Demonlord - Hellforged 4/5

Reviewed: 1-9-09





Tracklist:

1. Cheap salvation
2. Lay of the folly
3. Return to nowhere
4. Murder one
5. Kill the lord
6. The relic (Evil haunting)
7. Demonlord
8. Payback time
9. Find a goal
10. Morphing into real
11. The piper is back


Are you truly hungry for some seriously intense power metal? The search has ended! Just when I thought I had heard it all, along comes Demonlord from Hungary. Not since the merits of Wisdom, or the shining blade of Stainless Steel, has my heart been so pierced, perforated, or punctured to the hilt.

Up until about a month ago, I had never even heard of this band. Thankfully, a dear friend empowered me with their first 2 CDs. I was astonished when he had not heard their most recent hell thrust venture (now over 2 years old!). I was even more euphoric, when my wonderful wife surprised me with 'Hellforged' on Christmas Day. To say this CD embodies all that I love about metal, is a mere understatement. I now know, that it is never too late to find a goldmine of precious mettle.

'Hellforged' invites the listener into an atmosphere of might and majesty. He'll trust that there are a bounty of heavy songs, scored from every avenue of speed and power metal. My well-conditioned ears detect sonic ingestion from the shores of Germany; echoing the barbaric invasion of the late-80s. The Noise and Steamhammer bands instantly spring to mind, as well as, obvious mirrored reflections of Rage, Running Wild, Blind Guardian and Grave Digger. There are also hints of the more obscure sounds of such amazing acts as Attack, Petty Pew, Regicide, or Insania. I also hear similarities to modern warriors like Stormwarrior, Rebellion or Sabaton.

What is with these Hungarians? They know their metal, and somehow, they just get it! The melodies and music on 'Hellforged' are so infectious, so melodic, and so insatiable. However, they don't just stick with one basic formula. They also add a degree of commercialism to the mix, so much so that a caveat is in order.

As for me, I love classic 80s and hard rock influences. One band who permeates all throughout is the Danish act D.A.D., and Demonlord are riskin' it all, but they are able to incorporate enough energy, aggression, and passion in their music, not to lose their momentum. Actually, my favourite cut on the CD is the power ballad - "Find a goal". This may be slow; but, it is so evocative, so sincere, and just so awesome! The lyrics speak to my heart and soul. Here's the kicker, the solo, a sole measure of infinite magnitude, is pure Poison, a la C.C. DeVille. Think 'Flesh & blood' era.

Call me a poseur, but this is real mettle! If you just prefer the faster songs, there are plenty of those, as well. There is not one slacker on this near masterpiece. Their last effort - 'Helltrust' was also authentically killer, but 'Hellforged' steps up a notch. Their debut was too uneven, and mostly fast for speed's sake. "Hellforged" is well balanced, blending melody with rapid fire, gymnastic guitar clarity, and a soaring sincerity.

The song "Demonlord" is so strident, a sign of the apotheosis of engaging characterization, lyrically, and musically. "Kill the lord", not a bit blasphemous, but ever so enthralling, will swirl in your head for days. They even reference a well-known anthem in the chorus, and bridge. A pithy piece like "Cheap salvation", attains a level of humour; while incorporating it's own personality. "The relic" is just so abrasive, capturing the senses in a solicitous fashion.

Actually the CD improves, as one approaches the mean. The first few songs are excellent, but once "Murder one" sinks in, you are hooked, booked, and imprisoned by their intrigue. Multiple rotations will have you pondering why you have not acquired this wistful wonder, sooner.

Heed my words, these iron angels of attitude are still alive, and worth your investment. These rowdy pipers are pure backbone, performing with a resolute intention; raging and morphing into a hellish, primal persuasion of forged steel, and it is payback time!



MICHAEL




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