Review: “Demo” by Chestcrush

Fusing elements of Black Metal and Sludge into the mix to make something nightmarish and heavy are Chestcrush, an Edinburgh based Blackened Death Metal duo of DM on vocals, and Multi instrumentalist Evan doing guitars, bass, lyrics, programming, mixing and even cover art, in the vein of Vermin Womb, Dragged into Sunlight and Resin Tomb. Originally released 7th June 2020 with the title “June Demo“, it’s been rebranded simply “Demo” and will be released on Cassette via FHED (Grim Existence, Celestial Sanctuary) on 1st September 2020.

Vocalist DM is a spitting, snarling, venomously destructive beast who offers the low end growl of a giant diesel machine during the slow and sinister trudge of the opening segment of “Burden“. As the pace lifts into a Blackened Death Metal onslaught with rapid fire blast beats and abrasive riffs, he uses pitch changes to keep his vocals sounding demonic and fresh rather than monolithic. “Grudge” steps out from the shadow of “Burden” with thunderous drums and brutal roars with some violent twists and turns it’s own. The Black Metal atmosphere is here but none of the raw quality of it, indeed this is one of the finer sounding demos that you will hear. A term usually used as an excuse for something sounding like it was recorded on a potato in their Grandmother’s basement, this is far removed from that as it gets. Horror movie soundscapes, quality production and brutal bursts of Crust and Grind keep you on your toes throughout. The churning of the 93 second  “Crushed” is criminally short with just a single skull crushing verse and feedback to hold onto during its slower, sludge filled distortions before “Agonal Breath” opens the void into another hellish dimension with a single long and drawn out roar sounding like the echo through a mountain range of the cry of a monolithic, prehistoric beast. That plays out over some slower atmospheric moments of Black Metal that prove that Chestcrush have the potential to do more than just paint in blood and make you feel uncomfortable [7/10]

Track listing

  1. Burden
  2. Grudge
  3. Crushed
  4. Agonal Breath

Demo” by Chestcrush is out now via FHED and available over at bandcamp.

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