The good thing about reissues is that you get a chance to pick up a copy of a disc you probably heard but never found when it was new. But, if you are a reviewer, the bad thing is…why the hell are you reviewing a band who’s name is, at least relatively well known? And a record some folks are going to consider a classic and everyone agrees is important enough to reissue? I have done it before, of course. If you look in the reader review section I have submitted some “reviews” occasionally for records I think people ought to check out, even though they already exist and are, for all intents and purposes, classics. These weren’t, of course, reviews. They were essays about records I like, tributes, if you will.
But reissues are another story. They are not necessarily love fests. In fact, I personally may not dig them at all. So how do I approach it? The last reissue I did was something of a disappointment for readers familiar with the record in question. I would say, at least for me, Slumber of Sullen Eyes is a very good record, a very good memory and is worth owning. If you don’t own it, now is the time. But if you do, then I can’t see any reason to go out of your way for this. Sure, there are some nifty sloppy old demos tacked on, but is that worth the price of a CD you already have? I don’t think so.
A little about the sounds… It’s the very Northern Euro style of early death metal, the stuff that spread so well from the roots on Combat and Earache. Call it second stage if you like. Whereas the American death scenes were inching toward brutality and sickness, the Euros were more interested in ominous melody and mid tempo, with lots of room for rhythm games. And no one aced that style better than Demigod. They sometimes play like a natural progression of the Bolt Thrower ethic, but with a definite villainous turn of musical phrase. Some of the passages are almost black, but HEAVY black, and very few blast beats.
For the time, this is a crisp and clean recording. You can hear every instrument when the band lurches, and the faster bits are excitingly live. If it has been remastered it’s hard to tell. It was damned good before. While it may not have the kind of gut thumping depth we are used to from our crunchy death, you still get the point. The guitars are meaty as hell, and the drums are fairly decent sounding. The vocals are about right in the mix. All in all, quality for a 1991 album.
And…there you go. Bottom line? It’s good enough to reissue. And it was already good enough to own. If you love early death metal and you don’t have this, or traded it in for enough money to gas up your car till payday (fucking poorness SUCKED…) then don’t hesitate. It’s a no brainer. If you do have this and didn’t have a car or a job or a kid to feed or bills to pay (FUCK!!!!!) then the 4 demos are probably not enough reason to pick it up again. I guess the point is everyone should have a copy of this. Now you can, so get the fuck on it.