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DEMO/EP ROUNDUP - Cruel Master and Grave Infestation

Once more we delve into the demo, EP, single and mini-album underground ...

First up is the sexually deviant CRUEL MASTER with their seventh demo since 2017 (imaginatively entitled Demo VII) that can be found on Bandcamp. Rudimentary black metal punk is this Rhode Island band's forte, oscillating between mid and higher tempos to keep the listener grounded and pounded. The four tracks (over 14 minutes) for the most part settle in quickly, riding the initial premise to the song's conclusion, not presenting many twists or turns along the way. A progressive or technical release this most certainly is not. Rather, what this is is filthy, rude blackness for the socially compromised set. You'll be left bulldozed and searching for your next shower once the lascivious vocals wash over you. Think Carpathian Forest and you're in the right demented mindset. [7]

GRAVE INFESTATION up next with their Infestation Of Rotten Death promo tape (Bandcamp). The Vancouver-based band partake in the gnarly death metal idiom on this their second demo (after last year's Infesticide release). Containing four tracks, one of which is a cover (of Entombed's 'But Life Goes On') and another being a short soundscape outro, the meat on this bone is in the two five-minute opening tracks. And definitely meaty they are, both satisfyingly heavy, but also professionally delivered. 'Eternal Oblivion' starts things off, immediately plunging the listener into a downtuned abyss, reaching almost into doom death territory before things get nastier and faster. Vocalist G.C. adds to the crushing atmosphere with harrowing bellows and growls like an incoherent John Tardy (Obituary) being anally probed. 'Human Jigsaw Puzzle' follows and is even more effective, being initiated by some spooky keys and spiraling lead guitar work before all hell breaks loose. The blows-back-your-hair velocity works like a charm here, creating a monstrously heavy din which the band seem particularly pleased to bash you over the head with. This band, my friends, has some serious potential in extreme underground circles. [7.5]

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