Let’s continue with the trend of looking back at some of the band’s that seriously impressed us at Bloodstock Festival 2018, but who’s releases we missed. This time we are taking a look at the Welsh melodic death metal band, Democratus and their January 2018 release, Starting Again.
We would love to catch every single release from every metal band but it isn’t possible or realistic so occasionally a few slip through the net. That is one of the reasons why we love Bloodstock Festival’s New Blood stage so much. The quality of the band’s on there, especially this year was unbelievably good and it allows us to catch up on some of those we missed and then take a look back.
Check out our review of Bloodstock Festival here for our thoughts on the New Blood bands we caught. You can also check out reviews of some of the bands we have taken a look back at so far by clicking on the relevant link. Sertraline, Aonia and Equinox. There will be more to come too.
We were lucky enough to get some time to have a chat with Democratus at the festival. You can watch that interview below:
Democratus are Steve Jenkins on vocals. Joining him are Kerrin Beckwith and Joey Watkins on guitars. Stu “Spoon” Rake is on the bass and, on drums, is Zak Skane. Democratus are a melodic death metal band but you do also notice influences from other genres in their music, like thrash, come through. Democratus are from Cardiff in Wales and formed in 2014 and have worked hard touring extensively and forging a name for themselves. This effort saw them as support for bands like Suffocation, Skiltron and Bloodshot Dawn, to name just a few. They released their debut EP, Starting Again, in late 2017/early 2018 and it is that EP we are taking a look at now.
Starting Again is 5 tracks and around 18 minutes long and is about as solid a debut as you can possibly hope for. We are talking predominantly very heavy music with crushing riffs, intense drumming and thick layers of bass. The vocals mix between deathly growls and strong clean singing. You definitely get a sense of melodic death metal on tracks like Starting Again which makes use of clean vocals leading into uncleans and back again. The riffs hit hard and the drums play at a furious pace while the lead guitar adds a sprinkling of high toned melody in places and a cracking solo.
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Starting Again actually has the only part on the whole EP that I am not quite convinced by and that is the opening clean vocals. They aren’t bad. They just sound a little off tone and strained. It is quickly forgotten though and doesn’t show on the rest of the EP so perhaps it is just not the best mix it could have been. Other songs like Endless Prophecy are fast and furious tracks to leave you breathless and beaten in the pit. Coming across more as a straight up death metal track, it is relentless in it’s short but effective assault.
Life for a Life follows a more traditional melodic death metal structure with some great riffing, powerful vocals and a relevant, and powerful, message about the state of politics, our democracy. Life for a Life also has a great solo in it. Probably my favourite solo actually. My favourite track so far, though, is The Furious Horde. A fast and heavily distorted sound gives it a little bit of a thrash feel. The riffs are crunchy and the vocals are menacing with an incredibly catchy chorus. The drums blast out an infectious rhythm coupled with the bass and there is another cracking solo.
The EP ends with Deity which is a slight change in sound with a lot more bass and a little more groove. There are still some good riffs and the drums have some real meat to them. Deity definitely has a darker atmosphere surrounding it. It shows Democratus have the flexibility to switch things up a little. To keep things interesting.
Starting Again has a lot to offer fans of metal. Some great riffs, strong vocals and expert drumming with a nice, unpolished feel to it all. The slightly suspect singing at the start of the EP opener is forgotten quickly within a violent and forceful assault on the senses from the imperious metal that follows. Music to mosh to. Music to bang your head to. Coupled with some relevant and important lyrical content. It is a very strong debut. Expect to hear a lot more about Democratus in the future.
You can grab a copy of Starting Again now on all the usual streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify. You can also grab a copy, digitally, from Bandcamp here. Check the band out on Facebook, Soundcloud and YouTube for more information on them and to hear some music.
Starting Again by Democratus (Self Released)
The Final Score - 8/10