Thrash demons Demiser smother with brute power, fiery rage on mean ‘Through the Gate Eternal’

Photo by Johnny Guillen

At some point in time, people forgot to have fun with heavy metal. Yeah, there’s a lot of really serious stuff out there and material that’s worth having heated discussions about, but really, if you’re obsessing over details and not enjoying yourself, then what are you really doing? It’s nice every now and again when a band comes along and reminds you not to lose your mind and just get your ass kicked.

South Carolina’s Demiser are just that band, and their debut “Through the Gate Eternal” wastes no time knocking you backward and mocking your wounds as you writhe at their feet. Their raucous black thrash is a blast to behold from moment one, and there is a heaping dose of ridiculousness that makes it feel like when metal was born many decades ago, and heathenism and chaos were served generously. Make no mistake though: This band plays it seriously when it comes to their music as the playing is dark, vicious, and channeled, and the folks involved—vocalist Demiser the Demiser, guitarists Gravepisser and Phallomancer, bassist Defiler, drummer Infestor, which likely are not their birth names—rip you apart with whiskey, blood, and fire, leaving you gasping for fresh air.

“Through the Gate Eternal” rips the bandage off right away, delivering a thrashing attack complete with a rumbling assault, ferocious vocals, and a crushing chorus that keeps coming back for more. Speed and hell unite during the final moments, tearing into “Offering” that delivers cool riffs and a massive attack. The verses destroy and are mean as hell as everything trudges hard, drawing blood it smears in victims’ mouths. “Deathstrike” charges up and punishes, bringing speed and chaos, with a weird cackle jabbing at the end of the first chorus. The soloing explodes, feeling fast and fluid, with the guitars continuing to blaze a path to the end. “Raw Fucking Vomit” is one of the year’s great song titles, and it brings a massive riff and drums looking to crush bones as the roars explode. Bloody intensity and clobbering power create an ideal team, smoking with hostility and ill intent that gets iced down a bit with instrumental “Song of Byleth” and its classic-style acoustic guitars and crackling fires.

“Unholy Sacrifices” hits like an airstrike as the leads pound, and black metal-style melodies open rib cages. The vocals are teeming with rage as the pace offers pure hostility, and weird warbling plays games with you as the leads blaze out. “Hook and Torment” has crunchy guitar work and strong vocals boiling over as the playing brings a vintage metal vibe that eats into your heart. The soloing slices veins as blood thrashes everywhere, the vocals rip, and the ending smashes digits. “Demiser the Demiser,” I guess named after their vocalist, with the guitars opening up the assault. “I am demiser!” Demiser wails as the soloing rampages, and everything comes to a huge, destructive finish. “Warfuck Demonlust,” also one of the great song titles of the year, closes the record by brawling its way in, with Demiser the Demiser insisting he will, in fact, keep his warfuck demonlust. The guitars splatter as the soloing slices through guts, bringing everything to an alcoholic, violent, barbaric end.

Demiser aren’t trying to deliver cerebral passages, they aren’t here to be your intellectual superiors, and style points don’t seem to be a thing they’re after. Instead, on “Through the Gate Eternal,” the band aims to sever your head from your neck, rub your face in the filth, and make you pay the ultimate price. This is war-torn thrash that’ll leave you bruised, battered, and ragingly hungover the next day.

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