Wednesday 28 June 2023



Are all these Italian acid doom/scuzz rock bands, currently putting out fuzz drenched and filthy sounding albums and EP's like there is no tomorrow, somehow connected? This is a question we have asked before on these pages but we have come to the conclusion that the question really doesn't need to be answered just so long as the music these bands are making exists. 
Demonio, Anthony (guitar/vocals); Paolo (drums) and Matteo (bass), like their Italian contemporaries Witchsnake, Sonic Demon and Wizard Master, started their life jamming grooves inspired by Black Sabbath and  Electric Wizard, the band putting their own spin on that iconic sound by drowning those grooves in swathes of distortion and fuzz and and by dropping the vocals way back into the mix to allow the music to take centre stage. The sound the band created was loud, doomic and raw but at the same time gloriously uplifting and addictive and was a sound that dominated both their first album "Electric Voodoo" and its follow up EP "Black Dawn". Musicians though have a tendency to want to evolve and so for their latest album, "Reaching For The Light", Demonio have slightly moved away from the doom and embraced a more proto-metallic sound, still raw still loud and still very noisy but leaning a little more towards the screaming lysergic heavy blues rock of  The Jimi Hendrix Experience and  the JPT Scare Band than it does the devastating doom of Electric Wizard.

"Heavy Dose" kicks things off and straight away you notice a difference from that which Demonio served up with their previous releases and that which they deliver with this their new platter. The first thing you notice is that the vocals are clearer and sit a little further forward in the mix, the next thing you will notice is the clarity of the guitars. Much of Anthony's guitar work on previous releases tended to been buried under so much filthy fuzz and distortion that any subtleties in his playing tended to get lost, here though his tones sparkle and shine and cut through the growling bass and thunderous percussion that Matteo and Paolo expertly lay beneath him with a sharpness not previously witnessed on a Demonio release. Demonio prefaced the release of their new album by announcing on their Facebook page that they were "done with the satanic crap" and "Reaching For The Light" is testament to that statement. There are no mentions of horned devil's, demons or ritual sacrifices to be found on songs like "Fire Guru", "Shiva's Dance" or "Death Trip" instead what you get are lyrical celebrations of an alternative lifestyle set against a backdrop of music that pays homage to that period of rock music when the heavy blues of the late 60's started to morph into the hard rock of the mid 70's, a groove we have now come to refer to as proto-metal.   

There will be of course those that will bemoan the fact that Demonio have moved slightly away from their Electric Wizard inspired roots towards a more acid rock/proto-metal sound but the truth of the matter is that Demonio have always been more acid than they have been doom so it could be argued that "Reaching For The Light" is just a natural progression. It's not a progression far removed from the bands original sound but it is a progression nonetheless and one that has resulted in the bands best release to date.
Check it out ... 

© 2023 Frazer Jones

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