Release DetailsLABEL Worldeater Records
RELEASED ON 4/1/2007
When Demons Ride Angels
posted on 5/2007 By:
When Demons Ride Angels is boring and derivative blackened metal (grind, crust & doom included) that somehow manages to make 29 minutes sound like an hour. I can't remember the last time I almost fell asleep reviewing an album, but I will make a point to mark this date on my calendar.
A detectable sense of groove runs through a thick strain of fuzz, harsh vocals and chaotic drums without quite gelling with any of those three additional elements. Certainly, there are moments where they all work together better than most, such as the instrumental title track, but this album is by no means a compelling listen. As unfortunate as it is, Syzslak has some talent. The guitarist hits a few cool riffs, especially in the slower songs. As typical as the lyrics are, the vocalist owns them well enough to sound relatively convincing. I would feel better at night slagging a completely helpless, talentless group of degenerate hacks, but these aren't them. I want to say that they're biting off more than they can chew by incorporating so many different elements into their aesthetic (if you could call it that), but there are a number of bands that are successful in this same endeavor, Gallhammer being the most current example. I guess an album like this leaves me frustrated more than anything else. At such a short length, you'd expect each song to thrash and punch with the strength of Zeus. No matter the pace, When Demons Ride Angels plods along with the intensity of Kenny G on Xanax, mostly due to the similarity in riffs. Songwriting takes a major nosedive here.
Admittedly, this is an absolute mess at times. I often wondered if Syzslak were a band or simply an unnecessary funnel for rage. At its worst, it sounds like a group of guys playing independent of each other at the same time. At its best, it sounds like a decent but derivative attempt at instrumental crust psychedelia (the title track). I recently read an incredibly short review on this very album by one of the major metal mags and the primary descriptor was "skull-scraping." I am not so sure this album is dangerous enough to scrape the hairs hanging from my balls, let alone my skull. Fuzzy, pissed off music sounded so much better coming from Mike Williams.
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