Band: Terrible Old Man
Album: Terrible Old Man (Three song demo)
Genre: Progressive Death/Thrash Metal
In a stagnant and cold wasteland of recycled music that is known as the Maine Metal scene, one band sticks out from almost all the rest. Terrible Old Man, hailing from Waterville, ME choose to destroy your senses with screeching vocals, fast, sweeping guitar solos and intense blast beats in exchange for the slow, chugging breakdowns everyone has come to expect from a local metal band. Their first release (a three song, self titled demo) is a display of true musicianship and understanding of the music they aim to make.
Most new-aged thrash bands fall victim to the, now boring, standard format of thrash metal writing. Said bands just try to play fast and have an aggressive attitude that comes out in their live shows. Though Terrible Old Man does both of these things, their music is not stale. Their heightened understanding of music allows them to take the death/thrash format and expand it in a way that makes their music completely their own. While Between The Buried and Me are said to sound like Dream Theater, and The County Medical Examiners are a straight Carcass rip-off, Terrible Old Man's sound is completely their own.
In this demo, you are getting an array of different musical dynamics that make this release great. Frontman, Ryan Fairfield's, vocals give this little demo an evil tone as he screams the dark incantations of each track on the release. The lyrics are written in the reminiscent style of the old H.P. Lovecraft short stories (Which is quite fitting since their name comes from the title of one of his stories).
Both James Violette and Brad Bolduc display their shredding abilities to ultimate extremes. For a band recording their first release, the guitar work is top-notch. Each song on the demo includes at least two solos that not only sound great while complimenting the music, but also flaunt a certain sophistication of their skills as guitarists.
Eddie Tardiff also makes a name for himself as one of the few metal bassists to still use his fingers instead of a pick. Tardiff has the necessary chops to keep up with the shredding guitar, as well as compliment the riffs by giving them an audible heaviness that really flows with the music. That's right folks! You can actually hear the bass on this release, and it's quite fantastic!
To wrap it all up, Coby Violette's precision drumming on the demo seals the deal. From straight blast beats to gravity blast, he does it all, and it works in a refreshing way. All of his beats are completely his own. His writing ability mixed with his speed and endurance work to create the cohesive flow that this album possesses.
The last aspect of this release that was incredibly impressive is the production on this demo. When the words "metal" and "demo" are said in the same sentence, the average listener would expect a lacking sound production, and quite frankly, a shitty mix. Everything on this album sounds crisp and audible without just melding into some unintelligible wall of sound. Every instrument does its own thing while still working in unison to create one of the best listening experience I've had in years.
Unfortunately, as of right now, the only way to get ahold of this release is to go to one of their live shows. If you are capable of doing so, make the trip. Not only is this demo completely worth it, but their live show is a brute force assault of straight, pissed off metal that will leave your jaws hanging down below your knees. But, lucky for those unfortunate souls who aren't close enough to check out a Terrible Old Man set, they have all three songs from the demo up on their MySpace and Facebook pages. Keep an eye out for these guys by adding/becoming a fan of them. Terrible Old Man is one band that is destined for big things. They will not be ignored.