Demons My Friends picked the perfect name. Let’s get that out of the way, first thing. I mean, even if the band sucked, it’s a great name for a band. Cool thing is: they don’t suck. Not even close.
Demons My Friends Sounds Like…
Putting on my best Steve Howe (Outlaws of the Sun) hat, let me try to describe how this band sounds. Imagine a healthy dose of Corrosion of Conformity, a heaping pile of Elder, and just a dash of Opeth. Then it’s carefully mixed and then baked (ha!) to a golden crust of Spirit Caravan-era Wino, faint hint of Baroness and just a whiff of All Them Witches.
Which is a fancy way of writing that these guys know how they want to sound and how to get it done. It doesn’t hurt that (the amazing) Jeff Hanson (Spirit Adrift, Clutch) is at the helm mixing and producing the shenanigans.
Brought me to Tears
How good is it? Well, here at HQ, I was giving the album a second pass on my headphones when I saw Newbie Doomer mouth, “what’s wrong?” Once again, I had tears in my eyes listening to yet another band come out of nowhere and lay it the fuck down. As in stomping the fucking terra with a emphatic WOMP that lets you know they’re here, and they must be reckoned with.
The song that caused an involuntary discharge of saline? Make Them Pay. There’s nothing in the first 1:50 of this 3:13 long song that even hints at what’s about to happen. But that’s when the My Arms, Your Hearse nod to Opeth kicks in, followed by a totally unexpected Brian May guitar tone, bringing it back around to chest-thumping, fist-pumping perfection. My Boomer neck got a bit strained trying to headbang. It ain’t a pretty sight…
Late to the Demons My Friends Party
Look y’all, I totally missed this in August. But I guarantee it’s gonna be high on my list for the best of 2023. Demons My Friends joins the likes of Faerie Ring, Hail the Void, and Snakemother as the latest bands carrying Stoner/Doom forward. None of these bounds sound even remotely alike, but they’re all tapping into classic and progressive elements of heavy metal in their own unique ways.
Demons My Friends have gotten some serious accolades, and I can’t help but notice how many bands are referenced by people trying to describe them. I think that’s a testament to how knowledgeable they are, and talented enough to make it all sound original.
Also have to give a bit shout out to Gravitoyd Heavy Music, who along with Ripple and King Volume are showcasing some serious chops. Stone Nomads are no joke, along with the 3 Wheeler Band and Moonwatcher. It’s also great to see a strong Hispanic presence across the Gravitoyd label.
One last thing: there’s another trend in the Heavy Underground that’s worth noting. Without a doubt, some of the best hard and heavy rock ever ridden comes from the 1970s. The thing is, I grew up with that music and I still listen to it every now and then. Aside from Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Uriah Heep and Blue Öyster Cult, not that many heavy albums from back then or a complete album. Even bands like UFO had one or two fantastic songs on it, and then a lot of filler.
Demons My Friends is 100% dialed-in from beginning to end. I don’t think there’s a weak song on the album, and even when some moments might be lacking a little bit a zip or zing, a few seconds later you get hit over the head with some prime metallic fury. I think the same can be said about most of the music being released over the past few years. But Demons My Friends seem to go that extra step…