Demonic Resurrection make extreme metal – if you choose to call it so – an acceptable, wholesome form of Sunday entertainment for the entire family. Slickly packaged and produced, and competently played, it is remarkable just how few buttons this band pushes; calculated to the point of obsession in the way it offsets its harsher moments with consumer-friendly antics, from making sweeping keyboards the primary actor of melody over the distorted guitar underneath, to frequently layering death metal growls with amateurish singing, and introducing hilariously out of place, rock-star pose solos, The Demon King is an exercise in walking the modern metal tightrope. In many ways, this album could have only been made in a time of vaginas on buses and diamonds on hoardings, such is its self-conscious desire to appeal to the widest possible audience. That, and the fact that the band as a whole is prone to a form of cognitive dissonance, glaringly oblivious of the evolution of metal, and especially extreme metal, as a genre.
But Demonic Resurrection call themselves “Demonic Metal“, a marketing moniker that presumably lets them escape the stigma attached to good old death metal and black metal, and pursue other odds and ends. On the evidence of The Demon King, this style consists of a pseudo-progressive and melodic approach to songwriting where short symphonic phrases assert themselves over syncopated riffing and drums, giving this music a choppy, staccato character as opposed to the long-flowing tremolo passages of traditional black metal. The Demon King is ambitious in nature, at ease over long song lengths but relying on standard breakdowns for meat in the middle instead of elongating and chaining individual riffs for a more continuous, expansive feel. Moodily composed guitar solos, neoclassical and even indie rock implements are often interjected with little concern for the song’s overall dynamic while somewhat inept and untrained clean singing attempts to bring an emotional quality to the music. Unlike genuine progressive music, however, verse-chorus hooks are embedded into the fabric of this album, establishing an easy navigational aid for the listener.
The Demon King may conceivably work as a gateway album for the uninitiated but just in case you run into one of those unfortunates, do them a favour and point them in the general direction of In The Nightside Eclipse or Far Away From The Sun. There are better melodic options out there, symphonic or otherwise.