Review Summary: welcome to purgatory
Imagine being insane. Imagine being in an endless indistinct grey dimension. Nothing exists in this dimension but rock and fog and billions and billions of other insane people. Everyone is naked. Everyone hates each other so they constantly claw and bite and gnaw at one another, retaining no concept of hygeine so they're all frothing from every hole and writhing around in their own shi
t and piss and cum and blood. Sensory input works differently when your brain is completely broken so colour and sound and smell and touch become irreplaceabley merged into a single grotesque super sense which leaves every person in a constant state of abject horror and panic, clasping in desperate agony for merciful death but they have forgotten how to die and deep down they know they never will. Welcome to Nespithe
The guitar work on this album is some of the most unique and interesting ever recorded on a death metal record. It is absolutely exemplary. Alternating between spiralling, crushing, ridiculous, groovy, schizophrenic, implausible, orgasmic, and unnerving, ever merging seamlessly together like strands of DNA, guitarists Antti Boman and Aki Hytonen create a soundscape of genuine insanity. Upon first hearing this album the listener might find the notes random, haphazard and perhaps even irritating, but the patient listener will find that the riffs are unbelievably dense and there is so much to be unearthed in every single one, it is hard not to marvel simply at how intricately and fastidiously constructed and threaded together the songs are. Even if a person was able to withstand the tremendous riffs, few could suffer the leads and solos without some permanent alteration to their consciousness.
Upon hearing their early demos, it is abundantly clear that Demilich were always a very technically proficient band but the key to Nespithe
's excellence is in the production. Everyone knows that if you're going to get tech-y with your death the production has to be a lot more polished that your typical grimy death metal album, but stray too far into such cleanliness and there is a chance the sound can be completely sterilised. Nespithe
's production job is legitimately perfect, the bass is audible and thick, giving the album a fleshy, dynamic sound. Both guitars are clear and easily distinguishable, every bewildering choice of note is raw and punishing without being lost in murk. The drums are slick but commanding and so incredibly crisp and satisfying it's hard not to be completely absorbed in the madness.
Writing the least insightful thing ever to be included in a review on this website is no easy task. However: death metal bands usually have lyrics about death. On Nespithe
, however, Demilich transcend death, invoking themes of cosmic horror and concepts so intensely sublime that mortal listeners can barely begin to comprehend them. Just imagine for a moment what would happen if the Sun drank its own weight in water. Reflect on how you would react if your bowels levitated out of your body. If you were inside a chamber where whispering eyes covered every inch of wall, and they commanded you to eat yourself, would you do it? Have you ever even seen a song name as impenetrably bizarre as "The Sixteenth Six-tooth Son Of Fourteen Four-Regional Dimensions (Still Unnamed)"? The themes and ideas on this album are not just weird, they should be locked away in a mental asylum. "Erecshyrinol", an anagram for "No lyrics here" in the same way the album name is for "The spine" stands as testament to this, a mocking cruel whisper of the song name serving as a token of the utterly abstract feeling of the album.
The vocals, while controversial, are amazing. Many listeners dismiss them as mere burps, but just try making that sound with your voice you fu
cking idiots. The noises Antti Boman makes are at the absolute nadir of human utterance, thick and frothy and gurgly and genuinely sound like something from a different dimension. The vocals are mixed perfectly just below the instruments and their girthy lows compliment the frantic fret dancing of the guitars. Contemplating any different kind of vocal style alongside the riffs just feels wrong.
The fact that Nespithe
came out in 1993 is incredible. The members of Demilich might just truly be time travelling aliens because they were taking the genre in a direction that is so insane that bands fit to even imitate them over twenty years later are few and far between. Yes the band are Finnish, and the one could argue the year of this album's release makes them "old school", but an album as creative and unique as Nespithe
can not be categorized. This is one of the best and most original death metal albums of all time and should be listened to by any fan of the genre.