Welcome to The Lazarus Pit, a biweekly look at should-be classic metal records that don’t get nearly enough love; stuff that’s essential listening that you’ve probably never heard of; stuff that we’re too lazy to track down the band members to do a Hall Of Fame for. You people can’t bitch that I picked the wrong album from this week’s artist, because they only HAD one album. SUCK IT. Anyway, here’s our look at the messed up death metal classic that is Demilich’s Nespithe (Pavement).
So, here’s the thing you’re going to notice about this music: it is seriously, seriously demented. Like, it’s a mystery to me that the elements of this band came from somebody’s mind and then several other people agreed that it was a thing that they should do. They are Finnish people, and it is cold and dark and boring there, but still. You’re probably wondering what makes this weirder than the average weirdness that we cover. It’s not weird in the sense of the stuff that Scott Seward writes about, but as far as death metal goes, these fearsome Finns push things to the breaking point.
A lot (but not all) of the insanity comes from Antti Boman’s throat. These are maybe the most indecipherable, guttural vocals you can find outside of putting a pit bull in front of the microphone. It literally sounds like the dude is belching the entire time. And not in the “this is an easy analogy” way. It’s pretty much just belching. The rest of the insanity comes from the rest of the band – this is super-technical, heavy death metal, filled with stops and starts and sudden changes that recall Atheist and Autopsy at their twistiest. What I’m trying to say is, Nespithe ain’t easy listening.
The end result of several demos, their sole full-length record was released in 1993 to very little attention (and re-released a decade later to pretty much the same reception). Consider the other notable DM records that came out that year – Morbid Angel’s Covenant, Atheist’s Elements, Death’s Individual Thought Patterns, Entombed’s Wolverine Blues. The prevailing trend was not in the direction of the sheer ugliness that Demilich purveyed. Even if you could understand what Boman was saying (or tell the songs apart), it seemed unlikely that you could sing along to “The Planet That Once Used to Absorb Flesh in Order to Achieve Divinity and Immortality (Suffocated to the Flesh That It Desired…)” or “The Sixteenth Six-Tooth Son of Fourteen Four-Regional Dimensions (Still Unnamed).” Not to mention that, as you can probably tell, the band had a really, really weird sense of humor.
Still, these guys wound up being pretty influential. Hell, they inspired a straight up imitator, Biolich, which is quite the honor. They broke up right after this record, but they reunite occasionally to do “final” shows, so catch them if you can (or just download their complete discography, which they’ve been kind enough to provide for free at their website). Just try to avoid eating a large meal beforehand – that belching can really make you sick.