Demo:listen: Nightghöul

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 is seized and carried off into the night by Philadelphia’s Nightghöul.  

Nightghöul is a one-man blackened speed metal band from Philadelphia. The sole maniac behind Nightghöul is Pierson R., who’s lived and played in bands on both sides of the country. It’s no surprise to find out that a demon as multi-talented as Pierson ends up in bands wherever he goes, but the man’s versatility is still impressive.

“Currently I am not playing music due to a wrist injury, but for the past two years I was living out west in Olympia, WA where I was the drummer in an atmospheric black metal band called With The End In Mind,” says Pierson. “I was also the original drummer in a death grind band called Castle Freak which was out of Philly. At that time I was playing guitar in a punk band called Slit Lips that reincarnated into what is now Blank Spell.”

Pierson goes on to explain how all of that turned into helming an evil punk/metal band by himself.

“Nightghöul was [started] on a bit of a whim. With The End In Mind went on a hiatus in March of last year, and I found myself working and not really having anything else going on musically. So I just decided to write a few riffs . . . and start recording. It was pretty spontaneous. I’ve been in a fair amount of bands since high school, and I decided to give this thing a shot solo just for the hell of it. Also there’s no stupid drama involved.”

Going it alone gave Pierson the freedom to write and perform whatever he wanted to, but Dungeon Metal Ripper is a demo as focused as it is ferocious. An intro plus four songs of renegade power in which Pierson channels his love for arcane heavy metal into a sound more aggressive and more sinister for these dark times.

“I am a huge fan of the NWOBHM,” Pierson admits. “I also love early thrash stuff like Sadus, Slayer and Destruction. German thrash that came out of the mid 80s is untouchable stuff. I had the idea of incorporating a lot of that shit into the project. Making sure to keep a melody in there but at the same time keeping it raw and speed driven.”

Despite how killer their combined forces sound, the instruments on Dungeon Metal Ripper were recorded across several locations. Which is just another example of Pierson’s dedication to his craft, really.

Says Pierson: “I recorded all the guitar and bass tracks in the apartment I was living in at the time, did the drum tracks in my friend’s garage, and the vocal tracks alone in my car.”

Accompanied by some bloody righteous artwork by Warhead, mixed and mastered by Ethan Camp, Dungeon Metal Ripper reigns as one of the toughest demos we could ever hope to hear. The fact that all of those riffs and solos and deadly snare rolls and acid-gurgling screams are the work of just one dude is almost unbelievable. But the fact that Dungeon Metal Ripper is coming out on tape through Grim Winds is an unholy blessing. Pierson says Grim Winds haven’t given him a “specific date” for the release of the Nightghöul cassette, but he hopes they’ll be out soon. And he’s not alone.

In the meantime, get the digital version of Dungeon Metal Ripper for cheap over at Nightghöul’s Bandcamp page.