EXCLUSIVE REVIEW: Demolisher – Violent Society [2016]


Artist: Demolisher 

Album: Violent Society


Every person on earth has the capacity for violence. No matter who you are or what you believe, buried deep within your subconscious there is a trigger that is capable of setting you off—enough to send Gandhi into a genocidal rage, turning otherwise mundane men and women into mass murderers. On a day-to-day basis, these traits and triggers are buried, obfuscated behind a mask that society doesn’t just encourage, but relies upon to function; however all the while, just beneath our day jobs, relationships and hobbies, it is there, lurking, waiting for the right thing to set it off.

Ladies and gentlemen, that thing—that trigger responsible for instigating chaos and calamity out of calm and order—is here. The long-awaited and belabored sophomore album by Windy City Warriors Demolisher is upon us, and no matter your self-control or pacifistic nature, nothing will stop you from seeing red. A bold, brash combination of beatdown hardcore, groovy metalcore and downtuned, downtempo Deathcore, Violent Society is ten tracks of skull-smashing mayhem with no filler and no remorse.

To put it simply and honestly, Demolisher’s sophomore release is approximately forty minutes of violence—of fury and ferocity that make a pack of starved Rottweilers look tame. Every aspect of Demolisher’s instrumentation is fine-tuned to instigate a riotous response from the listener, beginning with the quick, catchy—yet deep and dominating—percussion from Alex Byrne. Byrne is a brute, bashing his way through ten tracks of groovy drumming that has just as much bounce to it as it does brutality. From the first resounding snare crack in “Vicious Cycles,” all the way through the low-and-slow “Nearly Dead” and bouncy “Gravemaker,” Byrne’s drumming is always interesting and engaging, rarely relying on simple patterns or predictable fills to move Violent Society along. His work with bassist Cameron Perry on “Coward” is especially noteworthy—as Bryne’s meaty kick drum harmonizes excellently with Perry’s sludgy bass tone to make each breakdown and groove hit like a shotgun to the chest. “Control” is another, faster-paced track that sees Perry staying more on the side of groove than monotonous plonking, working just as much with Byrne’s percussion as he is with guitarists Dakota Levya and Maudi Ortiz. Throughout much of Violent Society, Levya and Ortiz work together much more intricately than the guitarists in Demolisher’s peers. Beginning with “Violent Cycles” and going all the way until “Repaid,” Levya and Ortiz engage in a dialectic cycle—one will let loose with a high, eerie lead that decays into smooth, sinister grooves while the other follows along, echoing with low, gloomy Chug’s that add heft to Demolisher’s dynamic. “Hardlines,” as well as “Serpents” and “Control” does this exceptionally well—with the latter showing off Perry’s grisly bass in the mix. “Here to Stay” is a change of pace—as is “Repaid”—that sees Levya and Ortiz choosing intense, dissonant chord progressions that sound intensely reminiscent of modern beatdown hardcore, as opposed to the eerie, atmospheric and groovy deathcore vibe that reigns in “Serpent” and “Coward.”

Demolisher’s musicianship is plenty intense as is—with a careful coordination of musical influences and styles of heaviness designed to deliver sheer devastation all done perfectly. However, just when it doesn’t sound like Violent Society could get any more…well, violent, Josh Dobay’s vocals kick in. The voices of anger, aggression, hatred and bitterness all rolled into one man, Dobay delivers one of heavy music’s most ferocious vocal performances in recent history. With thick, beefy low bellows and mid-range screams that swell into piercing shrieks or high shouts when needed, Dobay’s diversity is just broad enough to cover Demolisher’s quickest passages and sludgiest sections. What’s more is the diversity found within his lyrical content, as each song seems built around a bastion of society Dobay finds repulsive. Take “Serpent,” for example. When Dobay roars “I’ll cut the head right off the Fucking snake; watch the body writhe,” the listener can truly feel his malevolent intent. True—Dobay may not be an award-winning poet—but he brings a very earnest and real aggression to Demolisher’s long-awaited album, adding personal touches of emotion and energy throughout the release that no other vocalist could truly mimic.

Built on strife and struggle, hardened by experience and tribulations aplenty and finally honed into a sharp, skin-shredding display of no-holds-barred violence, Violent Society is worth every bit of hype the band and the heavy music community have put into it. Looking for two-steps? “Serpent,” “Gravemaker” and “Here to Stay” have them aplenty? Maybe you want a song that seems written about that certain someone you cannot even tolerate the thought of? Look no further than “Coward.” Maybe you just want pure, practically tangible malevolence—in which case, Demolisher have likely written your new favorite album. Violent Society is a diverse display of devilishly heavy music, with no stone left unturned and no style done in a half-assed manner. Every song Demolisher bring to the table is a pedal-to-the-metal tour de force that will leave only the listeners strong enough to survive standing.



For Fans Of: Bodysnatcher, Rex, Falsifier

By: Connor Welsh