Demo:listen: Skorch

Welcome to Demo:listen, your weekly peek into the future of underground extreme metal. Whether they’re death, black, doom, sludge, grind, thrash, -core, heavy, speed, punk-, stoner, etc., we’re here to bring you the latest demos from the newest bands. This week’s Demo:listen goes up in flames with Canada’s Skorch.

Skorch play d-beat-driven death-thrash, and they play it like a pyromaniac plays with fire. That is with maniacal delight and devastating consequences. A one man operation—although there are two different sessions drummers on One Skorched Night—these three songs, plus the rendition of Hellhammer’s “Massacra,” are the work of one person calling themselves O.S.

“I am in charge of vocals, bass, guitars, lyrics, [and] production,” says O.S. “Skorch is sort of a DIY side project, a singed guinea pig so to speak. Two drummers were involved in the recording process of One Skorched Night . . . We haven’t done other bands or projects together. I scarcely know them and I think I’ll need to find somebody else for the next recordings.”

O.S. goes on to talk about what compelled him to start Skorch in the first place.

“In the beginning I simply wanted to do some groove-driven d-beat destruction because I love that fucking beat when applied to a simplistic, rolling death metal scenery. Among all those bands and records I have been loving there were many that stood for a rather stripped down yet powerful and aggressive approach. Riff-based, three-chord midtempo stuff has been important to me ever since but although I would have liked to, I never happened to play in any band in the vein of old Venom, Hellhammer or WarFare, Discharge, Driller Killer or modern stuff like (early) Midnight.”

Besides the Hellhammer cover, every song on One Skorched Night has an allusion to fire in its title. Which prompts one to wonder where O.S.’s obsession with fire comes from.

“I think that conditions and reactions like anger, hatred, aggression and spite go naturally well with fire metaphors. Primitive, elemental, a key to existence yet mysterious to many. Remember those childhood moments when the urge to gaze at pyrotechnical experiments was stronger than the urge to escape?”

One Skorched Night is tightly focused in its vision. It begins with “Ignite the Last Flame” and the fires burn steady until the echoing cry at the end of the title track closes it all out. According to O.S. “Ignite the Last Flame” is his personal favorite song on the demo.

“‘Ignite The Last Flame’ . . . is the one that made me want to start something. It’s the ignition spark. I had been doing bass and vocals for a couple of years in bands and I wanted to do something different and more simple last winter.  So I got myself a guitar and tried recording this first song. Lyrics-wise it is about the self-exposing asshole we all know. The one who always thinks he knows better but gets stuck in explanations. The one who’s always first in his own book and the one you would desperately like to lash out at from time to time . . . I refer to the guy at work or asshole next door who thinks he’s something special but lacks substance. Of course it is up to the reader, but political criticism is not the intention behind Skorch.”

Indeed, the intention behind Skorch seems to be riff-driven destruction. But why hasn’t Skorch’s demo achieved physical manifestation yet? This is tuly a travesty.

“I would not reject the idea of having a physical release of it,” says O.S. “The running time is quite short altogether so maybe a split would make more sense. Let’s see what happens.”

Someone put One Skorched Night out on tape already. Better hurry up, though, because, according to O.S., there’s already more Skorch on the way.

“Some new ideas have been recorded already except for good drums. I will go on collecting ideas and songs and see what’s possible next year.”