Terry Jenkins (vocals/guitar) formed Progressive Death Metal act Draemora in November 2019 in the Seattle, Washington after exiting stage left from his previous band Odyssian. In a reflective mood and seeing it as an opportunity to try something different, he wrote a handful of songs with lyrics and demoed them out in his own home. Those demos were then sent out to people he wanted to join the project and soon he had the attention of not only ex-Jesus Wears Armani drummer Jared Conelie but also ex-Odyssian vocalist Taylor Wood. Jenkins then stumbled upon local guitar player Max Taylor and the quartet added additional touches to the songs before and set out to record the 5 song EP “Awakening”. Jenkins himself handled the mixing while the mastering was entrusted to Ermin Hemidovic (Periphery, Northlane, Employed To Serve) at Systematic Productions in Melbourne, Australia.
A haunting, eerie melody opens “Home” with the an Allegaeon esq melodic moment before some DJent infused riffage takes hold and Wood delivers the kind of unclean vocals that leave you with 3rd degree burns on the inside of your throat. Jenkins interjects with a pair of clean sung verses over some almost Grungy Metalcore and you have a track with perhaps a trio of different styles in a single offering that works because of the cognitive tissue of the narrative. The lyrics may not be the Nu-Metal introspective variety, but Jenkins is clearly troubled and feels like he’s not getting the help he’s reaching out for during battles with drugs and alcohol and the long journey out of that hell. “Dead Inside” has something of the Strapping Young Lad about it, especially with Conelie’s drumming, which echos the mighty Gene Hoglan while Death Metal chord progressions are utilized to full effect. The uncleans from both vocalists are immense, including a couple of moments of Slam while the cleans return and are much improved in the lyrical catharsis. Perhaps an obvious single “Guilt” switches from being 90 percent unclean vocals to being 80 percent clean vocals, the throat shredding parts being used to augment the track, which works especially well when the two vocal styles are layered so as to make the unclean a backing vocal. The middle verse is a ripper with hints at Nekrogoblikon influence. “Reckoning” changes the vocal ratios again, swinging back the other way with no cleans at all. That gives the impression that this is another band, especially with the double kick drums and Death Metal riffs galore, including a powerhouse breakdown section. The question then becomes whether the two opposing forces within this band can live together and continue to create good songs, especially when the violence of “Reckoning” is so damn good and “Legion of Scum” slaps hard. The solo on that last track is perfectly executed and with the whirlwind of Death Metal that surrounds it, it bodes well for the future [7/10]
1. Home (3:27)
2. Dead Inside (3:09)
3. Guilt (3:20)
4. Reckoning (3:53)
5. Legion of Scum (3:34)
“Awakening” by Draemora is out 26th June via Ultra Nast Records