27 Jun 2013

Durvasag - EP Promo 2012 [Demo] (2012, Self-released)

From the cold wastes of Canada comes Durvasag, a highly productive band of the black/thrash subgenre. Having existed for only 3 years at the time of writing this review they've already released an EP and 3 demos, one of which I have previously graced with my attention. Their leanings toward certain elements of extreme metal means they have a lot in common with the early Teutonic thrash scene, and at times this demo EP reminds me a bit of Kreator or Sodom.

What goes on with Durvasag is they went from sub-par blackened thrash with boring, repetitive riffs, annoying vocals and vocal patterns, sloppy playing, horrendously muddy production and most of all bland songwriting. They haven't changed any members since last time (though lead singer Mark Arruda has since left the band), but what we find on the 2012 EP promo is entirely different quality-wise to their first demo. Durvasag pretty much turned up the dial on everything on this promo. It's faster, it's tighter, it's barbaric. The 2012 incarnation of Durvasag has the forceful aggression and tightness that the previous demo lacked, and the songwriting itself is clearly better as if they went from using the same bland rehashed riffs over and over to actually writing worthwhile material. If only the production had followed suit in this increase of quality we would be left with a great fucking thrash dem.

A gritty production can serve in a band's favour, and I've heard good demos with worse production that Durvasag's EP Promo, but overall it gets tiresome having to listen to cymbals and hihats so much, and it feels like the riffs don't really come into their own with the current state of things.
You can easily tell that the band is still in every way Durvasag. They have the same aggressive vocal patterns, insistent drumming and fast guitar playing that you know them for, but their music has become much more varied. They show their flair for easy to follow choruses which mostly consists of a few shouted words, and it works. As a release on its own, without comparing it to their previous efforts, I'd say it's a solid 7/10.

1. Nuclear Winds
2. Sacrifice

DURVASAG on Bandcamp
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The 100 Review Anniversary 20-track compilation is still available for free right over here

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