100 Demons
100 Demons

I’m not normally that impressed with album artwork, but with band named after Horiyoshi’s epic book and equally Eastern themed artwork, 100 Demons piqued my attention.

Hailing from Connecticut and with one album, In the Eyes of the Lord under their belt courtesy of Goodlife Recordings, 100 Demons should not surprise with their style; angry, chugging, metallic hardcore. Hardly original, but done well enough to be in your collection if you are a fan of the style. The steely thrash tinged edge to their hardcore musings often reminded me of early Pro-Pain or Shadows Fall, controlled yet seething with under the skin rage and their veins bulging in their neck in self restraint ready to explode.

Not nearly as harsh as some of the genres harder acts (Built Upon Frustration, Premonitions of War), and with just a slight hint of melody, 100 Demons sound is finely crafted to appeal to all metal ilk, so long as they are pissed off. Of course, as with most fits of rage, it’s short lived, as the nine anthems clock in at around 3 minutes or under, that left this listener wanting more. The entire production is earthy and robust from the crunchy guitars to the Bruce LePage’s throaty roar, its all in line with anything you’ve come to expect from East Coat hardcore. However, Lepage’s vocals don’t seem to quite match the intensity of his scathing lyrics, and his few clean attempts don’t fit in with the general rage of the music (“Repeat Process”).

Guitarist Rick Brayall’s prior death metal experience is heard throughout the riffs, although prettied up with hardcore’s more commercial pacing, the general chug and soloing is rooted in early 90s death metal. My only gripe with the material its general ‘sameyness’, although a trait of the genre. I would like to have heard 100 Demons crank out a real pulse quickening stopping show stopper or complete behemoth of crushing noise. As it stands, “Dying In My Own Arms” treads Sick of it All/ Agnostic Front punk realms and potential gargantuan closer “Never Surrender Virtue” is too short lived despite its promising march. Other wise, the album treads the safe line with mid paced weightiness that lacks a real impact despite being enjoyable. “His Fathers Son” injects some promising melody and the aforementioned “Repeat Process” attempts some clean vocals, but overall the album’s deep religious theme is never quite conveyed by the standard chugga-chugga music. Not that it doesn’t make it enjoyable, the short burst of 100 Demons is perfect for that late night Taco Bell and beer run that requires some pounding, meaty tunes to get your head bobbing for a short period of time.

 I only wish the music itself fulfilled the promise of depth that the artwork and lyrical themes promises, rather than a standard hardcore fare. Well, there’s not much I can say about a 25 minute album. Short album, short review, rock on.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
November 20th, 2004

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