Demonic Resurrection – The Demon King
It would be fair to assume that every one of us has been or still is influenced or moved by a good story. While we’ve all enjoyed our fair share of tales, seldom have we taken a moment to think about how those stories came about. Needless to say, as much as we love being regaled by parables, we also need to acknowledge the fact that storytelling is an onerous task. Having said that, if the same were to be done in the form of a concept album (and if done well), the resulting product can be best described as an epic saga of mammoth proportions. One such album is ‘The Demon King’ the fourth offering by the frontrunners of extreme metal in India, Demonic Resurrection. Now, I’ve heard all the earlier works of the band and ‘The Demon King’ can best be described as a symphonic ungulate on steroids that assaults your aural senses with its refreshing songwriting and brobdingnagian proportions.
The album tells us the unique story of how the universe, since its birth has been constantly threatened by the prospect of its ‘balance’ being overthrown and how the forces of Good will be decimated to the point of non existence by the forces of Evil. This is the story of how ‘The Demon King’ rises out of the debris of centuries of prayers and worship and conquers all that represents Good. ‘The Demon King’ as a musical offering leaves you disturbed and intrigued at the same time, while that may not always be a good thing, in this case, the album leaves you craving for more and that’s when those repeat listens happen.
To say that ‘The Demon King’ is different from the past works of Demonic Resurrection would be an understatement. The difference lies in how the entire sound of the band has been refined to sound like a completely new and evolved unit of sound while retaining the old ‘demonic’ values that Demonic Resurrection’s music has always been characteristic of. Musically, I’ve never liked The Demonstealer’s vocals better. The growls and screeches are raw (unprocessed), clear, powerful and executed well; however I can’t say the same about the clean vocals. Even though the harmonies sound lovely, the overall vocal texture (on the cleans) borders on above-average. Personally I feel the cleans could have done with a layer of low octave baritone vocals for the depth they seem to be lacking at present. Despite this, the vocals overall are pretty impressive. Another significant development (and change) in the song-writing that is worth mentioning is in the usage of keyboards. Mephisto’s characteristic style has always consisted of providing symphonic keyboard laden atmospherics to DR’s music. On their fourth album, Mephisto has retained his old style and added elaborate orchestrations that fill up gaps left by all the intricate guitar work by The Demonstealer and the inimitable Daniel Kenneth Rego. While we’re on the subject, I’d go out on a limb and say that Daniel’s guitar solos are immaculate and sensibly written to suit each and every song’s musical progression, and probably the best solos I’ve ever heard on a Demonic Resurrection album. Ashwin’s bass and Viru’s drums complement each other musically and structurally. While there’s not much I can say about the bass parts, I’d like to say that all drum parts are carefully written with a controlled aggression about them that prevent the overall album from sounding obstreperous.
My favorite tracks from the album are ‘The Assassination’, ‘The Promise of Never’, ‘The Demon King’, ‘Architect of Destruction’ and Shattered Equilibrium (a song written completely by Daniel). Look out for that acoustic outro on ‘The Assassination’ when you get a copy of the album.
In conclusion, ‘The Demon King’ is an album worthy of repeat listens purely because of the refreshingly new soundscape and a solid (and successful) attempt at regaling its listeners with an unconventional tale. If you’ve been a fan of the band you’re in for a surprise, and if you haven’t been a fan of the band you’re probably going to end up being one after the album releases on 13th July, 2014.