Demersal - s/t


Sometimes we spin those crazy ideas in our heads here at Veil of Sound and it sometimes happens that two members of our crazy crew come up with the same idea or something very similar. So when Knut and Thorsten found out that they were both writing a review on the new Demersal album, and that the latter had already done a short interview with singer/ guitarist Viktor, it magically fell into place that they’d combine the interview with Knut’s review for a cool, all-you-can-get special on Demersal’s new, self-titled record. Doing the interview with Viktor was really cool because this fine young man surely knows his stuff and has a lot to say about how he sees hardcore and the world or how we can make sure to help each other. As he is also just a fun guy to talk to, this made for an easy interview. And when you first read Knut’s insightful review you will very likely be excited for May 10, when Demersal will be unleashed in all its beauty and complexity! Enjoy our special on one of the highlights of the Danish Screamo scene!

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And now you will get Knut’s amazing review and beneath that you get our interview with Viktor!>

With all its added twists and turns, this extensive 35-minute-long album seems longer on the inside than on the outside. It is desperately fast, aggressive, delightfully complex, and it carries a strong Emo sense to the Screamo sonics.

The Danes from the cities of Odense and Copenhagen formed their band in 2013, and have played together for over a decade, releasing singles and three EPs and four years ago one full-length album that turned them into a highly-recognized band in this underground genre. Not at least because of their take on the music that they pour out with their hearts on their sleeves. The band´s other trademark is using two sometimes contradicting screaming and growling vocals and sometimes singing in harmony like in the song ”Will Never Shows” where in one part of the song the screaming chorus of the two vocalists can easily become an engaging sing-a-long with the audience.

In between the heavy, distorted fast, and frenzied music there are many surprises that you do not get on the first listen or two. When you have your third or more spin you discover the hidden gems in the ferocious music. Well, at first listen you will of course notice that this is not your average aggressive Screamo band as the first song ”Flakkende Som Tusind Lys” is a mix of Ambient and acoustic sonics with unhurried nearby clear vocals supported by a rumbling bass and lucid droplets from a keyboard.

The turbulent music grabs you by the neck on the second song, ”Bedrager”. It is a frantic tornado of distorted riffs with low-end bass and intense drumming. It contains many of the tricks and treats these experienced musicians have up their sleeves, and these are executed in just two minutes but seems much longer. It is impressively done with deep screaming hoarse vocals. Then the music pans out and embraces the vocals as the rhythm section pushes speedily toward the more elongated guitar parts. Then another vocal line emerges more desperately and hurried screaming as the music tightens opening up once more. The vocals sing in a kind of fighting harmony with guitars flying in different directions with higher-pitched sounds until the drums let the song´s fast flow implode.

As the band showed on their previous album, they are no stranger to blowing your mind with a surprise instrument not often used in this genre. In ”Lys i natten” you barely notice it at first, but in the reckless hurry and gratifying intricate riffing mess, a melody appears soaring above as the music rushes forward, and takes its twist and turns. That instrument is a trumpet immersed in the distorted realm of their sonics, adding some lingering yearning. It is so well done, what a song! The trumpet reappears delightfully in the song “Som Et Barn Mod Dit Bryst”

These are just the three first songs, and the album continues with further roller coaster rides with some elongated parts to let you take a breath. The guitar sweeps into every corner of the soundscape, riffing out distorted black and dark sounds, swirling with the often vitriolic and frustrated two vocalists. But it also brings the brightest string-picking and high-pitched emotive sounds while the bass emanates the lingering existential darkness waiting to greet and meet you. The drums pound hard, keeping rhythm, but are also frenetically building a sense of restless anxiety.

The way the heavy bass drums open the song ”Selvhjælp” before the riffage begins is very catchy and becomes immensely engaging when the drumming flows along more hectically, rushing fast forward with the riffs until the drummer glues the song together as if holding its breath along the fighting desperate vocals. It is delightfully complex, with shouting vocals and a long melodic take on the bass and the guitar until it tightens again. Frustrated shouts are leading the proceedings, with the bass drum at an immense speed driving it forward, carrying the heavy riffs until it all simmers down to just one fading guitar.

There are 12 songs on the album varying from a couple of minutes up to five minutes. Every song is carefully crafted to give an enthralling listening experience as it swirls past you. But these are imaginative and visionary musicians who show their creativity in songs like ”Something” where acoustic guitars, flute, cello, and piano are fused into the sonics with whispering vocals. The opening is soft with acoustic guitars until a bass emerges making an abyss below whispering vocals. The instruments take a breath with only desperate vocals lingering before they surge into a rapid pace, the drums in frantic diverse drive, the bass grooving melodic and deep, frantic vocals spitting words at each other. It is heavy and it is hard. Suddenly it disappears to give way to soft shimmering droplets from a keyboard repeating a melodic line with subtle changes in the flow and a plucking guitar in the midst. The music lifts and spreads its imaginary musical wings. Wonderful soft sounds of the flute and cello accompany the keys that are hit harder and harder as the song progresses slowly turning into a crescendo that is squashed suddenly.

The album closes with ”Som Et Barn Mod Dit Bryst» which is a crushing final song, shifting between fast and tight pace and more wide-open sonics to support the desperate vocals. After a part with strumming electric guitar, it goes head-on into a hurried pace with immense angry and desperate riffs. In the middle of this distorted wall of sound, there is a glittering guitar that forms a melodic theme as the others stomp forward in staccato tempo. Slowly the song turns into pulsating drums and bass music - the heaviest and most distorted you might have heard in a while. Yeah, it goes out with a reverberating bang, and rightly so, because this is a tour-de-force of a trailblazing album.

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[photo credit: Rolf Raw Photography (]