Taphos – Demo MMXVI & EP MMXVII [Compilation] (2018) REVIEW

One of many upsurges within the Copenhagen extreme metal underground birthed many impressive bands around 2011 with forward-thinking old school grime seeping from the like-minded collectives of Reverie, Slægt, Undergang and Phrenelith. No less impressive and verily related is the olden filth of Taphos who possess a mind for both impressive scene-defiant old school death metal and atmospheric composition. In preparation for their first full-length they’ve released their first demo and EP in a compilation aimed at documenting their formative demo releases. Taphos‘ demos are only formative in the sense of finding the defining old-is-new rhythms in their sound and they were professionally performed throughout with no real rough edges in terms of recording quality.

The band’s first demo ‘Demo MMXVI’ has a looser style of riffing that aims for the raw, thrashing roots of death metal but edges close to the rawness of Purtenance and the semi-melodic nods of Uncanny. It reminds me of the early 90’s German death metal scene because they’d often pull from every part of the world for their influence and a lot of it stood out amidst the clone wars of the Swedish scene. Lemming Project is a great example of this and ‘Extinction’ offers a general ballpark of what Taphos manages on their first demo in terms of collective influence.

For the Taphos‘ two song ‘EP MMXVII’ they’d increased their guitar presence and the Bolt Thrower influences in their guitar work begin to shine through a bit more alongside some hints of black metal atmospherics. “Purging Pyres” is perhaps the clearest sign of how their sound would change after these two formative steps as it resembles something akin to Necros Christos or Obscure Burial. The EP has a fuller recording with a guitar sound that would be amplified even more on their ‘Premonition’ EP leading into their upcoming full-length. Though I think the main even for this compilation is the demo, this EP is a key listen when connecting their current sound with their demo.

Though it is a little short at less than 30 minutes this compilation will definitely be worthwhile for folks who will assuredly be blown away by Taphos‘ upcoming debut full-length. With the full picture of the band’s intent made more clear through these demos their first album is all the more impressive. These Danes display an impressive deftness with old school death metal rhythms and found a way to quickly modernize their sound by infusing their increasingly sinister crawl with the intensity of death/thrash and black metal atmospherics.


Artist Taphos
Type Album
Released April 6, 2018
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Torn flesh from the earth. 3.5/5.0

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