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Review: Demonztrator - Sinister Forces of Hatred
Sinister Forces of Hatred

Label: Ossuary Records
Year released: 2021
Duration: 40:38
Tracks: 10
Genre: Thrash Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: October 4, 2021
Reviewed by: Luxi Lahtinen
Readers Rating
Sinister Forces of Hatred

Rated 4.3/5 (86%) (10 Votes)

Demonztrator have been toiling in the Finnish underground for a few years now, starting life as a cover band with their 2017 tribute album, Forgotten Acts of Aggression, before penning their own material starting with their Myriad Ways of Dying EP in 2019. They've worked to leverage all that to get noticed on the global stage, a prospect that has only gotten harder since the currently ongoing pandemic, but they've persisted through it and finally released their original full-length debut Sinister Forces of Hatred, which is as badass an album title as any band could hope to manage. In the end, however, it's all a matter of whether or not the music measures up to it, and in this case, it absolutely does in some surprising ways.

Considering their origins, it's no surprise that Demonztrator base their sound around old-school Thrash in the vein of Exodus, Testament, and Kreator. None of that is to suggest they're just another clone act, but here they've actually worked to modernize that style without becoming "Modern Thrash" in any way. This is greatly helped by some excellent musicianship, whether it be the sharp, adventurous guitar work of Timo and Jökä, the varied and intense drumming of Seppo, Jukkis' rumbling bass playing, or the vicious vocals of Jari, who goes at it like a younger Mille on steroids and ends up distinguishing himself as one of the best Thrash vocalists working today.

That musical talent would go to waste on substandard material, but the songwriting here is leaps and bounds beyond their previous efforts, showing a level of variety that wasn't found beforehand. Opener "Murderlust" is the kind of violent, fist-in-yer-face onslaught the title would suggest, and songs like the furious "The Collapse", the twin-ax riff fest of "Nail Them All", and the sinister, Slayer-esque closer "Embryonic Evil" all follow suit, but then you get more melodic numbers like the speedy "Proclamation", the fiendishly hooky "Scavenger of War", and "Crossing the Rubicon", all of which prove that the band can do more than just bash out fast and angry Thrash. You even get more varied numbers like "Acid Remains", which starts off slow and moody before building into a whirlwind of thrashing madness, and the awesome mid-paced stomper "Into the Mouth of Madness". They even pull off a brief instrumental with "Intermission – Deus Volta", whose melodic guitar work reminds me a good bit of older Arch enemy.

You probably noticed by now that I just went ahead and did a track-by-track review, but this just happens to be the kind of album that needs it. You don't often see a cover band grow past their origins to become a band that respects the traditions of the bands they once covered while tailoring their own distinct sound out of them, but Demonztrator have gone ahead and done that with style, making this debut well worth the wait. Killer shit.

Other related information on the site
Review: Forgotten Acts of Aggression (reviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Review: Morbid Journey Into Chaos (reviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Interview with guitarist Timo Ahlström on September 28, 2019 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Interview with guitarists Jökä Reinholm and Timo Ahlström and vocalist Jari Hurskainen on November 9, 2021 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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