I’m pretty sure Demon Eye is the most cheerful band associated with the doom/occult rock movement. They’re never as tongue in cheek as Ghost and their ilk nor reaching for the irony crowd, but there’s an impish spirit in their already upbeat style that suggests a genuine enthusiasm for the music they’re playing and the songs they’re writing. The North Carolina group’s third full-length album sustains the momentum that was set up by 2015’s Tempora Infernalia and is thankfully just as fun.
While Prophecies and Lies goes right in line with Demon Eye’s first two efforts, there are a few subtle changes in the band’s writing approach. With an exception of the punky “Power of One,” there aren’t really any breakneck speeders on here, and the performances aren’t quite as aggressive as those on past efforts. In addition, the tone is noticeably darker and songs like “In the Spider’s Eye” and “Kismet” pack in some slower segments without going full on doom.
But at the end of the day, Demon Eye will always be about intricate Iron Maiden guitar harmonies, Geddy Lee vocals, and catchy as hell melodies. With only a couple songs going beyond the four minute mark, it isn’t too surprising that the album is mostly comprised of upbeat toe-tappers. Songs like “The Waters and the Wild” and “The Redeemer” among several others continue the band’s penchant for almost danceable swing tempos.
There are a couple songs that dare to mix things up, particularly during the second half. “Infinite Regress” plays like a more mid-tempo waltz, and “Politic Devine” ends up being a major highlight due to its groovy shuffle. The last two songs really shake things up as the title track enters all out prog with its bass driven riffs and spoken word intrusions while “Morning’s Son” plays out like another rocker before devoting its second half to what I’d best describe as apocalyptic fanfare.
Overall, Prophecies and Lies isn’t as instantly accessible as Tempora Infernalia, but it does see Demon Eye slightly tweaking their signature brand of upbeat doom rock. It’s another fun album like the two before it, but the band has expanded their sonic palette to include plenty of new ways to make their listeners shuffle about like excitable white girls. It’s sure to be a top pick for 2017 and even more evidence that Demon Eye is mandatory listening for anyone who calls themselves a hard rock fan.
“The Waters and the Wild”
“Power of One”
“Prophecies and Lies”
Prophecies And Lies will be available on CD, vinyl, and digital formats August 11th in Europe followed by a North American release date of September 8th. For preorders go to Soulseller Records.