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The Day of the Beast: Relentless Demonic Intrusion

Lots of heavy metal bands turn to the writings of H. P. Lovecraft for inspiration. This has been true for several years, but it seems that lately, several musicians are discovering the ways Lovecraft's fiction speaks to imaginative lands, creatures, and scenarios that are just dark enough to catch the interest of listeners. One of the things Lovecraft enjoyed doing was to draw inspiration from his dreams. Like Poe, he believed that dreams were not only fodder for stories, but that they were also a means of thinking about realities beyond this world. One of his dream cycle of stories is a novella entitled "The Dream-Quest of the Unknown Kadath." The story is complex and I certainly can't summarize it here. Needless to say, the title connects directly to the second track on Relentless Demonic Intrusion. I don't think that The Day of the Beast is trying to retell Lovecraft's story--instead, I think they are drawing on popular writers like Lovecraft to establish a certain mood of mystery. This whole album, in fact, draws on fanciful occult-tinged writing to think through larger themes of human frailty and death. I thought the reference to Cthulhu in "The Day of the Beast" was a nice touch. Here, as in other songs, humankind is already living in a state of decay and disaster. With Cthulhu's arrival halfway through Relentless Demonic Intrusion, we may quickly recognize that there is little room for hope. I think that's why metal bands are drawn to Lovecraft--he captures a mood of despair that leads, ultimately, to nothingness.

Relentless Demonic Intrusion is a heavy thrash album with just the right amount of death metal to handle its dark themes effectively. The rhythm section pounds quickly through several of the tracks, making the title's suggestion of "relentless" an accurate description of the music. I would have enjoyed perhaps a little more variety of tempos and styles, but my overall impression is that this is a strong band that will only get better with time. The best songs on this album are those that are slow and deliberate, rather than fast and restless. Don't get me wrong, these guys can thrash with the best of them. Their slower tempo tracks, though, burn with heaviness. Songs like "The Day of the Beast" take advantage of tremolo picking and heavy riffs to help listeners connect to its dark lyrical themes about Lovecraftian beasts finally making their way into the world. I was also drawn to "The Paralyzed Hand," a track which begins with a fast bass line that leads the listener directly into the heart of the song. Even though the guitars quickly take over, the bass remains a constant presence. Bass lines should stand out, not disappear. Other highlights on the album include "As Steel Sharpens Steel," a riff-centered song that captures how well The Day of the Beast sounds as a slower tempo death metal band. The closing track, "Torch this Place" can only be described as an occult anthem that combines arcane imagery with drunken mayhem. I can only hope fans won't take it too literally, particularly at live shows. We don't want to have to clean up after monsters.

Track Listing:
1. Intro / Relentless Demonic Intrusion
2. Unknown Kadath
3. Cult of the Bloody Tongue
4. Son of Draconis
5. The Paralyzed Hand
6. As Steel Sharpens Steel
7. Static Cesspool
8. The Day of the Beast
9. Torch this Place

Added: February 4th 2012
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Myspace Page
Hits: 2041
Language: english

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