Monday, 17 June 2013

Demon Eye - ST EP

Cover artwork by John Hitselberger
When a spider's egg hatches, dozens of baby spiderlings rush forth and begin almost immediately to feed on one another until only a select few remain, the survivors growing as each brother or sister is devoured.  And each and every year a new crop of bands grows up from Hades to crack the pavement and choke the surface world in fuzz and low end rumble and each and every year a small handful of those bands tower above the rest.  Demon Eye is one of those bands.

Demon Eye are one of those rare bands who wear that genuine seventies sound like a pair of aviators and tight jeans.  Some of the leads and fills, let alone the main riffs and good, expressive vocals, are straight out of the 70s cookbook.  What makes this band stand out from the legions of other seventies influenced bands is the touch of doom that grows out of their main influences like a badass seventies porn 'stache or a tumorous growth.  Let's hope it's inoperable.

Actually, the sound that the band employs is both natural and inevitable with a pinch of the spice of chaos thrown into the recipe for flavor.  Demon Eye started out life as (and continue to live as) Corvette Summer, a North Carolinian seventies tribute band.  There are plenty of youtube videos featuring the band covering Big Brother & The Holding Company.  The period of music Demon Eye's music embodies is a natural extension of Corvette Summer.  The band live and breathe the very stuff of hard rock.  What Demon Eye brings to the table, aside from self-penned originals, is the influence of Pentagram, Trouble, Saint Vitus and Electric Wizard (and do I hear a trace of hometown heroes Corrosion of Conformity thrown into the mix?).  In a word: doom!

Chugging, blamming! undulating and writhing are the four basic elements that make up the wizard's brew riff on opening track "Hecate".  In fact, there isn't a weak riff on this thing.  Six tracks and each one is a flying flurry of them, put together, it's enough to make one permanently punch drunk.  They fly in flapping up and down like bats, loop around like insects but always sail boldly through dark skies of stellar basslines.  Behold, the new riff lords of a smouldering past, meant to re-ignite the flames of boogie rock fury like a Phoenix that takes on the terrible aspect of the death's head.  When the band rips it, they do so with a lusty killer's vigor, when they slow things down a notch, it's as menacing as that same killer finding his next target.

What I'm saying is, they rock.  You could classify them in the same category as the Scandinavian retro rockers, but Demon Eye simply melts faces, they are heavier than most of those terrific bands, but really to compare the two would be like bringing Pentagram to a high school slow dance ("You said you wanted slow, right?").  The more I listen to this album, the more pointless it seems trying to pick out any particular standout tracks.  "Hecate", "Shades of Black" and "Fires of Abalam" all have those incredible curly riffs, some are slower than others.  The slower moments are more menacing, yadda, yadda.

Photo credit: Ken Trousdell.
One of my early reviews here, was for the German band Heat.  I started that one by saying that I didn't have much to say about it, not because it wasn't a great album and not because it wasn't inspiring but because it just did something to my mind that went past all my internalizing and intellectualizing.  It's a rare album that simply mesmerizes me and the 'Demon Eye EP' is one of those.  It's somehow more psychedelic than all the droning sitar passages through the cosmos could ever be because it truly forces me to "turn off my mind, rock out and headbang downstream".  You know, there is one Scandanavian band with a retro sound that this is closer in spirit to and that's Devil.  Imagine Heat and Devil's music had a gay love-child, and how awesome it would be.  Well, this is it.  And yes, it's pretty damn awesome to behold.

Highlights include: "Silent One" and "Hecate"

Rating: 5/5

Total Run Time: 38:33

Bill Eagen - Drums, Vocals.
Paul Walz - Bass.
Larry Burlison - Lead Guitar.
Erik Sugg - Guitar, Vocals.

From: Raleigh, North Carolina

Genre: Hard Rock, Doom, Retro Rock

Reminds me of: Deep Purple, Devil, Heat, Pentagram

Release Date: April 9, 2013

Better Reviews:
Ech(((o)))es and Dust
Ripple Effect

Demon Eye on facebook

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