"One (Hellbound)"

(Metal Blade)

01. Repentagram
02. Withdrawal Divine
03. Vagrant Idol
04. Beyond Obscene
05. Perfection and the Infection
06. Heathen Up (Out for Blood)
07. Cheat the Leader
08. Matador
09. To Serve is to Destroy
10. Ironsides
11. I Am Weapon
12. Hellraisers

RATING: 7.5/10

One could say that Indianapolis' DEMIRICOUS and Chicago's HURTLOCKER are cut from the same gasoline-soaked cloth. While not stylistically identical, both bands do produce a bullshit-less and trend-free form of go-for-the-throat thrash. Whereas HURTLOCKER goes for more of a THE HAUNTED attack, DEMIRICOUS sticks closer to the SLAYER-esque (but who are we kidding here, everyone was influenced by the latter). So why begin the review by comparing Indy's racers with Chicago's bruisers? Simply because it is heartening to hear both bands (whose releases hit these shores during roughly the same time period) play such an obviously heartfelt brand of uncompromising metal. Neither group is necessarily trying to break new ground; instead breaking necks seems to be the preferred route.

On "One (Hellbound)", DEMIRICOUS peel out with tires squealing on album-opener "Repentagram" and never let off the gas until "Hellraisers" brings the race to a close. Pissed off and alcohol-fueled, the beating never ceases. Zeuss' production is well suited to the band's approach, giving the guitars a razor-sharp edge and the drums a crisp and taut delivery that doesn't sound mechanical. Led by vocalist/bassist Nate Olp's raspy throat, the band stays mainly with an up-tempo, chugging style accented with SLAYER-ized guitar lines and lead guitarist Ben Parrish's frightening solo screams. Songs like "To Serve is to Destroy" and "Matador", stand out a bit more from the rest, mainly because of the forceful backing shouts (no, not hardcore gang shouts), but also because of the beefy structures. My personal favorite part of the album comes when the guitars drop out and Olp's menacing vocals are heard over an evil bass line around the 30-second mark of "Perfection and The Infection", a chunky mid-tempo stomp (with vicious up-tempo shift during the solo break) and album highlight. The song leads perfectly into the threatening shout of "sink that fucker down!" on speed demon "Heathen Up (Out of Blood)". Sick, just plain sick. Finally, the band does a fine job of choosing when an arrangement break (as opposed to a disconnected tangent) is needed (check out "Cheat the Leader" as one of several examples). By the way, give this one several spins before passing judgment, as I found that the first one or two listens weren't nearly as powerful as subsequent ones. Maybe it's just me.

I can't imagine most fans of uncompromising thrash violence not getting something out of "One (Hellbound)". I never get tired of this stuff. It certainly helps when bands like DEMIRICOUS understand the secrets to unleashing the beast.


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