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Demo Reviews Volume VI

By Jason Savage, Pure Rock Patroller
Monday, December 16, 2002 @ 6:55 PM

Mr. Savage Digs Around The Uns

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Greetings metal heads. In this installment of reviews, I have been fortunate to receive several cool demos that span the globe from Sweden to England and across the pond to the United States, from New York to the Midwest. There is something for every metal sub-genre and taste in this bunch. Please feel free to check out any or all band websites for bio info and MP3s. Thanks again to those of you that have taken the time to support these unsigned/indie acts and to the bands for scraping together the postage to send me your art. Enjoy….

100 Sound

Hailing from Sweden, 100 Sound brought my speakers to life with their hardcore meets punk metal mix. I received two demos with five songs total. The vocals on the two song demo are screamed with such intensity I can imagine the singer’s throat bleeding after every show. The riffs were pretty standard but strong nonetheless. The three song demo had more singing/talking mixed in with the screaming which is still undecipherable but not in a death metal way. After a few spins I did end up liking it. The song ‘This Material’ had a strange fusion of what is best described at industrial stoner rock. For a sample go to: http://www.kulturframjandet.com/, which is a non-profit organization designed to help and develop new talent.

Nocturnal Metempsychosis

Yet another band from Sweden, Hectorite is much more brutal than 100 Sound. The twin axes were very heavy and provided a thrash meets doom attack. Vocally, lead singer Klas Wiklund utilizes deep throaty growls similar to death metal but not as irritating. I can’t understand the lyrics but his voice is the icing on this proverbial metal onslaught. It flows well with this sort of music and bodes better with the rapid-fire drumming. If this sounds like something you’d like, check out their MP3s at: http://www.hectorite.com/.

The Prophecy
To End All Hope

The Prophecy is a doom/death metal band from England. I normally don’t get into anything flying the death metal banner but this stuff kicks serious ass and with Halloween just around the corner, it really set the mood. Seeing that I am not a death metal expert, I can’t really compare The Prophecy to anyone. The music was very dark and made great use of keyboards and violins amidst some excellent doom laden classic guitar solos provided by Greg O’Shea who also did double duty on bass. Matt Lawson switched off between deep spoken words and even deeper bogeyman growls that were pretty scary as the orange light in my smoke room cast an eerie glow upon my many dark warriors, metal maidens and dragon posters. This is some excellent epic doom metal that can be experienced at: http://www.local-family-butcherers.co.uk/

Borgo Pass
Slightly Damaged

Heading back to the US our journey takes us to Baldwin, NY, home of Borgo Pass. Changing the pace a bit, BP rocks out with the familiar chugging guitars of stoner rock. Vocalist James Tamarazzo could easily be Phil Anselmo’s long lost bong brother. His style is very similar to Phil, but not quite as powerful in the delivery. He also reminds me of Paul Shortino during his Rough Cutt days. Best described as a stoner version of Pantera meets Black Label Society, BP has what it takes to rock but isn’t afraid to slow down the jam a bit with a songs like ‘Shame’ and ‘Razorline.’ Overall, this is one CD I’d actually spend money on! Check em’ out at: http://www.borgopass.com/

New Granada
Steppin’ On You

New Granada is a New York city quartet that plays rock n’ fuckin’ roll! NG has some metal qualities but is more of a straight forward rock act. The lyrics are clearly understandable and the guitars and drums create an infectious foot stompin’ groove. I wouldn’t lump them in with the garage band trendy stuff for they are much better than that and they don’t have “THE” in front of their name. Vocalist Ian Levinson has a dirty bluesy voice that would’ve easily fit in with the classic rock scene of the 70’s. The whole album has a really classic vibe to it. If you like no frills rawk, check em’ out at: http://www.newgranadamusic.com/

Time of Need
Seen Through a Shadow

Heading west to Center Valley, PA, we enter Time of Need territory. Musically and vocally this oozes nu hardcore. Guitarist/vocalist Kevin Heaps reminds me of Gary Meskil from Pro-Pain for lack of a better comparison. There’s nothing new going on here but it is a decent CD. I can’t really find anything that sets them apart but they would definitely keep the pits going. TON is very professional from their website to their cover art. This doesn’t sound like a demo and managed to keep my fist pounding from start to finish. Check em’ out at: http://www.timeofneed.net/

End of the World

Jendza call Detroit home, even though they want us to believe they are from outer space. Taking a page from KISS 101, Jendza sport white Kabuki makeup that portrays them as apocalyptic vampires from the outer reaches of space. Musically, they sound like a clash between KISS meets David Bowie at war with modern metal and Goth armies. There are many different elements at work here, which is evident on ‘Say It.’ The song uses Suicidal Tendencies styled vocals ala Mike Muir. The next track; ‘Friend,’ bleeds mellow Blue Oyster Cult while ‘Memory’ smokes with its crunching riffs and solo. ‘It’s Hard to be a Boy’ and ‘Sour Wine’ bring to mind Alice Cooper. They even make use of a piano on ‘Boulevard.’ Lead vocalist Derek Jendza and the rest of the band have truly captured the spirit of the 70’s with their harmonies and classic guitar riffs. “End of the World” is a rare work of art. Buy this CD immediately at http://www.geocities.com/jendza00/

Strange Land

Wisconsin is better known for cheese, snow and the “frozen tundra” of Lambeau Field than neo-progressive metal, but Strange Land is determined to be added to the list. I must say I haven’t had the privilege of listening to anything like this for quite some time. Strange Land blends the real metal guitar sound last heard in the 80’s and powerful clean vocals. There are many excellent electric and acoustic passages on this journey of mind and soul. I must admit I don’t own a lot of prog metal besides Queensryche, Rush and Seasons of the Wolf but Strange Land fits nicely here. I can’t compare them to anyone which is a good thing but fans of Dream Theater and the likes will surely enjoy this. You have to experience this from start to finish to truly reap the full rewards. To add this to your prog library, go to: http://www.strange-land.net/

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