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Demons of Noon - Album Review: Death Machine

28 Nov 2023 // A review by Daylen Schmied-Pape
As I sat down to listen to Death Machine, and give my review to Demons of Noon’s debut album, I found myself immediately entranced, but also worried that I was in over my head. While I’m a lover of anything heavy, and I knew I was well equipped to provide my own takes on the project, I feared that a body of work of this scope would require a deep understanding of Metal and its sub-genres that I simply don’t possess, so I took it to the one place I knew would be able to provide a rich, and in-depth look into any and all things Metal: a professional kitchen at closing time.

Anyone who has worked in hospitality before can tell you that the “Back-Of-House” as we call it, is heavily dominated by bearded, tattooed blokes who love nothing more than to blast heavy music and make vulgar jokes. It’s a lot like working on the romanticised, Hollywood depiction of a pirate ship, and it’s the ideal place to go for insights into anything heavy or hard. (Musically, or otherwise.)

So, for this review, I was joined by co-critics Nicholas A. and Matt M., both of whom provided wonderful insights into the genre, and wholeheartedly enjoyed the experience while we scrubbed down the walls and benches after a back-breaking service.

Upon playing the first track over our in-house Boom speaker, I was provided with my first quote.

“The intro is like waiting for the acid to kick in.”

This was met with some good chuckles as we waited with bated breath for the introductory droning and drum beating of the 8-minute epic that is Echolalia to give way to its satanic Gregorian chants, which brought forth imagery of a procession of demonic monks marching forth from the very depths of hell.

“The themes are similar to Zeal & Ardor.” Matt offered as we reached the last couple minutes of the track, and the guitar, and chanting intensified. “It sounds like the soundtrack to Mandy.”

(For those like myself who are unfamiliar with the movie, Mandy is a horror/action film starring Nicholas Cage, with a powerful score by the late great Jóhann Jóhannsson.)

“Like the sequel to Mandy with Steven Spielberg and Jean-Claude Van Damme” Nick chimed in.

As the album progressed, and the head-banging drums and grindy guitar intensified, we found ourselves distracted from our work on more than a few occasions.

“There are certain moments where the guitar makes you think it’s going to go into a hardcore song.” Nick said, with which we all agreed. Scott Satherley, and Abraham Kunin’s contributions to the soundscape definitely take you on a journey, in and out of angry, mosh-worthy breaks, and occultist, hymn-like trances as the project oscillates between its eclectic assortment of vibes.

By the third track Coward we were all hooked. This is the kind of music I would have listened to as an angry teenager, ideally while sitting under a bridge and chain-smoking cigarettes.

“The guitar on this song sounds like Every Time I Die, or early Hatebreed.” Nick lauded, reminiscing on his own youth as the anger and energy of the track bled into our work, and we scrubbed a little harder than usual. As long time lovers of Stoner Metal, and avid preachers of the genre, I knew Matt and Nick would enjoy Demons of Noon, and I was not disappointed by their reactions. Experiencing this album with these two seasoned metalheads gave me a deeper appreciation of the nuances of the music that I wouldn’t have been able to pick up on my own. “Sounds like Sleep, or Electric Wizard.” Nick continued as we made our way through the back half of the project. I nodded in agreement, not really knowing what he was referring to, but trusting his judgement.

By the time we made it to Demons of Shade our close was completed, but we all stood, captivated by the journey we had been taken on. if I weren't already an anarchistic disciple of Satanism, by this point in the album I’d been converted. We all agreed that this was our favourite track on the album. The layered, distorted vocals beg you to listen closely, in an attempt to decipher their messages, and the instrumentation makes for the perfect head-banger. It’s just melodic enough, while still maintaining the droning, chant-like energy that the rest of the project delivers.

As Demons of Shade gave way to the final track Torched and Burned, I couldn’t help but wonder if the previous track would have been a more fitting end to the album. Upon voicing this, I was met with Nick’s response: “It feels like it’s setting up a sequel.”

I couldn’t agree more. While perhaps Demons of Shade might have made for a more conclusive finale, Torched and Burned leaves you desperately wanting more.

Needless to say, we’re all now waiting on the sequel, and will all be in attendance at Demons of Noon’s album release show after we finish work on Saturday, December 2nd.

If you like Doom Metal, Stoner Metal, or are looking to convert to Satanism, I’d recommend you attend as well.

 

About Demons of Noon

Demons of Noon are a force of nature from Tamaki Makaurau. This cult doom band tunes low and hits like a sledgehammer to the chest.

In the troubled times of late-stage capitalism, their incantatory monkish chants, deep and sludgy riffs, and the ethereal tones of their maidens are the balm that you didn’t know you needed.

After coming out of nowhere with their debut EP The Summoning in 2020, Demons of Noon caught the ears of Poneke heavyweights Beastwars, who delivered them directly to a sold-out crowd at San Fran for a memorable first show. Beastwars were so impressed by this performance that they invited them along to decimate the Powerstation as well.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Demons of Noon

Releases

Death Machine
Year: 2023
Type: Album
The Summoning
Year: 2020
Type: EP

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