March 1st, 2013
Release length: 19:31
As soon as you emerse yourself in Cosmic Horror, the appreciation for rich, thick, crushing old-school Death Metal is apparent. The guitars have a blunt distortion to it that does find a lower tuning at work, but some cleaner riffs at times for the sake of melody. The bass is deep and uncompromising, crushing your spirit before you can even blink. The drums sound fantastic as well, having more of a natural sound to the snares that come off slightly empty, but add to the stern aggression. The cymbals are crisp and share a similar level as the snares, though the click of the bass kick is a little lower in volume, being more in the background, but aiding to the blunt sound of the audio. The vocals are your typical gutturals, but they have a slight echo that makes things a little more eerie, perfectly suiting the often catchy, punishing groove of the music.
The four songs that make up this recording are all relentless offerings, though some vary in how intense they can be. “Abyss of Nameless Fear” offers some clean hooks here and there, but for the most part is a bass-fueled bludgeoning with a catchy groove to the riffs. The first guitar solo definitely adds a level of sorrow, especially against the simpler bass that supports it, though the second is a little lighter, and a bit less technical. It’s a little out of place, but it still works. While this song is a fantastic start to this demo, it’s the title track, “Cosmic Horror,” that really grabs the listener by the throat. There’s nothing all that unique about it, but the additional speed and emphasis on deeper tones and bass guitar pushing it forward makes it an aggressive, energetic assault. The vocals are deeper as well, and the chords introduce a little more complexity with tighter transitions and bridges paving the way to an instant mosh pit pleaser, especially when the pace slams to a halt a little before the half way point.
The rest of the demo does share in some of the traits that “Cosmic Horror” establishes. “Crawling in Secrecy” is also more of a traditional Death Metal track, but while it isn’t too bludgeoning or aggressive, it’s still a good song. There’s a little more complexity in the riffs, and the drumming can often work to create a truly commanding atmosphere that other songs can’t quite create. There are slower passages as well that offer up a truly creepy tone that will leave you with a sense of exhaustion as well. This actually acts as a nice segway into “Cult of Dreaming Dead” well, ushering in a slower pace that seems to crawl along, moving slower as you reach the end with varied spurts of speed and aggression, acting as if a sudden instinctive second wind.
Cosmic Horror may only be four songs, but they are superb love letters to the golden days of Death Metal. Hopefully this isn’t all that Slaughterday has composed in the past few years, as this demo shows plenty of promise, as well as aggression and atmosphere, that will make any Death Metal fan anxiously await their debut full-length album. It’s sad that this release is limited strictly to one hundred and sixty-six hand numbered cassettes, as this is something meant to be played on a more analog medium than as the alternate digital download option. But, even if you miss out on the physical version, this is still well worth throwing some hard earned cash or, technically euros towards. It’s a blunt Death Metal assault that will leave you battered, broken, and begging for more.
01. Abyss of Nameless Fear – 4:19
02. Cult of the Dreaming Dead – 5:56
03. Crawling in Secrecy – 5:20
04. Cosmic Horror – 3:56
|Initial Pressing Score: 9/10