Banished - Feeding the Monster
Self released
3 songs (12'38")
Release year: 2003
Reviewed by Alex

Enthusiasm is the best attribute of youth. What good would a sourpuss attitude do to a young person? It helps if a young up-and-coming band has the same approach. Even though Swedish five-member crew Banished is not entirely newborn, they have certainly not been around forever (since 1996) and they do not have a lot of experience (Feeding the Monster is only their second demo). However, they play their brand of death’n’roll with a lot of gusto, all trends be damned.

I have learned about Banished from their new guitarist, Daniel Gustavson, who is also in Hyperborean, a band I had a pleasure reviewing. Daniel has been in Banished before, and two bands, Banished and Hyperborean, have a lot of common history and players.

Just like I mentioned above, and unlike Hyperborean, Banished play death’n’roll, the style that seems to be the ugly cousin of other, more popular, metal genres. Even though still riff-based, death’n’roll has nowhere the harshness of death metal. Gothenburg oriented bands pay more attention to leads and melodies, and overall guitar complexity, than death’n’rollers. What is undeniably important for death’n’roll is its guitar groove. And Banished has it in strong supply, just like the genre originators Entombed, the band Banished, no doubt, hold in high regard.

Entombed has been widely criticized for “polluting” death metal with rock’n’roll groove. Banished has nothing to fear, the path has already been precut for them, therefore, it is not as thorny. On Feeding the Monster they deliver three tracks, all dominated by rough guitar sound, not as buzzsaw as Entombed, but certainly not the polished clear variety. Just like death’n’roll should be. The opener Soul Possessed is a perfect example as the band goes through progression of groovy and catchy riffs, only to finish up with a solid headbanging section. Melody is clearly important to Banished, and they bring it in both riffs and solos. Being so melodic the riffs aren’t just death metal slabs, but in solos the band almost impinges on Gothenburg territory with some Iron Maiden flavor. The closer In Cold Blood is full of sweeping tunefulness, and with superfast snare at times definitely reminds of all things Gothenburg. The vocals of Tony Svensson are growly, of quite low timbre variety, and they fit much better on Soul Possessed and Feeding the Monster than on way too melodic In Cold Blood.

It is obvious the band enjoys what they do, they play with such cheerful abandonment. They also don’t take themselves too seriously posting pictures of some famous American actors (Marlon Brando, Clint Eastwood, etc.) above the line-up list in the demo’s booklet.

Full of energy, immediately accessible tunes of the demo are available on the band’s website.

Killing Songs :
Soul Possessed
Alex quoted no quote
Other albums by Banished that we have reviewed:
Banished - Hail Sejtan reviewed by Alex and quoted no quote
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