Review by Dom Vigil
Demons’ Great Dismal EP had me interested right from the get go with fuzzy and dirty guitar and bass tones alongside heavily distorted vocals. When an album can catch your attention with just strong instrumentation, you know it’s going to be good, and that is definitely the case with Great Dismal, especially with the first song, “There Is No Reward.” Starting off dark, muddy and a little bit abrasive, “There Is No Reward” is commanding and captivating before picking up at the end with some fast guitar work, building and building before coming to a close and leaving you excited for the next five songs.
I’m normally not a fan of heavily distorted vocals, but I wouldn’t have them any other way on this EP. The vocal work is incredible alongside rather fuzzy guitar tones, sounding more like another instrument than anything. While the mood on Great Dismal is definitely on the darker, slower side, the songs aren’t boring by any means. “Godless Girls,” for instance, keeps the album versatile with a lighter sound. The songwriting on this track is actually some of the best on the EP, as the song feels like its breathing. There are quiet, soft moments in the music where the song slows down, piano comes in and the vocals really shine before it explodes into strong, distorted guitar work. The use of volume (or lack there of) and contrasting sounds really makes “Godless Girls” a total stand out.
Where “Godless Girls” is a bit slower and still rather mellow like the first two tracks, “Radical Cure” feels more upbeat and punk. “Radical Cure” is carried heavily by chugging guitar work and aggressive vocals, showcasing yet another side of Demons.
The only downside in Great Dismal comes in the back half of the EP, which seems to lose some of the energy that it builds in the first four tracks. “There Is No Reward” starts the album off slow before things really begin to pick up with “Godless Girls” and the explosive “Radical Cure,” but with “Parallel Lines,” things seem to end right where they started. The plus side in this, however, is the acoustic final track, “Quietly Waiting.” While this final track definitely ends things on the somber side, it stands out from the pack, leaving you hanging and waiting to see what Demons do next.
While “Quietly Waiting” makes me wish for more, Demons definitely know how to keep listeners coming back for more by placing their most versatile and different song at the very end of the EP. Just when they show you what they’re capable of, Great Dismal comes to an end, and I’m left hoping for a full length so this group can expand more on the strong songwriting in many of these songs.
Listen to "Godless Girls"