The cover of Demo ’19 is what truly caught my attention. Usually, death metal that erects this amount of brutality is a bit much for me, but Undeath’s first demo is quite digestible. Despite how muddy it is, there is a lot to be gained regarding lead guitar licks that reign over the rest of the mix, taking most of the foreground. Within seconds of hearing the opener “Unadorned Coffin,” you get a pretty solid idea of what you’re in for.
That said, this is molded together by guitar tones that are so deep and dense that it’s like swimming through quicksand, combined with throaty vocals reminiscent of someone drowning in said quicksand. Using this type of foundation contradicts the lead guitars, which are far cleaner, poking through the air and breathing easier. “Perverted Self Reflections” avoids this by slowing everything to a menacing pace and really driving the nasty dirt-filled vocals and rhythms into your head. “Ineffable Tumult” is where you’ll find faster, fret-loaded solos to consume most of the track. The demo closes with an unsettling synth piece known as “Mortuary Breeze,” leading into “Archfiend Coercion Methods” which is basically a gut-wrenching track that has licks on the technical side.
Undeath’s first demo is as filthy as it sounds. The vocals are incomprehensible on every level, the guitar tones are horrific, and the delivery is presented in different layers that work well. For a demo, this is some pretty high-quality stuff, and it’s as dark as can be. Though this isn’t typically what I run to, a small dose of it is very manageable, clocking in around thirteen minutes in total run-time.