Review Summary: Demonic Resurrection's best album yet.
A great dish needs more than just the right ingredients. Anyone can gather all the right ingredients for a mouth watering dish but it takes a good cook to actually get it made. With good chunks of black, death and melodic metal with maybe a pinch of thrash, Demonic Resurrection have always had great ingredients. On The Demon King then, it is the cooking that has greatly improved. DR haven't done anything wildly different here but the song writing now has a rock solid confidence to it that lends this album the character that has been missing from so many Indian metal records of the recent past.
The Assassination works really well as an album opener, brutal ferocity and melody melting together into a perfect example of what makes DR tick. "The king is dead!" screams Makhija and the assault begins. The guitar work is some of the best from DR so far. The riffs are deliciously meaty and the guitar tone adds further muscle. However it is Daniel K Rego's soloing that really lifts this album onto another plane, each and every solo lovingly and skillfully crafted to perfection. This man shall be sorely missed by both DR and its fans.
Mephisto's role hasn't changed much. The symphonic touches and atmospherics remain strong as ever. In fact I could swear it's improved somehow but wouldn't be able to tell you how exactly. I could feel a sort of sobriety creeping into the melodies. Its almost intangible in and of itself but becomes evident on listening to the album from front to back. Bassist Ashwin Shriyan handles his duties incredibly well. So does Virendra Kaith, but there's always a sense that he could, maybe have done a little bit more. Or a little bit less. His constant use of blast beats gets a tad tiring by the end. But other than that you really cant fault his drumming. It fits impeccably into every song and is one of the major reasons the album feels as cohesive as it does. The vocals are as good as ever. The growls sufficiently menacing, the cleans sufficiently melodic.
While there isn't a single bad song on the album, Death Desolation and Despair felt a bit too familiar and quite unremarkable. The song hurtles ahead in a straight line and never really budges from its course. The fact that the song is both preceded and succeeded by two of the strongest songs on the disc doesn't help its case either. While 'The promise of Never' has some brilliant guitar work and some of the more memorable vocal hooks, the title track is going to be a absolute delight for anyone looking for something to headbang to. It has a thick groove and furious riffs accentuated by some relentless drumming. It also has a beautifully bleak keyboard solo in the middle that adds some texture to it. Shattered Equilibrium written by Rego is another highlight and another reminder of his brilliance. Even Gods Do Fall brings up the climax and sounds befittingly epic while the instrumental closer The End Paradox echoes the first song a bit, resulting in a sense of all the threads getting tied up neatly.
Indian metal is finally starting to make the right noises. DR stepping up their game is another loud call to the world. And if DRs recent European tour (including a spot at Wacken) is any indication, people are listening.