SKULL554

INFESTER, Darkness Unveiled (1992, demo)

The skull:
The badly drawn demon skull (named Lester the Infester, I hope) is certainly big and dumb, but I’m especially amused by the six pointed turkey leg star behind the skull. I mean, that’s what those things are, right? Giant drumsticks? I know that Lester is supposed to scare me away, but I can’t help it; I’m hungry for poultry now.

The music:
Friar Wagner was sent by The Council on some kind of secret mission, so it will fall to me to cover his skulls for a bit, but it’s too bad he’s missing out on Infester, because this is the kind of old school death metal that he, well, likes slightly more than I do. They don’t exactly sound like Blasphemy (a favorite touchstone for the other Friar) but they’re in the same ballpark, maybe also reminding of early Incantation or Deeds of Flesh. Basically, they’re a better version of Rottrevore. The vocals are far gurglier than I like in my death metal, and some of the riffing is a too rudimentary, but when they slow it down and kick it Bolt Thrower style, I can dig it, and when they dance near the fringes of thrash, they recall other borderline bands of the time like my beloved Thanatos. I certainly wasn’t collecting death metal demos in 1992, and if I had been, I probably would have been put off by the murky sound here, but in retrospect, this sounds pretty good for an early 90s death metal demo, and looking back, it’s only because there were so many better bands that Infester (and their ilk) never went anywhere. It’s not that they were terrible, or even below average; it’s just that there were more great bands than anyone really knew what to do with.
— Friar Johnsen

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