Demo:listen: Evil Priest

Welcome to Demo:listen, your weekly peek into the future of underground metal. Whether it’s death, grind, black, doom, sludge, heavy,  progressive, stoner, retro, post-, etc. we’re here to bring you the latest demos from the newest bands. On this week’s Demo:listen, we journey deep into the shadowlands of our unconscious mind with Lima’s Evil Priest.

On last week’s Demo:listen we introduced you to a killer band from Santiago; this week we’ve sailed up the coast a little and landed in Lima, Peru, home of Caligari Record’s latest atavistic anomaly, Evil Priest. These three baby-faced demons monger an OSDM so authentic you’ll find yourself wasting hours researching death metal musicians’ deaths during the mid-90s, thinking you’re hunting down Evil Priest’s pre-reincarnation origins. Save yourself the trouble and just trust us. Evil Priest is some unique(ly and darkly gifted) juvenilia.

Evil Priest’s self-titled four song demo tape begins with “Ikarus,” an intro track that’s nearly three minutes in length. A Ghanta dings mindfully; a fire crackles and whispers; a mantra is exhaled over squawking crepuscular birdsong. Then comes “Great Snake,” the Lima trio’s first song proper. As if the song has slithered up through the epochs of death metal, and has mutated along the way, the opening riff hits like a Hellhammer . . . then Evil Priest go batshit and don’t stop until the next song. Along the way they’re routing all kinds of dreadful figures from the collective archeopsyche. Tremolo gales that’ll have you revisiting the quakes you got when you first heard “Cromlech.” But “Great Snake” slithers on, heedless to your mounting fever. Ending, finally, in the here and now–or the near future, really .  . . if you think about. But who else hears some Sepulchral Zeal during that ending coffin fit?

Says 22-year-old Jaano, guitarist and self-proclaimed “sordid voice” of Evil Priest: “My first job in the band is to obtain and study information on the subject to be treated, rummaging through books of interesting authors like Jeremy Narby, Carlos Castaneda and other anthropologists . . . then I . . . compose the structure and the dark resonance with my colleagues.” In 1998, Jeremy Narby published The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge. A trippy tome written by a guy who worked among indigenous peoples in Peru. An illuminating read, but it will do little to dispell the curse of Evil Priest.

In barely twenty minutes Evil Priest’s self-titled demo packs a potent enough hit to make you think it actually is 1988 and you’re hearing this on a tape because you have to. Ride out that feeling as long as you can. According to Jaano, Evil Priest are already at work on an LP. “Without leaving behind the subject and the darkness that you want so to speak,” he says, knowing us well. He also relates that Evil Priest will “be sharing the stage . . . with Sadistic Intent, Blood Feast, Wehrmacht and Solstice [at] Lima Metal Fest.” Hey, don’t look at us. It’s not our fault this band got the credit they deserve before you heard about them. We’re trying our best here at Demo:listen to make sure you hear them first. At least the pre-order for the Evil Priest tape’s not sold out yet.
You heard it here relatively early at Demo:listen. Check back next and every Friday for promising new metal.