Recensionen på svenska.

Them comes from the west coast in Sweden. I can’t really say that geography is my main area of expertise so I doubt that I can pinpoint the exact location on the map, but on the other hand that’s not really important when it comes to reviewing music either. The music they play is Black Metal though and there is a lot of references in the lyrics to put them on the left hand path or at least the darker side, so to speak. If this is an image or not is not really important but there is a few quotations from the movies with satanic themes. I can’t place it all, but some of them belong in movies like Rosemary’s Baby and Omen. And everyone with just a slight interest in the movies knows whose son Damien really is…

But it’s not just Black Metal even is Them sometimes gets caught in stereotypical traps. There is God forsaken growls from the vocalists, both David Andersson and Andreas Fäldt are named as vocalists on the cover. There’s also a very fast drumbeat and a massive wall of sound which stands in contrast with the slower parts where all the subtle little things are noticeable. There are well written guitar parts which are easy to sort out from the bass.

It’s really uplifting to be able to hear such clarity between the treble and the bass. I know that many of the pioneers of Black Metal, like Bathory and Venom, made a point out of leaving much of the bass sound out and considered that good sound quality was something of lesser importance. They created a trend for other band to follow where a rather lousy sound was to be achieved to keep the illusion of underground music movement alive.

Them doesn’t get caught in that trap even if it doesn’t sound great all the time. There are some parts where the quality of the sound is held back somewhat, but as a whole, it sounds more than ok! Mainly it’s where the film quotations are used that it becomes a little harder for the ears to sort everything out. But since this is a five song demo it does its purpose very well in being somewhat eclectic. At least in the sense as being versatile as letting the band showcase a wide range of skills. It’s not just one stereotypical melody or sound all the way though.

Some parts almost seem to be gothic arranged choirs, but even if it is synthetic sounds it’s still very tasteful. Every time I listen to this demo it grows a bit and gets a little better. It’s not just songs that pass by without making an impact. There has clearly been an ambition in this demo to get it to sound as good as possible.

Micke Backelin does not play the drum track on this demo, but since I’ve heard him play before, in Lord Belial, I have the greatest confidence when it comes to him taking part of the band. I’ve learned by Slayers change of drummer from Dave Lombardo to Paul Bostaph and then back to Dave Lombardo on Christ Illusion and World Painted Blood that the drummer in this kind of music is very important!

But this isn’t extreme music in that sense, it’s not superfast playing all the time and I like when bands slow things down a bit to add more flavor to the songs. It keeps the music more alive than just raw energy. I like this!

20101119 - Tommy Söderberg

Thanks to Them for the demo!