks to an excellent vocalist and a monstrous Finnvox production), their more solemn, tentatively moody songs sadly miss their mark, and merely awaken a slightly dispirited shadow of boredom. _Shadow Mechanics_ is fortunately enough punctuated with a number of full-fledged scorchers such as the blasting "Gates of Lamentation" midway through the album, but is mostly articulated around massively heavy mid-tempo numbers, which sadly fail to shake me out of the wearied torpor induced by the dreaded slow, clear vocal-laden ventures interspersed throughout this finally sadly tepid release. Hence, as the final track on Demigod's much-awaited comeback closes off, I'm left craving for some more pure old school death metal done the Demigod way, and can only hope that the Finns will return to deliver some more streamlined, angered, low-case pure death metal akin to that on _Slumber of Sullen Eyes_... and, hopefully, before another decade has passed us by.

(article published 9/1/2002)


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