Ahtme – The Demonization (Unique Leader)

Monday, 28th March 2016
Rating: 7.5/10

The road to The Demonization is one trip that doesn’t happen every day. Set to be released back in 2013 via the independent route, it never really saw an “official” release. Since signing to Unique Leader (and changing their band name from The Roman Holiday to Ahtme), the label decided to offer forth this reissue of sorts while the band continues work on their follow-up, set to be released here in 2016.

Not quite the technical juggernaut that you might be expecting given the Unique Leader stamp, there’s still plenty of dizzying guitar riffs alongside primal aggression. Indeed, with a technical mindset more akin to Cannibal Corpse and Hate Eternal than say, Arkaik or The Zenith Passage, Ahtme is happier serving up intensity. There’s a level of immediate gratification behind the first few listenings, with the sometimes blistering pace fueling the adrenaline surge but as you continue to listen, you’ll get a larger scope for what Ahtme is doing. The songs use balance to keep things moving ahead, with plenty of dynamics (see the mid-tempo pummeling of the title track or relentless speed of “The Sentinel’s Order”) to craft a solid stack of songs. There’s a level of memorability entrenched into the music that you’ll pick up on despite the often staggering brutality that will also increase with further spins.

Ahtme have a promising start with the now three-year old that is The Demonization. There’s nothing here you might not expect, but for their first release, they have got their assault down to a science. It will be interesting to line-up this one with their next release to see how things have changed.

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