Saturday, June 20, 2009

Bonescraper - Demo 2009

  1. Hunt For Blood
  2. Torturer
  3. Instant Death
  4. Lurking Insanity

Stop digging, there is nothing deep here. Noktorn's previous projects (Rainfall, Feast of Roses, Septic Tomb) might have been more ambitious, striving to reach some kind of aesthetic or unconcieved atmosphere, but this is exactly what it sounds like upon first listen. It's death metal, very very brutal death metal, with no secret message or deeper meaning. Just death metal, pure and simple.

There is obviously a high amount of Mortician influence here. This demo follows that band's exact same style of writing, with lots of very simple, fast riffs that take no effort to write whatsoever, building up tension and releasing it during the slower, more calculated sections. The faster parts aren't effortless because Noktorn's (or Mortician) is lazy, but because they don't require any effort, and whether or not you spend thirty seconds thinking up a set of notes or spend hours dwelling on it, the end product would be the same. They're there to provide a function, and that is to build up intensity before the slow riffs, and they're not there to be listen to and analysed and appreciated on their own.

Did I mention that the production really goes too far? This is STUPIDLY low. There is so much low end on here that both my laptop and iPod earphones can barely contain it. The bass is just too much and goes beyond being heavy by regular standards and turns everything into sort of wavy floods of sounds that are sure to make your room shake if this is played too loud. The vocals only make things worse (but by worse I mean better), it's believable that Noktorn could have performed the vocals on the Septic Tomb album without pitchshifting, but there's no way in Hell I'm believing it this time. The vocals are insanely low and contribute more to the brute...brutality of this demo. The tremolo parts are even weirder, the chugging sounds almost normal under this much low end, the tremolo riffs just sound strange, with those superlow rumblings split up into mininotes whilst Noktorn murmurs with completely inhuman vocals over the top. The drum machine is a well programmed but super-obvious drum machine like the one used on Catasexual Urge Motivation's 'Encyclopedia of Serial Murders'. It does it's job of holding the beat and is pretty heavy, not interfering at all. Infact whilst listening to this you barely even think about the drum machine, which was probably intentional.

The songwriting is completely dumb on purpose and will appeal only to death metalheads that aren't exceptions to the rule that like death metal for it's sound and aesthetic and not just the fact that there are lots of great songwriters. This demo isn't memorable at all, not one bit, but it's super enjoyable while it's playing, which is most definitely it's purpose. Do you hate Mortician? Jungle Rot? Devourment? Then stay away from this. This is not Demilich worship. This is ugly, raw death metal that does not intend to excel beyond anything other than being death metal. It's about taking the basic elements of death metal and crafting really great songs with them without passing outside the boundaries of death metal by even the smallest step, 'normal' music listeners that don't like death metal will not like this at all, and it has been purposefully crafted in such a way. If you're a fan of death metal then I recommend you check out Bonescraper, this demo is a promising look at what the future holds.

- Colum Hill

(Originally written for Metal Archives)


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