Artist: Ares Kingdom
Album Title: Ares Kingdom
This is the first demo from Ares Kingdom, an American band featuring members of Order From Chaos. They play thrashy death/black metal.
The sound on this demo is crystal clear. The lead guitars are sharp, while the rhythm guitars are crunchy and powerful. The vocals are low and deathy, but reasonably easy to understand. Great drumming on this one, as well.
In terms of songwriting, this demo is similar to Order From Chaos, but perhaps a bit less chaotic. That means plenty of heavy, old-school death and thrash metal riffs. There's also a good deal of more melodic riffing here, which lends each song a memorable quality. Since there are only three tracks, I'll review them each individually.
"Solis Lacus" is the most aggressive track on the album, with a vicious main riff and triumphant drumming. The solo in the middle of this track is great, just brimming with energy! The lyrics are notable -- they invoke the will to improve by way of some neat cosmic imagery.
"The Dying Fire" is a short, thrashier song. The most remarkable thing about this track is the excellent vocal performance, but there's some cool lead guitar work here as well.
"Blue Harvest"... well, if the other two songs didn't convince you of this band's talent, this one surely will. It's a emotional, space-tinged instrumental that manages to be both melodic and heavy as hell. I could listen to this ten times in a row and not get tired of it!
This is one of the best demos of the last ten years, worth getting at any cost. Their first full-length album should be out later this year (2006), and I'm salivating over it already! Highest recommendations.
Standout Tracks: "Solis Lacus", "Blue Harvest"