Demonica - Demonstrous

Demonica is an intercontinental all-star group formed by Mercyful Fate guitarist Hank Shermann along with his close friend vocalist and long-time journalist Klaus Hyr, and featuring Mark Hernandez (drums) and Craig Locicero (guitar), both from Forbidden and former Corruption bassist Marc Grabowski.
With such impressive casting we should know what to expect: some blistering and brilliantly executed thrash metal. Across ten tracks, Demonica creates a powerful thrash assault that blends the old-school vibe of the Bay Area scene with a more modern approach. While so many thrash metal bands nowadays want to produce albums that come across like a lazy rehash of an old-school sound, it’s refreshing to witness that Demonica don’t adhere to that retro trend, and please note that these guys wouldn’t have to try too hard to sound like that ‘cause they’re old-school, since “Demonstrous” doesn’t sound dated or passé and could rival with any modern day production within the thrash metal camp.
It also remains true to most of the thrash metal traditions with plenty of fast and damn scorching guitar riffs. Opening track “Demon Class” starts off in full power with a memorable and intense riff and some impressive drumming.
Almost every song features a great guitar hook that will embed itself deep into your brain with the force of a jackhammer. Experienced guitarists like Hank Shermann and Craig Locicero certainly understand the importance of a good hook, and they reveal an exceptional skill to counter-balance all the aggression and intensity of their riffs with an irresistible catchiness.
Although vocalist Klaus has the feeblest curriculum vitae from all the five musicians comprising Demonica, he’s definitely one of the greatest assets of the band with a strong and dynamic voice that ranges from a shrieked and shouted style not too far removed from Tom Araya to a more laid-back and groovy performance.
All in all, “Demonstrous” is a good album but not a great one since there is a couple of stagnant tracks that hinders its impact and prevents the record from being a truly essential purchase, yet it’s definitely recommended for fans of the genre and way better than Shermann’s previous project Virus7.

David Alexandre

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