Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Demon Bitch – Hellfriends (2016) / 93%

Demon Bitch – Hellfriends (2016)
Skol Records

Filth Demon Bitch Boogie

If you've been following my reviews, you possibly know that I consider the sole Borrowed Time full length to be a modern classic and despite the premature end for the band, Detroit remains a great hotbed for American heavy metal. After a good demo and an even better extended play, Demon Bitch (great name, fuck you all, this is metal) has now unleashed their debut full length and it's no less than the best traditional metal album of 2016 (Dark Forest might be able to beat them but I doubt it).

This is miles better than bands like Enforcer and the likes because you can, without a hint of doubt, hear the immense passion for the style that these guys have but the most important point is that they're able to play the style without falling into the dire pit of overproduced modernity. I mean, it's not lo-fi but it's certainly somewhat raw for the style. I feel that the production job is exactly what they wanted and it fits their style perfectly, the balance between all the instruments has this classic metal approach and it's just how I think heavy metal should sound regardless of the decade we're in.

The blistering solos sound like a great magician playing lead guitar in an enchanted cave but without any of the cheesiness emanating from this comparaison. Not unlike the most concise material of Manilla Road, Demon Bitch are capable to write super epic metal within an accessible and totally catchy timeframe. It's a short album but five of the seven songs are between five and seven minutes (damn, I know this is a weird sentence) and they offer everything I wanted. Perhaps not as classy and elegant as Borrowed Time, they're still fairly on the intelligent and intriguing side. A track like the super epic "The Microdome" recalls Iron Maiden at their most melancholic and ends with some superb rhythm guitars and a piano outro, a really great song. A great band playing a classic style must be effective at distancing itself from their influences and that's something that Demon Bitch are excellent at doing. Sure, you'll be reminded of Mercyful Fate and the likes but I feel that their identity is their own.

I guess that the vocals of Logon are sort of an acquired taste but I totally love his high pitched, unhinged metal version of Geddy Lee. Like J-P Abboud, he's theatrical and has a lot of personality. Even if I liked him a lot, the guitars on Hellfriends are the clear highlights, I think there's not a single bad note on this thirty five minutes record, it's all gold. The songs are just fast enough and never boring and there's a lof of attention to some subtle details in the songwriting and it made the album even better. All and all, it's a superb occult tinged heavy metal album and worth listening to two or three times a day.

P.S. Four of their members are also in White Magician, also a super good band but watch out, they're even more insane.

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