SHRIEKING DEMONS – Diabolical Regurgitations (2021)REVIEW

Cleverness and conviction reigns when simplicity is the lay of the land and nowhere is this more true than when we are speaking to the longest held virtues of ‘old school’ death metal handicraft, especially when it is reinterpreted as fresh art in glowing hindsight. We need not look further than the legacy afforded Obituary in identifying the coalescing roots of heavy metal advent, extreme metal advent, and the almost too pure (for some) amplification of this lineage into a distilled, groovy beast that may be emulated to Hell, but never matched by worthy personae. Point being that we are offered so many ghostly imitations of death metal origin and peak alike at such a high rate every year that it is easy to begin to view low-level imitation/approximation of sound as a sport of kings without factoring in the artist’s perhaps even more value as performers, maestros of -evocative- morbid craft. Perhaps a “happy accident” or, a phenomena built upon decades of obsession with classic death metal forms in other bands, this introductory EP from Italian death metal trio Shrieking Demons, ‘Diabolical Regurgitations‘, presents as a hard-swinging and charismatic skull-shake of a performance. Built upon soundly concieved dynamic and influenced by the elder gods first and foremost, this ~17 minute EP says and does more with “less”, achieving a potently physical experience by way of convincing, scarifying and groove-rich actions beyond the current status quo and nearer the old.

Weed, ‘Master of Reality’, early Celtic Frost and certainly ‘Hell Awaits’ are key ingredients of many classics-bound bands of the mid-80’s/early 90’s ilk which we could reference in likeness to what Shrieking Demons present here on ‘Diabolical Regurgitations’ but we can be hyper-specific for the sake of hitting the right niche. The ‘To Mega Therion’ and Dream Death influenced late 80’s/early 90’s death metal out of the Netherlands, such as Mourning and Delirium, are a good enough approximation of vibe to start, going full on Autopsy in mindset when the slower swinging turns to stomp. We could easily end up with something slightly more evolved yet no less groove-smoothed, such as Vastum (or, Cryptic Brood) from that point but since we’re met face to face with members of Undead Creep, Morbo, and Cancer Spreading here it makes sense to dig towards the simple yet frantic detail of Morgue‘s (Illinois) ‘Eroded Thoughts’, especially on “Whispering Corridors” where the trio speak the more broadly accessible dialect of ‘Retribution For the Dead’-era Autopsy with shades of ‘Leprosy’-era Death in the mix as well. “Hidden Cathedral of Diseases” has the load of the ’82 hardcore/crust n’ ‘Severed Survival’ we’d expect from the folks involved, more or less completing this puzzle of traditional-yet-twisted into shape DNA which lands upon my ears as effortless in movement but preened over for the perfect take on every count.

The major takeaway here isn’t this puddle of old school punk and doom-coughing death that forms from these references but the intricacies of their groove oriented, quick-changing style which amounts to a late 80’s specific “competitive” level of songwriting detail. These songs are written by a pair of folks who are each quite good drummers who’ve mapped out a short but impactful record that provides more than just riffs and stomping rides which nonetheless doesn’t press the issue any further, leaving the listener to dig deeper if they wish. Vocalist Gabri (Cancer Spreading, Gravesite) is the one to push ‘Diabolical Regurgitations’ from good to great thanks to what I’d consider a convincing, well-considered, and impressively layered performance that echoes and shrouds the full listen with a horrifying, huge presence. It won’t take any sort of deeper thought or careful study of what Shrieking Demons are doing here to appreciate their work, but I would suggest that the full-ranged action of these 17 minute bodes well for where this project could and should go in the future. A moderately high recommendation.

Moderately high recommendation. (75/100)

Rating: 7.5 out of 10.
TITLE:Diabolical Regurgitations
LABEL(S):Caligari Records
RELEASE DATE:July 30th, 2021
BUY & LISTEN:Bandcamp
GENRE(S):Death Metal

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