Elodea 'Demo' TAPE

 

Here's some plodding, caustic material from this Slovenian outfit featuring former members of Low Punch. I didn't know what to expect, but this isn't bad at all. The basic structures build around repetitive midpaced chord progressions with a heavy focus on rhythm and acerbic smatterings of discordance with melodic undercurrents adding in more texture.
The vocals are strained screams that rest right in against the music. "Paralysis" opens a little slower and more openly melodic with layered arpeggios/chords (though a few minor tuning issues seem to become apparent there); whereas "Final Narcosis" gets into more intense layering with lots of dissonant note combinations and choppy picking patterns. Closer "Drama Queen" is similar to "Paralysis" in its use of blatant melody, though the decisions are more effective and therefore powerful in this context - making for one of the most dynamic tracks herein, in my opinion (and it fits, it doesn't stick out stylistically from the rest of the demo). Most of the tracks run right around five minutes, and the repetitive nature of the music really works in its favor to keep the consistent tempos and pounding rhythms in order, so I'm not bored by their compositional tactics at all. As far as the recording goes, it does sort of sound like a demo, it's a little muddy and can get on the rough side, but it's not bad. I've heard far, far worse. The mix is pretty strong, if nothing else. And I like the fact that the bass guitar is really thick and pulsing but manages to make itself heard amongst the rugged guitar distortion. The percussion and vocals sound pretty good as well, I just think some of the elements need polishing. Brightening up the screaming and the guitars would add a lot of texture to the material and help differentiate the bass even more, for example. But for a quick demo this sounds very suitable, I have no major complaints.
The lyrics are personal and pretty abstract, but you can get the point that things are pretty bleak for the most part. It's nothing special, things are relatively brief. I like this, though. It's not totally original, but it's definitely interesting, and I'd really like to hear more from this band in the future. Slovenia's not an area whose scene I get to check out often, so hopefully this demo can get these guys a little more attention around the world. Keep an eye out...