Demonical – Black Flesh Redemption EP (Agonia Records)

Thursday, 16th April 2015
Rating: 8/10

Always get these Swedes confused with Diabolical and Centinex (bassist Martin Schulman splits time between both bands, so there you go), although Demonical will reach their first-full decade of existence effective next year. Their approach since their formation has remained the scene: Uphold the values and spirit of classic Stockholm death metal, which is a bit of a double-edged sword these days thanks to how often the style has been pillaged. Yet there’s an obvious degree of honesty coming from Demonical, which gives their four-song Black Flesh Redemption EP the persuasion (not to mention brevity) to put it over the top.

The production is fantastic, maybe because it’s both modern and vintage. (Didn’t Sixx: AM just call an album Modern/Vintage? Whatever.) The searing, classic Swedish death metal guitar tone is in full supply, but recorded with excellent clarity, which comes in handy during the tumbling portions of “Drown in Flames.” While the band doesn’t re-write the foundation of Stockholm death metal here, the grinding, colossal “Throne of Perdition” serves as a mini-career highlight for Demonical, traversing the slightly doom-bound style of Hypocrisy circa mid-90s, while retaining the classic DM feel.

No-frills, of course, but wholly reliable and steady, Demonical remain one of Swedish death metal’s bastions of quality. Black Flesh Redemption, in its quick, well-honed execution, should serve as a reminder as to how Stockholm death metal should be done.

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