Review: Demise Management – The Collective Vol. 1

Demise Management, which as from the name you can tell deal in heavy heavy metal, have put out a new compilation showcasing some of their most up and coming bands. Here at TwoBeatsOff, we love finding something that’s a bit off the main road and I have to say, this compilation is a bit like veering off track, finding yourself near a haunted house and having no way out. Bear in mind that if you’re into metal, that’s a very good assessment. This is also available for free download, so if you like progressive metal, give it a look –

Each track is very different to its neighbour, really displaying the range of talent on show by Demise. First on offer is ‘Heroes’ by We Are The Illusion. It starts off strongly, with some good metalcore vocals and appears to be familiar, yet interesting. And that’s when it breaks into some truly haunting vaudeville-esque instrumental that completely knocks you back. A great mix of melody and aggression, reminiscent of newer Bring Me The Horizon which as I have come to realise, is never a bad thing.

Followed by ‘Attentive Continuum’ by Visions is a little less slickly produced but in no way less superior. Time signatures are going mental. Complete with some spooky strings appearing throughout, listening to ‘Attentive Continuum’ feels like you’re getting your stomach ripped out and being made to watch as a cat plays with it. It’s like a constant assault, but about three minutes in, the clean vocals and melodic breakdown assuage your fears, before dragging you straight back into hell. If only this was Halloween.

’10 Inches Of Sin’ by The Long Count is interesting. A dual vocal effect is maintained throughout, with some ridiculous high pitched black metal affair and some plenty deeper Cookie Monster growls. While part of me really wants to enjoy this song – I love all the individual components in it – they just don’t quite gel together. An Opeth-esque acoustic guitar is brought in midway and a swap to slightly cleaner vocals appears which is a lot better; it’s a lot more together and a lot more convincing. On the whole though, not my cup of tea.

Chronographs are a band that we’ve been following for a while (which you’ll find out about when I finally get my laptop working properly; I am plagued by technical difficulties wherever I go) and ‘Tides’ is one of the first songs from their new incarnation. From the second the vocals hit, I knew this was going to be good. Chronographs have mastered the fine line between melody and crushing, crushing guitar, and it is well complimented by Jon’s perfect balance between growl and scream. As the name suggests, the song is simultaneously crushing and soothing; pulling you along like waves in the ocean, dragging you up above the surface before throwing you back under. The sheer quality on offer is incredible and this could be the most technically proficient song so far, but that certainly does not make it cold and mechanical. Best song on the compilation? I think so.

Entrosolet’s offering, ‘You Are (Not) Alone’ is also excellent. It’s not quite as heavy as some of the other tracks available (although its subject matter may be) and is possibly the most melodic song on offer, but it isn’t immediately noticeable; there’s a thread of something softer, something beautiful running throughout which gets more prominent as the song goes on. About halfway through, it breaks into clean vocals and that’s when it really hits you. Great stuff.

InHollow bring us ‘Tales Of How We Bleed’. A thirty second intro is there before the song pretty much rapes your ears. It’s murky, it’s damning, it’s a bit like a swamp monster. Things get a bit solemn, then they get heavy again. While I initially thought the production hindered the song, it actually helps make it a bit more terrifying. It’s not bad.

‘Until Sundown’ by Kraken grabs you right from the start. This is some fine metalcore, complete with heavy breakdowns and everything. It doesn’t really toy with your expectations, except for the clean vocals at the beginning which are very misleading, but it does everything right and that’s all you can ask for.

Final song is ‘A Battlefield Between Us’ by Plagues. My belief is that an album should always start with a strong song and end on one, which it certainly does. ‘A Battlefield Between Us’ is definitely reminiscent of that early ’00s sound and again strikes that balance between melody and aggression very well. Imagine really early Funeral For A Friend crossed with Parkway Drive and you’re about there. It certainly ends the compilation on an oddly uplifting feel, despite the lyrics. The song itself ends on a stellar breakdown, which would make for perfect mosh material. Nice.

4 out of 5 high fives!

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