DEMONIC RESURRECTION have returned with album number five Dashavatar (March 15, Demonstealer Records), the band’s own take on the avatars of Lord Vishnu according to Indian mythology. There are ten tracks and each one of them is dedicated to a different avatar. If that sounds ambitious, that’s because it is. I have never heard of such an idea before, but I was highly intrigued to say the least. Especially because I love the band, so anytime they have something new coming out, count me in. Keeping their traditional Epic Black/Death Metal style of play, the songs are like paintings that leap off the canvas and color the world around you.
Starting with “Matsya – The Fish” Demonstealer (vocals/guitars/keys) and Co. waste no time in bringing the thunder. Blast beats from drummer Virendra Kaith, Nishith Hegde’s soaring guitar leads, and ominous bass lines from Ashwin Shriyan all come together in a kaleidoscope of sound that only continues with “Kurma – The Tortoise,” guiding us on this journey into the unknown. “Varaha – The Tortoise” has this riff that will bore a hole through walls and the programming behind it only makes it stronger. This was the first of several favorites from the very first listen. It also features Demonstealer switching back and forth from gutturals to clean singing.
There’s an epic, grandiose, march to “Vamana – The Dwarf” and the keys are prevalent, though not overpowering. They are a vital component, and add to the overall atmosphere of the song. It’s back to an old-fashioned pummeling with “Narasimha – The Man-Lion” and for five straight minutes it beats your face in. “Parashurama – The Axe Wielder” is the sonic equivalent of one being driven right into your skull, separating the flesh and splitting the bone. Now we come to my runaway favorite, “Rama – The Prince.” With a riff straight from metal’s forefathers and a flawless vocal from Demonstealer, this was the winner from Day One.
“Rama” then seamlessly transitions into “Krishna – The Cowherd,” the third of my favorites. Again, guitars and keys work hand-in-hand to create something truly unique and special with this one. “Budda – The Teacher” completely changes the pace for the album and allows us to get our bearings for a moment. It’s no less heavy, but it is merely slower in tempo. Closer “Kalki – The Destroyer of Filth” moves forth like a lumbering giant, the ground shaking with each heavy footfall as he looks to destroy all unrighteousness.
All told Dashavatar is an outstanding record from one of the most criminally underrated bands in all of extreme metal. It also moved me to go and investigate further something I was not at all educated on, the avatars of Lord Vishnu. I found the subject utterly fascinating, and I plan to delve into it some more when time permits. DEMONIC RESURRECTION have hit paydirt with this album, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM