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DEMO/EP ROUNDUP - Vectis and Sign Of Evil

Once more we sort through the mounds of EPs, singles, mini-albums and demos to uncover what might become the next "big thing" ...

First up we go to Portugal to look into Vectis' new EP No Mercy For The Weak. When we ran into the band last year, we were battered about the head by the old school, raw black thrash of their The Executioner demo (refer review below). So, I was taken aback somewhat by the relatively restrained instrumental opener "Invocation Spells" on this latest release. That proved to be an outlier though, as "Satanic Force" follows, pulling the listener back down to the muck, as expected. Gotta say though that there's a cleaner overall sound here, along with a speed metal element added to their black/thrash. Result - a fun, headbanging affair that's easier to consume, but still heavy enough to appease underground extremists. Five tracks over fifteen minutes of enthusiastic, speedy headbanging fare. "Hail - no mercy for the weak!" (8)

Next up are Chile's Sign Of Evil with their six track, twelve-minute EP Psychodelic Horror. Expecting a primal blast of South American black/thrash given the band name and locale, I was instead met by a totally blitzed sound that can best be described as psychotic extremism put to tape. Imagine

a black/thrash unit where the guitarist is totally wasted on whatever his drug-of-choice is. The underlying rhythm section is your tried and true raw violence, but the main guitar riffs and solos are simply ... out there. Oh yeah - there's also some discordant soundscapes interjected between tracks to further keep you off balance. Weird, but wonderful. (7.5)

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