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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Demon Bitch - Hellfriends

Artist: Demon Bitch
Release Title: Hellfriends
Year: 2016
Label: Skol Records
Genre: Traditional Heavy Metal
1. Warning from the Skies
2. Devil Love
3. A Passage to the Other Side
4. Beneath the Ice Caves
5. Hellfriends
6. Fortunes Told
7. The Microdome

Dating back to 2011, Detroit-based traditional metallers Demon Bitch came together when three lifelong friends Mars Weston, Logon Saton, and Samuel Ceckowsk professed a love of traditional hard and heavy metal from the 80s. With several releases and second-guitarist Solon Saton in tow, the group is finally able to unleash their full-length debut album June 17, 2016 on Skol Records.

Almost from the opening riff-volleys, it becomes clear the band is content to throwing out the kind of throwback rhythms for the genre’s past as there’s a warm, infectious brand of riff-work present here that really moves the album along. Featuring high-speed, swirling riffing intercut with a bouncy, buzzing bass-tone that adds an inherent melodic sensibility into the album while really turning the album into a solid showcase for those rhythms as the continuous assault of trad-melodies and varied rhythm arrangements pounds out hard-hitting sections filled with choppy drum-patterns that are so inherently 80s-inspired they should’ve been recorded then. As well, there’s a nice bit of technicality to the rhythms that aids in this one generating the kind of old-school feel, offering a variance in the rhythms instead of delving into flashy showmanship offer a more progressive edge that accompanies the tracks that manage to feature them twisting and turning over upon themselves, altering the tempos and managing to feature much more elaborate riffing patterns to fully explore their technical edge here. By encompassing this entire attack in a warm, fuzzy production that is such a well-rounded and enthusiastic retread of the 80s production sound it gets plenty of enjoyable moments here, though that is inherently the album’s lone weakness which is the production job as the soft, faded production really lacks a punch that saps some of their intensity, but as that’s the required sound of the time it does gets a pass.

With a fun and sometimes rousing blend of hard-hitting old-school attack that manages to ape nearly everything from that era down to near-perfection with some minor issues holding it back only slightly, this here is a must-have for any classic metal aficionado or anyone into the revivalist period of the genre.

Score: 96/100

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