On their new album Less, the Danish blackened hardcore group Demersal pack a thrillingly blood-curdling portrait of the desperate mania of the moment of impact of some grave calamity. Listening feels somewhat like experiencing one of those moments firsthand in which the winds gradually whip more and more intensely, the roof begins to peel up off a house, and the walls abruptly collapse — and all the while, the torrents of the hits don’t stop. It’s a compacted hurricane of an album, and as the avalanche of backbreaking but desperately chaotic and emotionally volatile hardcore melodies pile up, it’s wild.
In the almost very first moments on this album, the band perform with streaks of breakneck speed, and they situate these grinding lashes from the hoarse, hardcore guitars in a sea of rapidly shifting dynamics, which adds significant emotional volatility. The blindingly blistering haze of chaos streaking through this album helps make the whole piece feel that much more epic and sweeping, because as the metaphorical sonic cliffs get bigger thanks to those swings in dynamics, the sense of wavering emotional desperation in the melodies grows too. Zooming outward on the band’s creation while making a way through Less only amplifies the intensity – the craters just get bigger and bigger. It’s a personally accessible but quite demanding experience.
Opening track “Amends” even ends with somber, moderately-paced trumpet blasts, which appear again in the contemplatively textured but intense cacophony of the conclusion. These dramatically solemn and easily startling, emotional longing-drenched trumpet performances really amplify the bombastically direct desperation on this album quite powerfully and memorably. Comparatively at least, the music does slow down at a smattering of points throughout this album, but there’s pretty much always that core of richly dramatized, fierce hardcore riffing — and it’s great.
It’s an animalistically desperate and raging despondence delivering sometimes startlingly tear-jerking but fierce melody, which feels, of course, sent through a blindingly fast, crushing blender. Blasts of especially poignant, developed melody do pop out at points like the title track, but mostly, Demersal revolve Less around blisteringly raw desperation.
Check out the album below!