Demonical – World Domination (Agonia)

Monday, 26th October 2020
Rating: 7/10

With Centinex back and fully operational, it’s a bit of a wonder why Demonical continues. Started in 2006 by then-former Centinex bassist Martin Schulman, Demonical ably plugged any holes left by the golden Stockholm quartet of Entombed, Dismember, Grave and Unleashed, each of whom was showing various degrees of career wear-and-tear. From there, their studio albums have fallen under the “respectable, but not world-beating” category, which is not a play on the World Domination album title, but rather another no-frills, well-executed whirl of vintage Swedish death metal.

Right on the cue, the HM-2 distortion pedal is blaring and wisely placed out front. You can always swipe out the production jobs on any number of these albums — they’re all going to do the same thing, which, of course, is to make sure the chainsaw guitars are the dominant force. Therefore, it’s with little effort that Demonical throttle through d-beat pounders such as “Hellfire Rain,” the Left Hand Path-certified “The Thin Darkness” and “Calescent Punishment.” However, Demonical did manage to weave in a surprise by way of “Slipping Apart,” which features vocals from Nils Patrik Johansson of Astral Doors and Civil War fame for a Dio-does-death metal mash-up that, frankly, Demonical would be advised doing more of — they’d be unstoppable.

Surprises like this are in short supply — death metal of this ilk is not for taking chances, but after 16 years and now six studio albums of diligent, stay-within-the-boundaries DM, Demonical leaves at least one lasting takeaway from World Domination: Inserting a classic metal singer into death metal should have been repeated on all eight songs, not one.

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