Demilich - Nespithe
Necropolis Records
Death Metal
11 songs (39:03)
Release year: 1993
Official Website, Necropolis Records
Reviewed by Charles
Archive review
True bizarreness is something to be treasured, and it is for this reason that so many death metal fans hold Demilich’s only full-length album so dearly. Rarely does something exude quite this much oddity from every pore, be it in the penchant for curious anagrams (the instrumental Erecshyrinol untangles to No Lyrics Here, for example), to the eccentric song titles (Inherited Bowel Levitation - Reduced Without Any Effort is suggestive of quite a story), to the actual music itself which leaves an impression like a branding iron in the shape of the band's logo, pressed directly onto your brain.

First, the vocals. Antti Boman belches and gurgles at a frequency lower than a lead coffin in a quagmire, and evoking the same sense of something slowly sinking into putrid ooze. It is quite an unnerving feat he accomplishes, and he probably deserves some kind of award, or at least a place in a circus. As impressive as this is, however, it’s a sideshow next to some of the riffing on display. It could be called technical, but the brilliance is in their conception rather than execution. Demilich take confusing combinations of notes, tied together with the elegance of a daddy-long-legs, and twist them inexplicably into complex Escher-sketch compositions. The planet that once used to……, for example, consists of seemingly nothing but a continuous stream of increasingly baffling riffs, some of which mystify because they inhabit truly curious time signatures, but others simply because of their shape. They lope across large leaps in pitch, and in their angular, twisting feel, barely correspond to the linear ideas that are far more common in death metal. Bascially, their guitar riffs are like a Les Claypool bassline.

There are plenty of highpoints, although in truth you can easily be forgiven for getting muddled up between tracks. Personally, I find myself most often returning to the aforementioned instrumental. A continuous train of thought runs ingeniously through the song, as seemingly straightforward riffs find extra notes and beats being wedged into them, destroying their familiar rhythmic shape but leaving them recognisable. Then, fragments of older passages re-emerge in the midst of later tangled maelstroms, like Nepsithe’s own regurgitated innards, given life and clawing their way back up its chrome-plated oesophagus. Throughout the record, the sound is fuzzy and rumbling, with the same attitude to production as Boman has to vocals.

Demilich are a death metal alien life form. Comparable, of course, to Gorguts in their weirdness, but simultaneously being far more fun than their Canadian cousins. Their music is faintly ludicrous and they know it; so instead of coming over as serious and brutal, you are left with the impression of one of those Hieronymous Bosch paintings brought to life and turned into heavy metal. It cackles from maniacal riff to maniacal riff, aware that it is simultaneously confusing and impressing. There’s nothing quite like Nespithe, and it makes everything else seem a little bit normal by comparison.

By the way, the entire album can be downloaded for free at their website.

Killing Songs :
Erecshyrinol, The Planet That Once Used To Absorb Flesh In Order To Achieve Divinity And Immortality (Suffocated To The Flesh That It Desired...)
Charles quoted 90 / 100
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