Demon Head – The Resistance (2018) REVIEW

Denmark’s most authentic proto-metal project took shelter from the winter on 2016 and shook off the frost with their massive second full-length ‘Thunder on the Fields’. It was somewhat overlooked for it’s retro sound and stripped-down hard psych style. The allure of Demon Head is in their dark proto-metal sound that rolls out like a cleaned up Pentagram tape from the 70’s. The immediate draw for me towards Demon Head was the lightly baked vocals of M. Ferreira Larsen that have a perfect affectation for their style, his cadence is halfway between briefly NWOBHM/prog band Demon‘s Dave Hill and a touch of 90’s Glenn Danzig minus the hysterics. His tone brings some horror and darkness that few retro-referential groups manage and elevates the personality of their guitar driven rock music.

Though I suspect the two songs on ‘The Resistance’ were extras from the recording sessions of ‘Thunder on the Fields’, the guitar work felt somehow more meditative and layered than before. In fact the EP is meant as an epilogue to their previous album that pulls from their conception and looks to the future. If you’ve never heard Demon Head this is a brilliant introduction to their sound and process as it showcases their themes of presence and wonder through some of their most effective doom/rock arrangements.  “Rivers of Mars” walks away from the campfire, into the woods, and as soon as the LSD kicks in we’re slipping on muddy red river banks a planet away. The mention of ‘Night of the Demon’ and Pentagram should make sense here but also the wailing guitar solos and melodies should conjure similar feelings to Witchcraft‘s sound on ‘Nucleus’ a few years ago.

The B-side is “The Resistance” a “homage to those who defy tyranny” that howls a dark tale of said resistance written in timeless enough voice that it could apply to the past, the present or the horrors of the future. It’s mood is sullen and subdued compared to “Rivers of Mars” and shows a different side of Demon Head necessary to see. It’s tone is one of empathy for the struggle of the oppressed and instead of wailing off into a grand fanfare the track pushes on forward. It’s structure loops beautifully but also juxtaposes well with the first track on the EP. I was already well sold on Demon Head but this EP had me going back to their ‘Thunder on the Fields’ album repeatedly as a result of the two tracks here. ‘The Resistance’ is a sort of exciting primer for the band’s sound and a good slice of their songwriting skill.

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Artist Demon Head
Type EP
Released April 20, 2018
BUY/LISTEN on their Bandcamp! Follow Demon Head on Facebook
Genres

Carry your fire. 4.0/5.0

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