III: Chaotic Lethal

rating icon 8 / 10

Track listing:

01. Unconditional Hate
02. Terminal Future
03. Smoke Chaser
04. The Follow
05. Fuck The Fire
06. Chaotic Lethal
07. Merciless Slut Cult
08. Choke
09. Faith Crime

Cast your mind back 15 years or so. DEMIRICOUS were hotly tipped as some kind of next big thing, at least in extreme metal circles. The Indianapolis quartet released two certifiably ripping albums — "One (Hellbound)" (2006) and "Two (Poverty)" (2007) — and sounded very much like the future of barbaric, genre-fluid thrash. Perhaps most significantly, DEMIRICOUS were given an enthusiastic thumbs-up by no less an icon than Kerry King. If the SLAYER guitarist openly sings your praises, you must be doing something good, because King has seldom been in the habit of plugging other bands. Unfortunately, DEMIRICOUS disappeared shortly after their second album, and called it quits altogether in 2011. Potential, as they say, denied.

They are back now, of course. "III: Chaotic Lethal" posits the notion that the last 15 years never happened, and DEMIRICOUS sound every bit as furious, brutish and unrelenting as they did on those first two records. The intervening years have sharpened their songwriting skills and, understandably, made them about 12 times angrier. Still rooted in a refined blend of turbo-charged thrash, ultra-hooky death metal and grinding, blackened hostility, these songs amount to a fearsome statement of renewed intent.

DEMIRICOUS have plenty of traditional elements in their music, but it is the sheer ferocity that they apply to every last one of them that lifts this into a different realm. Erupting from a black soup of creepy ambience, opener "Unconditional Hate" has the pummeling gait of a rampaging panzer, and frontman Nate Olp has the swivel-eyed intensity to match it. Both "Terminal Future" and "Smoke Chaser" incorporate melody and dynamics into an otherwise all-out onslaught, with the latter boasting an indecent number of great riffs, underpinned by machine-gun kicks and pitiless blasting that owe more to MARDUK than MEGADETH. Similarly, "Merciless Slut Cult" is a jarring burst of misanthropy, imbued with the feral grandeur of arcane, old-school death metal but as precise and destructive as any SLAYER record. At all times, DEMIRICOUS sound psychotically committed to causing as much damage as possible. They are equally punishing at a slower pace, too: closer "Faith Crime" is as black as pitch on a moonless night and steeped in the obsidian menace of esoteric doom.

A long time coming but emphatically worth the wait, "III: Chaotic Lethal" is a brutal and brilliant re-introduction to a band that still sound hell-bent on conquering all.

Author: Dom Lawson
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