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Demilich - Nespithe CD (album) cover

NESPITHE

Demilich

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.36 | 39 ratings

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CassandraLeo
5 stars Gorguts' Obscura is frequently called "the Trout Mask Replica of death metal". Nespithe might be considered the Ascension or Free Jazz. It's not just that the band's squalling guitars and inhumanly low vocals are atypical of the genre; they also have little apparent predecessor and no one since has managed to duplicate them (which may be one reason Demilich have yet to make another full-length album, though they reformed last year and have not ruled out the possibility of new material). This music genuinely sounds like it was composed and performed by aliens.

The inclusion of Demilich on a progressive site may seem weird at first, but there's undeniably a logic to it: the sheer experimentation of this music represents a progression of the genre of death metal that has seldom been equalled elsewhere, and the compositional complexity of the music does have roots in prog even if they're not immediately apparent. It's not just the unusual uses of scales, rhythms, and harmonies (although those are highly unusual); even the compositional structure of this music is sometimes unusual.

This album may take several listens to absorb (although, after enough listening, several of the songs do become "catchy" in their own way). But the material here is well worth absorbing, and offers rewards that are equalled by few other death metal recordings. This is one of those "unique" albums that really is unique.

Interested listeners are strongly urged to consider the 2CD/3LP compilation 20th Adversary of Emptiness, which contains the band's entire discography, including three previously unrecorded songs. Nespithe has been remastered from the original tapes for the first time, and has never sounded better. (It should be mentioned that, unlike a lot of modern remasters of old classics, the material on this compilation is not ruined with "loudness war" shenanigans; the music remains every bit as dynamic as it has ever been on the new remaster, with plenty of space to breathe). The bonus material is also well worth checking out; the demos (with the exception of the final track) have comparable recording quality to the album and do a good job helping listeners understand how the band developed its signature sound (and also contain a few tracks that were not re-recorded for the album), while the new material is up to the standard of the songs on the album. Hopefully this is not the last material we'll hear from this enigmatic band.

CassandraLeo | 5/5 |

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