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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

CD Review: Demilitia - s/t

Demilitia - s/t
2009 Steelhead Entertainment
Ray Van Horn, Jr.



There's a distinct grimy resonance to New York City hardcore and metal. It's usually characterized by slapped and plucked bass vibratum located in untidy filler spots, which is meant more as a compliment than a cheap shot. Biohazard and Nuclear Assault are two of the territorial forerunners in this respect. Also unique to New York 'core and thrash is a we-don't-give-a-flying-fuck ethos to its manifestation. The more racket, the better. If it sounds like the hostile derailment of the yellow line pitching over en route from Battery Park to Brooklyn, then ye bang, you've got yourself a band, dig?

Demilitia fits the profile if you want to talk about a New York City metal unit draping more balls than finesse. Not that these dudes don't exhibit flair when they want to; the mega-mosh section of "Monstro" from their self-titled debut release is full-on charged with a kicking tempo and flailing rhythm and lead guitars.

Even a song such as "Acrimony" comes off partially like Lamb of God and partly Immolation with a couple of zip-bang breakaway parts and guitar god solos from Demilitia's Owen "Big Gun" Burley. Its general cohesiveness (minus a few slight halts in momentum) counters the dogpiling chaos of "Teleox," (which does have a killer intro) as does "Abstract Fear," which is more straightforward than the title indicates, at least until it shifts gears into a ratchety breakdown mode in the final stanza.

At times Demilita are sloppier than a mattress on a hot Saturday night, yet this is actually part of their charm. "Brutalizer" is a complete noise fest brought to finish with squealing distortion and a final throat blare before the crack of a capped midnight special rings out.

At the front of the six-song mini album, "A Better Mousetrap" comes out snarling with guitar tugs from Burley and band founder Billy Blitzed, wailing death throes and chunky bass prods from Jason "Bassman" Porzse. It catches and loses its nasty groove intermittently as it switches from hardcore to death metal, as does "Teleox" thereafter.

Having been toiling around since 2003, the Demilitia squad, which now boasts the vocal spewage of former Immortal Flesh vocalist Ralph Reyes (also going by DJ Retch and Hunter Reyez), comes barging into the scene with as much of a what-the-fuck-you-looking-at candor as what you'd get by docking at the wrong port across the Hudson. Their debut isn't pretty, but it does kick your pants high up into your crack at times. Who sharted?

Rating: ***

2 comments:

Steel said...

Can't take exception with your take on DeMilitia's new EP. I would add that the percussionist, Dr. Thunder, may be the best musician in the band and deserves to share in the recognition given the rest of the troupe. Also, and I believe this is true of all metal, these guys need to be heard live. The energy and pace is beyond what a piece of plastic can hold. I would give the disc four stars, live is a five.

Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

Howdy, Steel, I can almost feel these guys live, because as you say, embedded code on plastic may or may not be indicative of a band's true prowess. The reckless feel of this band makes me believe they're insane onstage.