Album Review | "Streams of Variation" - DÆmons

Album Review | "Streams of Variation" - DÆmons
Cover Art: DÆmons

Tracks

  1. Dimensional Catharsis
  2. One Step at a Time (Mechanization)
  3. Buch I: Aller Anfang ist schwer
  4. From Narcissism to Oppression
  5. Origins of Neglect
  6. Psychotropic Trephination
  7. Buch II: Anfangen ist einfach
  8. The Mouths of Deception
  9. Menschenskinder Nä
  10. Insomnolence
  11. Vermilion Sunrise
  12. Buch III: Beharrlichkeit eine Kunst
  13. A Contrast in Reminiscence
  14. Perfect Day

Review

Solo project DÆmons just released their 2nd studio album, "Streams of Variation". The 14-track album clocks in at just under 1 and a half hours and displays a versatile sound. The first song, "Dimensional Catharsis" starts off with an explosive growl that leads into ominous guitar leads and technical drum work. DÆmons shows displays a sound that seems adjacent to genres such as black metal and technical death metal, with a dark instrumental sound and extreme vocal techniques such as growls, screams, and guttural. Bright guitar riffage lights up the dark soundscape and adds elements of contrast to the song's intense atmosphere.

At just over 7 and a half minutes, "One Step at a Time" takes the place of the second song of the album. DÆmons starts off this track with a progressive, jazzy guitar lead before launching into growls and dramatic synths. The first clean singing of the album is heard with aggressive vocals layered underneath to form a strong sense of juxtaposition. DÆmons utilizes a unique sound filled with soaring guitar solos that have an epic vibe to them, similar to solos found in genres such as power metal. "One Step at a Time" blends melodic synths, singing, thumping bass, and heavy guitar tones to create a brutal yet catchy and harmonic sound.

"Buch I: Aller Anfang ist schwer" starts with funky synth leads and bass creating a progressive jazz sound. Gentle guitar strumming is introduced furthering the blues-influenced style of the track. Double bass drumming and rapid drum fills in the background show metal influences as impressive technical guitar runs are played. "Buch I" shows a more abstract take on DÆmons sound as the song features no vocals and a very progressive sound. Vibrant synth-scapes form an ambient background and lay the groundwork for intricate guitar solos and riffage.

The 4th track, "From Narcissism to Oppression" starts with a gloomy bass tone before atmospheric guitar runs kick in alongside brutal growls. A dark and evil sound is created, showing great variation from the previous song. A chaotic yet intentional atmosphere is created with synth and singing elements cutting through the sludgy depth of the rest of the instrumentals. "From Narcissism to Oppression" takes the form of an intense progressive metal track even featuring a guest guitar solo from a jazz guitarist out of Austria.

"Origins of Neglect" starts with a bold Brazillian horn section and a female Dutch singer alongside the album's previous singing vocals. DÆmons shows a completely new sound from the rest of the music so far, displaying an orchestral sound filled with many instruments and even a Nigerian choir. "Origins of Neglect" takes a more classical sound and mixes it with electric guitar, to create a progressive hard rock sound that utilizes elements from jazz, orchestral music, and classical composure.

"Psychotropic Trephination" wastes no time and transitions swiftly into an intense tech-death sound. Rapid drum fills, bass-boosted guitar, and guttural create a brutally fierce death metal sound. Impossibly swift double bass drumming and heavy-hitting guitar riffs display a technical instrumental sound with high guitar melodies piercing through the rest of the low-end instrumentals and vocals. Volatile breakdowns create an irresistible groove that any metalhead is sure to headbang along with. "Psychotropic Trephination" has thrash sections, breakdowns, guitar solos, and extreme vocals, truly creating a sound for any fan of metal.

"Buch II: Anfangen ist einfach" starts with an ethereal synth that introduces classical jazz piano composure and melodic guitar strums. Dynamic drum work backs up the gentler instrumentals to create a powerful progressive sound that has obvious jazz inspiration. Distant vocals join alongside the synths, piano, and guitar, to create a strong ambient sound with an almost celestial aesthetic.

