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Riders of the Apocalypse

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Album Review

Side projects invariably fall into one of two categories: either they represent a lame excuse by already established musicians to shove inferior (or, at the very least, uncharacteristic) leftover material down their fans' throats; or, they offer a refreshing avenue for eclectic-minded artists to vent the under-utilized strains of their talents. Sweden's Demonoid most certainly fall into the latter, positive, category, as three members of avant-garde metal explorers Therion join forces with a Soilwork alum to craft a comparatively straightforward, modern death/thrash album in 2004's Riders of the Apocalypse. Surely inspired by (but not completely beholden to) the burgeoning Scandinavian neo-thrash scene of the mid-'00s, this song-oriented set manages the notable distinction of balancing heaps of brutality with no small amount of flair and sophistication. And, paradoxical though this may sound, even insanely frenetic opening numbers like "Wargods," "Firestorms" and "Witchburners" — while taking no prisoners — benefit from a perfect balance of crushing heaviness and crisp sounds. Talking an opposite tack, slower, tension-filled numbers like "14th Century Plague" and "The Evocation" approach, but don't quite qualify as, death/doom; while the majestic, slowly building intro to the awesome "Arrival of the Horsemen" would leave original masters of mid-paced death metal like Bolt Thrower green with envy. Elsewhere, the memorable, harmony-laden "End of Our Times" provides the album's most accessible "single," the simply titled epic "Death" waffles on a bit too long for its own good, and the excellent "Hunger My Consort" unearths numerous tried-and-true metallic devices that ancient thrash-heads will love to be reminded of before culminating in a "Die! Die! Die!" chant reminiscent of Metallica's unparalleled "Creeping Death," no less. Through it all, the musicians carry out their tasks exceptionally (even the lyrics don't suck!), but it's clearly guitarist Kristian Niemann who shines above the rest, his wide-ranging power chord palette matching iron wills with consistently eruptive guitar solos. Really, one could only wish all side projects were as good as Demonoid.

Customer Reviews

Riders of the Apocalypse

Great death metal album.I love it.

Biography

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

A supergroup side project by definition, Swedish death/thrashers Demonoid feature vocalist Christofer Johnsson and brothers Kristian (guitar) and Johan Niemann (bass) of avant-garde metal veterans Therion, teamed up with former Soilwork drummer Rickard Evensand. Together, the foursome sought to revisit some of their old-school metal influences, from thrash to death, to concoct a brutal,...
Full Bio
Riders of the Apocalypse, Demonoid
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  • $5.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music
  • Released: Sep 21, 2004

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