Monday, February 28, 2011

Demonic Resurrection: The Return to Darkness (2010)


Demonic Resurrection is the best-known metal band out of India, having been featured on the documentary Global Metal. Since I didn't have any tacks pushed into my metal map in India, I decided to pick up their third full-length, The Return to Darkness.

Return to DarknessThey play a highly accessible style of melodic death metal, and chances are it's really nothing you haven't heard before. They pepper this with a strong power metal flavor, especially in the guitar solos, a thick layer of synths, and some progressive tendencies on the two longer tracks. Vocalist Demonstealer is the star of this show, being a very capable death growler (similar to Nergal's style), as well as having a strained rasp and radio-friendly clean vocals. The latter are sometimes distorted in that Cynic computer-like way. The guitars, bass, and drums are all standard issue melo-death; they don't really warrant a lengthy explanation. The keyboards are kind of a mixed bag. Sometimes, they remain unobtrusive, adding welcome drama and atmosphere. But other times they don't keep keyboardist Mephisto on a tight enough leash, and he gets ridiculously distracting (see "The Warriors Return").

The songs are also a mixed bag. I feel like I've heard basically every song on this album a few times before, performed better or worse by a number of other bands. A handful of these offerings are strong enough to be memorable, like "Where Dreams and Darkness Unite" or "Bound by Blood, Fire and Stone". But others, like "The Unrelenting Surge of Vengeance", are unrelentingly boring. The problem seems to be that they're afraid to break the rules, and when they do manage to step outside the box, like the death ballad (that's what I'm calling it) "A Tragedy Befallen", it doesn't work. And the longest track on the album ("Lord of Pestilence") is disjointed and awful.

The Verdict: Demonic Resurrection seem like they simply have no songwriting instincts. When they paint by numbers, they do an admirable job, but when they try to do something different they screw it up. It's not bad, and not good. But it is highly accessible, so if you don't like it, give it away to your friend who's just "kind of" into metal. You know, the one who likes metal because it's cool, but most of it scares him. He'll think it's pretty "hardcore". I give it 3 out of 5 stars.


  1. I felt the same way about this record - except for the part about giving it to a friend who's just kind of into metal. You gotta give him the best stuff! Bring them over to the dark side!

  2. Thanks for the review. :)

    Cheers & Stay Demonic,