The 8th track, "The Mouths of Deception" starts robustly with instantaneous guitar leads, low guitar riffage, and extreme growling. Bending guitar notes create a funky sound behind the brutality before transitioning to clean vocals for a huge shift of energy. DÆmons mixes technical death metal styles of bands like Infant Annihilator and blends it with their distinct progressive metal sound, jazz influences, and synth soundscapes.

"Menschenskinder Nä" starts off with an electric blues piano and distant guitar runs, creating a powerful duality between the two tones. Singing vocals are suddenly introduced along with chunky guitar tones and old-school church organs. "Menschenskinder Nä" utilizes an energetic solo from a guest saxophone solo by a jazz artist from LA.

Starting off with bright guitar melodies and brutal low-end guitar chugs, "Insomnolence" brings back the intensely heavy sound. Sliding guitar riffs back up strong screams before singing vocals are introduced. Rapid guitar runs show technical prowess and create an immersive sound. DÆmons explode into double bass drumming, powerful chugs, and harsh growls, forming a wildly heavy sound that makes the transition to bass, synths, and singing much more drastic. After a clean intermission, "Insomnolence" throws the listener into the midst of a breakdown and finishes off the song with renewed intensity.

The 11th track, "Vermillion Sunrise" features Adam Cesarz of the Prog Metal band Thematic. Singing vocals slowly fade in while the sound of a rising wind increases in volume before introducing gentle synth tones, piano, and progressive drumming. Vocals with heavy effects create a futuristic, sci-fi sound that forms an abstract, psychedelic sound that is new to the album. Distorted guitar launches into place with multiple singing vocal tracks making a powerfully full atmosphere. With a sound that reminds us of progressive bands with psychedelic influences like Tool, "Vermillion Sunrise" suddenly bursts into growls, fry screams, and heavy chugging. With a guitar solo, DÆmons transitions back to the progressive sound and fade out with clean instrumentals.

"Buch III: Beharrlichkeit eine Kunst" begins with synth triplets and brisk guitar runs that set a technical dynamic for the song. The song features a guest keyboard solo by keyboardist Nate Rendon. "Buch III" has a djent-like sound filled with complex timings, tempo changes, and an overall complicated progressive sound. Epic ambient guitar tones create a sense of urgency and importance while powerful guitar chugging fills in the low end of the atmosphere.

"A Contrast in Reminiscence" has a runtime of a whopping 15 minutes! The track features guest vocals from singer of Power Pop indie band, The Injured List. With drawn-out guitar notes and background ambience, "A Contrast in Reminiscene" builds up with a dramatic intro before jumping headfirst into progressive metal. Heavy guitar riffs and rugged growls work in off-timing and tempo changes to create a technical and instrumentally impressive sound. The song transitions to an excellent vocal hook backed by melodic synths and bright guitar harmonies. A guitar solo ensues before launching into a heavy section with piano, blast beats, and fry screams. Switching between intense breakdowns and synth atmospheres with singing, DÆmons create a strong sense of contrast and variety throughout the duration of "A Contrast in Reminiscence".

Closing out the album, "Perfect Day" is a cover of Dresage and Slow Shiver's version of the song (featured in Better Call Saul). The haunting song starts with an instrumental intro with what sounds like a harpsichord before introducing held-out singing. The song features a guest singer from Columbia as the female vocalist. With male and female vocal harmonies, "Perfect Day" creates a chilling atmosphere that seems creepily happy. DÆmons kicks in with energetic drums and electric guitar to create a satisfyingly full sound. With rock elements that aren't originally in the song, DÆmons displays a new take on the original and uses multiple vocal layers to create a choir effect that creates an off-putting sound. An excellent finale to the album, "Perfect Day" closes out the album.

"Streams of Variation" is a great album that covers genres such as progressive metal, technical death metal, jazz, orchestra composures, and more! Fans of extreme metal, progressive metal, and psychedelic bands will highly enjoy DÆmons! You can stream their latest album out everywhere now!


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