CD Review

Syzslak – “When Demons Ride Angels”

By Marcus Pan

When Demons Ride AngelsI’ve always been highly critical of black and speed metal. I even throw the two together into the same bucket even though purists will certainly be able to tell you the difference between the two. But regardless, the reason why I don’t like it much is because most of it is rather badly done. A good portion of “artists” will do black metal simply for the reason that playing fast, loud and obnoxiously will hide the fact that they suck balls. I get a lot of it. I’m unimpressed most of the time.

Syzslak show some talent though, much more than most. You can hear it in the breakdowns and technical make-up of their music. On the nominal When Demons Ride Angels, which is Syzslak’s third release to date, you can hear the obvious talent with the guitar solos, tight rhythms and though it wasn’t recorded in a billion dollar studio it does a fine job of being recorded at Deathstar Studio where Worldeater Records base themselves. It was this track that convinced me to write this article.

Begun in Denver as a two piece with Kate and Joe, Brian Nothing joined as the guitarist in 2002. All three share vocal duties with Kate on bass and Joe on drums. When Demons Ride Angels is a nine track consisting of raw, thunderous and explosive tracks that retain enough anger for black metal purists but don’t stray too far into the “blarghy blargh BOO SCARY BLARG!” growling territory you always see me bitching about.

Throughout it all you can still hear the talent present, proving that there are black metalists who can really play their instruments well and not just fast. Check out Brian’s guitar work in Psycho Connection for example or Reeks of Despair as two other examples besides the already mentioned When Demons Ride Angels. They throw in a bit of fast-thrash punk in the mix with WWJB as well, having a Sex Pistols kind of sound but with larger and non-stop instrumentation.

I’m hoping this doesn’t open the black metal floodgates again because I’ve reviewed yet another one. I’m not making a habit of this, I swear, but occasionally I’ll find something interesting and Syzslak’s When Demons Ride Angels is an example of this. Let me state however…typically speaking, Legends Magazine does not review black metal. Syzslak just got lucky because they’re better than most of the shit in this genre I’ve already kicked off the schedule.

Contact Information:
Worldeater Records
Post: PO Box 42728, Philadelphia, PA, 19101, USA