Demons Seed - Dawn of a new world 3/5

Reviewed: 11-3-06


1. Demons seed
2. Call of the wolf
3. Judgement day
4. The gorgon
5. Every second
6. Preacher of wrath
7. Soldiers
8. When darkness falls
9. Hell dogs
10. Return of the seed

One of the most heartening aspects of the heavy metal resurgence of recent years has been the arrival of bands who pay homage to the classic traditional metal and NWOBHM bands of the 80s, while updating the package with a modern production crunch. Sweden's Wolf and Ram, along with Germany's Metal Inquisitor, are among the vanguard of the elite for this new/old sound. Now the consistently fine Battle Cry Records (Wind Wraith, Arctic Flame, Gunfire, Solitaire) introduces its own entrant into this subgenre, Demons Seed.

Hailing from Deutschland, Demons Seed unleash a debut CD that will not dethrone the mighty Wolf in this style, but that nonetheless has much to offer to the Keep It True / Headbangers Open Air crowd. The boys make a strong impression right out of the chute by virtue of their stellar riffs. Armed with plenty of nods to the old school, axemen Thomas Dorr and Michael Dorr demonstrate a penchant for creative, catchy, old-yet-new, and decidedly headbang-worthy riffs on track after track. These are riffs that could have appeared on Iron Maiden's s/t or 'Killers' recordings, or on Satan's 'Court in the act'. Just great, timeless riffs sure to conjure up happy memories and associations for those who were there at the beginning of this glorious heavy metal movement. The production job is strong, clear and heavy, just as it should be, as Battle Cry obviously ensured that no corners were cut in the sound department. It's difficult to pick out highlights from the tracklisting, but the churning juggernaut "Call of the wolf", the opening shockwave of "Demons seed", the gorgeous harmony break in "The gorgon", and "When darkness falls" (which features a segment that sounds eerily like a slowed-down version of the instrumental section of Maiden's "Phantom of the opera", one of the greatest metal songs of all time) are all winners.

Unfortunately, not all is well in this heavy metal paradise. I hate to single out individual performances, but singer Paul Bellman is not my cup of tea. His main voice is a scratchy, abrasive high voice a bit like Cirith Ungol's Tim Baker combined with the screamy bloke from 3 Inches of Blood. Probably the best comparison of all for Bellman is Michael Seifert (Xiron, Black Destiny, Rebellion), but Seifert has improved drastically in recent years to my ears and is now quite listenable. I'm sure that many will have no trouble tolerating Bellman, but I often find his delivery to detract from the music. To be sure, he has a much better deeper voice (perhaps a little like Chris Boltendahl (Grave Digger) in his deeper moments), but he uses it only sparingly. The obligatory ballad ("Every second") and the occasional quiet parts ("Judgement day") are pretty well ruined by the subpar vocals.

Let's not lose sight of the big picture here. 'Dawn of a new world' is a riffage treasure trove in which all of ye 80s mavens will delight. Sure, the vocals could use a bit of work, and the songwriting could be sharper in places, but for a dose of 80s-influenced traditional metal delivered with conviction and class, one could fare far worse than Demons Seed.




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