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Monday, August 29, 2016

Review: Demon Bitch - Hellfriends


Dating back to 2011, Detroit-based traditional metallers Demon Bitch came together when three lifelong friends Mars Weston, Logon Saton, and Samuel Ceckowsk professed a love of traditional hard and heavy metal from the 80s. With several releases and second-guitarist Solon Saton in tow, the group is finally able to unleash their full-length debut album June 17, 2016 on Skol Records.

Almost from the opening riff-volleys, it becomes clear the band is content to throwing out the kind of throwback rhythms for the genre’s past as there’s a warm, infectious brand of riff-work present here that really moves the album along. Tracks like “Warning from the Skies,” “Devil Love” and the title track are filled with high-speed, swirling riffing intercut with a bouncy, buzzing bass-tone that adds an inherent melodic sensibility into the album, while really turning the album into a solid showcase for those rhythms as the continuous assault of trad-melodies and varied rhythm arrangements pounds out hard-hitting sections that are so inherently 80s-inspired, they should’ve been recorded back then. Also, there’s a nice bit of technicality to the rhythms that aids in this one generating the kind of old-school feel, offering a variance in the rhythms where “Beneath the Ice Caves” and “The Microdome” instead of delving into flashy showmanship to offer a more progressive edge that accompanies the tracks that manage to feature them twisting and turning over upon themselves, altering the tempos and managing to feature much more elaborate riffing patterns to fully explore their technical edge here. The effort really lacks a punch with the soft, faded production that saps some of their intensity, but by being such a well-rounded and enthusiastic retread of the 80s production sound it gets a pass.

With a fun and sometimes rousing blend of hard-hitting old-school attack that manages to ape nearly everything from that era down to near-perfection with some minor issues holding it back only slightly, this here is a must-have for any classic metal aficionado or anyone into the revivalist period of the genre. 9.5/10

Written by Don Anelli

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