Polterchrist - Demo 2002
Self released
Technical death metal with blackened vocals
4 songs (22'34")
Release year: 2002
Reviewed by Alex

It took a while for a Polterchrist demo finally to arrive, but this 4-song CD was worth the wait.

Upon the first listen, adjectives that came to mind were “brutal, pummeling, and intense”. I usually don’t like brutality for the sake of being just that. On the other hand, Polterchrist, with Engulfed by the Swarm demo, has struck a brilliant balance. The key to success is experience and technical prowess of Polterchrist bandmembers. Where in the hands of some young pups this music may have sounded like a garbled heap of noise, Polterchrist delivers a lesson of how technical extreme music should be done. Yes, it takes more than one listen to delve into Polterchrist. I am sure if I had gone and seen them live first (those in Philadelphia have the pleasure), I would not have been able to pick out all the intricacies. Luckily, I had the recording, stuck with it and continued to be amazed with every spin-through.

Engulfed by the Swarm opens up with a buzzing sound of the myriad of some devilish insects only to disintegrate directly into a fast and furious blasting section where drumming exhibits plenty of cymbal work yet has a constant rumbling base. About 1:30 into the song an interesting harmonized riff rapidly accelerates into a guitar showcase of a machine gun precision. Both finger-destroying and melodic leads (warning, there are very angry bumble-bees overhead!) leave you worn and tattered when the song accelerates even further towards the end. Such is the music of Polterchrist. It is tough to pigeonhole the genre they are in. The vocal approach hints black metal (along with some of the lyrics I was able to make out) with occasional low grunt or a high pitched scream. Yet the music itself is technical progressive death metal with musicianship of extraordinary complexity. It is almost unfair how easily Polterchrist changes speeds switching rhythms in Lies … Pain … Hate or decelerates out of the fast thrashy part in The Plan of the Attack. The bass player deserves enormous credit for holding the framework together, and the drummer knows more beats than a jazz orchestra member. Guitars are awesome sounding razor-sharp one moment (Engulfed by the Swarm) and eerily ominous the other (Ancient Tales). The latter song actually slows the pace down a bit and presents a slightly distorted but melody laden lead. I am not an expert, but I would like have seen more of those melodies from Polterchrist. They would sound so stunning in contrast with the rest of the ear bludgeoning. The Plan of Attack can actually compete with the best European melodeath/thrash bands in the quality of riffing. The Haunted and Callenish Circle would have been given a run for their money on the same scene with Polterchrist.

The demo is professionally produced by Brian Griffin of Broken Hope fame. I am wildly guessing on this, but Brian should have had a blast working with Polterchrist. It is rarely you get a band when all you had to do is have them showcase themselves. The best quality of his production is clarity and … not overproducing too much. The demo pretty much does not have any artwork, and the lyrics are missing. A minor complaint when the music speaks for itself.

If you like your extreme music twistingly complex, yet downright exploding with hate and anger, you should try to obtain a demo at www.polterchrist.net. The band would not stay unsigned for long, and then you can claim you knew them before their famous days.

Killing Songs :
Engulfed By The Swarm, The Plan Of Attack
Alex quoted no quote
Other albums by Polterchrist that we have reviewed:
Polterchrist - Engulfed by the Swarm reviewed by Alex and quoted 77 / 100
0 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are no replies yet to this review
Be the first one to post a reply!