Artist: Demonic Manifestation
Album: World of Horror
Label: Dan’s Crypt Records
Worship bands propose an interesting question to the seasoned listener. When listening to music on a grand scale, one is much more likely to seek innovation or differentiation over familiarity. Thus, worship bands fill more of a niche need—listeners seek them out if they tire of their old favorites or if they just looking for something to spice up their listening experience, but not rock the boat. A good worship band takes a variety of influences and sounds and tries to combine them in a way that offers an alternative route to the same destination as the original sound. A band that offers a watered-down imitation of their ancestors, however, is not worth one’s time.
Demonic Manifestation follows in the footsteps of Entombed, Dismember, and Carnage, offering another stab at the Swedish death metal style with World of Horror. Their specific style feels particularly rotten—the atmosphere feels like decaying flesh, the vocals sound as though they are being uttered through the decomposed throat of an undead revenant. Musically, the album focuses on a mixture between hard-hitting Entombed-esque death metal riffs and dirty melodic riffs that ring true of Dismember. Also mixed in are some powerful blast beats and d-beats, used to great effect—the track “Corrosive Humanity” applies the latter to great effect.
After a few listens, Demonic Manifestation’s more unique take on the style starts to shine through. It seems as though they take a lot of influence from brutal death, or the gorier sides of death metal like Exhumed. This is especially noticeable in the vocal delivery, but also on tracks like “The Tomb is Open” where blast beats reminiscent of the thin yet still relentless fury of brutal death metal shine through. This influence does not dominate the album, however—they are well mixed on the album as a whole, faring quite well alongside the nightmarish melodies and the buzzsaw guitars.
Ultimately, the band is a mixed bag of Swedeath bands. Reaching into each song, it’s easy to find ideas, riffs, or moments that wouldn’t feel out of place on Left Hand Path, Dark Recollections, or Indecent & Obscene. Nothing feels like a blatant rip-off, though. Each element is given their moment in the spotlight and Demonic Manifestation is unafraid to play with that structure.
World of Horror is competent but not innovative. The brutal and gore-influenced moments on this do add a little bit of flair but it is nothing new to the arsenal of Swedish-style death metal. What it does make for is an enjoyable listen—the songs are clearly well-constructed, thought out, and overall enjoyable to listen to. Don’t expect to hear the next “Override of the Overture” or “Bitter Loss” within the tracklist, but they work well together and overall do not feel like wasted time. World of Horror will find its home amongst those who worship the buzzsaw guitar, but perhaps won’t make much noise outside of the familiar Sunlight crowd.