THE DEMO CORNER
Canada’s thrash drunkards Alcoholator rip through the first demo titled Drunker Than Thou, and while they may well be three perpetually-loaded walking intoxicants, these guys can shred it up! Old school thrash metal with a sense of humor is vital to this band’s repertoire and they pull it off perfectly! Whereas I tend to take music too seriously at times, Alcoholator puts me in my rightful place and forces booze and thrash down my throat in four songs that are fast-paced, well-produced, and typically thrash just the way I like it! Along the lines of Tankard, early Razor, Kreator and Exodus, Alcoholator truly finds the medium between vital and formulaic and treads it perfectly to create a damn fine demo.
Had this been released back in 1985 I’m sure they would have been a force to be reckoned with in the U.S., and I don’t say that very easily. I lived that era and remember it with fondness and more than a hint of regret that it’s long over. Tracks like “”Alcoholator” and “Drink Beer or Die Trying” keep the thrash anthems coming with raised fists and bottles, while “Raining Burp” is funny as hell and reminds me of S.O.D. in its comedic, yet brutally heavy music that makes me laugh and bang my aging head in one sitting. I think if you seek out these guys you’ll not be one bit disappointed - I give them four very high-held beer bottles.
Absolute Madness, Alcoholator, Howling in the Fog & The Sand Collector
December 12, 2010
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Absolute Madness - A.M. Demo '09
Absolute Madness is a crossover/thrash outfit from California that meshes hardcore and thrash to force the ‘thrashcore’ envelope into the hands of the willing recipient of limited crossover history. The A.M. Demo isn’t too bad as a whole; the music kicks some serious heads at times, but the vocals and this overused screamo style just do little for me. There’s very little that can be called mallcore here in the music side of the demo; the old-school thrash feel has some Dealing With It-era D.R.I. nicely spliced with some early Anthrax or Hirax, but as I said the throaty screech of the vocals are overdone and belligerent to a fault as opposed to a happy needle in the eye.
“Poser Disposer” is a hard-hitting, crunching repeated kick to the lower back as you lay writhing on the hardwood floor after being beaten up by a gaggle of ticked off jocks. I really enjoy “Last Stand” to the point where I could almost ignore the otherwise so-so vocal delivery. I’d say these guys have the formula down pat for early thrash crossover, yet that one misfire might be someone else’s treasure. It’s all subjective, so give these guys a shot in your musical travels.
Howling in the Fog - Drained From Suicidal Thoughts
Release Date: 2010
Band Self Released
1. Intro 2. Forget My Life 3. Drained From Suicidal Thoughts 4. Depressing Paths Through Fullmoon Forests 5. Last Days
- Total playing time: 29:21
Italian suicidal black metal has carved a deep gash into the arm of the scene with one-man somber machine Howling in the Fog. This offering is a limited edition of just 33 tapes, but Drained From Suicidal Thoughts is a dark jaunt into the caustic, often ugly volatility of the depressed mind. The man behind the music calls himself Der Antikrist Seelen Mord, which is fitting enough I gather, and the music he manages to create here is sobering and disheveled sanity. While not expertly-crafted by any stretch, the demo is solid enough to warrant additional inquiries. The Burzum-esque guitar is reminiscent of the first Varg album in all its primitive glory, yet nowhere near as resonating. That said, the genuine horror inflicted on the listener in the title track alone is enough to keep razor blades safely locked away.
While the suicidal/depressive black metal seems to be the “in” thing these days (how one actually uses depression as a means to a gimmicky end is beyond my scope, thankfully) there’s the occasional band that manages to simplify and regurgitate the feel properly and Howling in the Fog finds the vehicle a comfortable ride through murky swamps and dismal ambience that only a depressed mind could create. Not a bad offering for an initial arterial slashing.
Alcholator - Drunker Than Thou
Release Date: June 16, 2010
Label: Band Self Released
1. Liquid Thrash 2. Alcoholator 3. Drink Beer or Die Trying 4. Raining Burp
- Total playing time: 13:30
For a copy of Drunker Than Thou contact the band via their myspace page (click on link above).
Release Date: February, 2009
Band Self Released
1. The Departed 2. Last Stand 3. Poser Disposer 4. Absolute Moshness
- Total playing time: 9:01
DOWNLOAD A.M. Demo '09 FREE from the band's myspace page (click on link above).
For a copy of Drained From Suicidal Thoughts contact the band via their myspace page (click on link above).
The Sand Collector - Lord of the Sun
Spain offers a hidden gem by way of The Sand Collector’s first demo titled Lord of the Sun, a lush foray into the doom/stoner metal arena. There is some seriously heavy crunch-worthy riffing going on here, my friends; the absolute heavy metal sound is what is sorely lacking in today’s transparent doom style. Already into the first two tracks I’m completely mesmerized by what is unfolding in my head. Without benefit of speedy, complicated chord changes and overpowering designs, The Sand Collector creates a collective that is heavy for the sake of nothing more than being solid heavy Sabbathy-type music. I’m not even sure the obligatory Sabbath comparison is sufficient here as there are some terrific grooves here ala Wheel or Sahg, the latter being a very viable comparison.
The vocals are clean, somewhat typical, yet perfect for the style; with a hint of Spanish accentuating the songs it makes it even more interesting without distraction. Some bands lay on an accent so thick that it’s almost a deal-killer, through no fault of their own, but the sound we’re all accustomed to for the last four decades does have a certain lineage attached. This type of music is far from pretty, but you have to marvel at the utter beauty lying under these head-battering assemblages. I’m thinking that The Sand collector may just be one of many faces in the underground stoner movement, but weed through the seemingly pathetic mediocrity and find something worth your time.
Release Date: 2009
Band Self Released
1. The Human Machine 2. Spirit 3. Lord of the Sun 4. Jupiter 5. Who Laughs Now 6. Sexy 7. VII 8. VIII 9. IX
- Total playing time: 34:16
DOWNLOAD Lord of the Sun FREE from the band's myspace page (click on link above).