Demolizer – Upgrade (Mighty Music)

Wednesday, 6th October 2021
Rating: 8/10

Choosing to stay relevant after the success of their debut album Thrashmageddon, Demolizer from Denmark reaches back into the archives and puts a newer spin on old material for this Upgrade EP. Consisting of songs from the Ghoul demo released in 2018, the band chose three of the five songs to revisit, tacking on a favorite Annihilator cover to sweeten the deal (and ‘upgrade’ the appeal). Already privy to the demo versions reviewed by this scribe all those years back, it’s obvious the seasoning, experience, and stronger production values elevate the energy and intensity of these tracks to a better level.

For those unfamiliar with the quartet, you can expect a hefty number of crunchy riffs, often throwing down some serious triplets – as well as injecting the proper transitions and melodic groove-like sequences to cause chaos and hurtle bodies into the stratosphere. Equally engaging at a crawling pace during “Torture Insanity” as they are when going all-out warp speed for “Ghoul”, the intertwining of European and American influences gives Demolizer a chance for segments of the old (and new) followers to appreciate their take on the genre. Dazzling, quick rhythm work and stop/start mechanics from Ben Radtleff and Aria Mobbarez as guitarists should garner the most attention – as well as Ben’s frantic screams/growl contrasts that sound like a maniac possessed by some tortured soul. Add in the gang-like shouts in key spots (“Get Out of My Way” the most obvious example) and there’s little to complain about here. Impressive as well is the “King of the Kill” cover by Annihilator – Ben choosing to add his extreme vocal style to differentiate things, but the rock solid riffs and impressive lead break work proves Demolizer knows how to rock with intricacy.

While we all await horizons and venues to open for more live music, we’ll take special EP’s like Upgrade and anticipate another strong album from Demolizer down the line.

Demolizer official website