Demo:listen: Draghkar

Welcome to Demo:listen, your weekly peek into the future of underground metal. Whether it’s death, black, doom, sludge, grind, thrash, heavy, speed, progressive, stoner, retro, post-, punk/, -core, etc. we’re here to bring you the latest demos from the newest bands. On this week’s Demo:listen we unleash upon our readers California’s Draghkar.  

In less than ten minutes World Unraveled, the three song demo from California-based death metal duo Draghkar, crashes into your awareness, wrecks your unsuspecting senses, and leaves you staring horrified at the darkness from whence it descended, not sure if you can handle more, but knowing you need it.

And to think that this demo was nearly lost before it could be conjured forth into our world. According to BW, Draghkar’s guitarist/vocalist/songwriter, this demo took some real perseverance to spawn. “The band pretty much fell apart the first time that we were supposed to record . . . Our original bassist was unfortunately too busy with the trials of life to find time to devote to Draghkar, and ended up separating from the band amicably the week that we were supposed to record. We were going to push forward despite that and then the original drummer left a day or two before recording was due to start due to previously unvoiced complaints in the musical direction of the band.”

Lucky for us, BW refused to give up. Draghkar’s current drummer, and only other member besides BW, was referred to him by Andrew Lee, a name you may recognize from a previous Demo:listen featuring Lee’s (former) band, Disincarnation. Says BW: “Andrew [Lee] thought that AK would be both interested and a good fit, and AK has been a part of Draghkar since. We had never communicated before late December, and recorded the demo just a couple of weeks later in January after AK completely rewrote all of the drum parts necessary.”

World Unraveled sounds anything but thrown together, a testament to AK’s fast learning and BW’s adaptability. Granted, there are moments of rawness,—it is a demo after all—but the devotion BW and AK give to their death metal is obvious. While Draghkar draws influences from Finnish tyrants of death such as Demilich, Demigod, Abhorrence, BW admits that it’s death metal, and the love of it, in general, that inspires him most. “I’ a pretty big fan of death metal and learned guitar largely on Morbid Angel, Dismember, and Death riffs,” says BW. “Though Draghkar initially began in the vein of Massacre and other classic Floridian bands, it soon angled toward my influences from around the globe, and in particular towards the early Finnish death metal scene that I love so much. Given that I love death metal more than most things and that I find Draghkar much easier and more enjoyable to write music for than my previous projects, it was a pretty easy choice to stick with it when my other projects trickled away.”

But again, it wasn’t exactly easy. Even after he solidified a drummer in AK, there was more to overcome. “[T]he final vocals that ended up on the demo are actually a result of a sinus infection,” BW explains. “We were out of time and running late, and I forced them to happen despite being far from peak condition because we were already significantly behind schedule, and I was coming close to running out of time to record the demo at all.” Without another recording of BW’s growls to compare his performance on World Unraveled to, it’s difficult to imagine how the vocals on the demo could’ve sounded better. But their hollow, croaky roar resonates well within the labyrinthine riffs and the drums like hailing aeroliths of various shapes, sizes, and degrees of deadliness.

As for their moniker, and the nature of the band, BW explains that “the Draghkar is a flying horror that devours souls in The Wheel of Time [book series] . . . As a natural enemy of humanity that eats souls, and leaves men as empty husks, I think that [Draghkar are] a fitting representation of our music . . .” We’re inclined to agree. We’re also psyched to inform our readers that World Unraveled will soon achieve physical form to be unleashed upon the world of man. Witchhammer Productions, out of Thailand, have already released the demo on tape; copies are en route to the US. The demo, again in cassette format, will also see an occidental release via Blood Harvest.

For now, Draghkar are working on a new EP. They remain on the lookout for more recruits to facilitate playing live. Keep your eyes trained to the night sky, then, as Draghkar have already proven themselves virtually unstoppable.

Check this space next and every Friday for another killer demo.