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  • Noah Spiece

Demilich: Dastardly Death Metal That Won't Stay Dead

Spawned from the depths of the early ’90s amidst the decade’s burgeoning death metal scene, Demilich’s “Nespithe” marked the definitive amalgamation of all that was grotesque, brutal and outright weird that the scene had contained in past releases. Extremely deep, guttural vocals are taken to the furthest edge of unintelligibility. Meanwhile, far below in a pit of chaotic technicality and filthy, vile arrangements, revolving riffs constantly repeat inhuman and hellish sequences with drums never wholly devolving into blast beats, but changing speeds and rhythm consistency within each song. Sometimes straight simple blast beats, others a speeding, jazzy, pinpoint rhythm, and occasionally slow and plodding to add weight to the grungy, gnarly riffs. They poke and prod the album’s and each song’s pace, pushing it forward, bringing it down, or gripping it tight with a clasped grip. This unsteadiness does not affect the momentum of “Nespithe” though. It is its hook.

At “Nespithe’s” time of release in 1993, the band consisted of members Mikko Virnes on drums, Antti Boman on guitar and vocals, Aki Hytönen on guitar, and Ville Koistinen on bass. Promptly after releasing “Nespithe”, Demilich disbanded, and released no further material. Demilich had seemingly been lain to rest, leaving behind their sole full length as an isolated and defined death metal statement.

Eventually though, Demilich’s corpse was exhumed in 2005 when the band reformed for a brief time, but was quickly put back in the grave after a “last ever” show in their hometown, Kuopio, Finland in 2006. In 2010, Demilich resurrected yet again to play another “last ever” show. Then, contrary to their second “last ever” show, the band rose yet again in 2014, and have been playing sporadic live shows since. According to Boman, he and the band are now currently writing four new tracks, and will mark the final death of Demilich after all these years of refusing to stay rotting in the grave.

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