Summon Thy Demons
Review by Felix on October 3, 2023.
First came the killing, then came the rebirth. It took the guys of Mezzrow "just" 33 years to record a follow-up for their debut. Only two dudes of the debut line-up have survived, but Summon Thy Demons almost sounds as if the complete old gang is still at work. Okay, the opener is surprisingly unexciting and its chorus fails to crown the track, but the album houses some fine bonebreakers as well. The sharp and dynamic riffing of 'Through The Eyes Of The Ancient Gods' make up for comparatively faceless beginning. A great bridge leads to an equally fantastic chorus, what more can we ask for? But especially the album's centre develops a lot of strength. The jagged riffing and the excellent flow of 'De Mysteriis Inmortui' form one of these songs that explain us the glory of thrash in a matter of minutes. 'Beneath The Sea Of Silence' does not let itself either. Quite the opposite, this piece marks the absolute highlight of a full-length whose conventional song patterns make it easy to get access to the material quickly. But let's get back to 'Beneath The Sea...'. Swirling guitar licks and a menacing chorus lend the song very strong vibes (and its beginning, the lyrical topic and the menacing aura remind me of "Straight Out Of Kattegat", a jewel of Denmark's Killing).
Sometimes pretty melodic sequences have crept in, for example at the end of the stomping title track. You think I would actually prefer to say inappropriate instead of melodic? Eh, you're right. Either way, some parts lie in close proximity to the kind of thrash that Mezzrow's compatriots called Defiatory offer. Maybe that's no surprise, because the drummer and one of the guitarists have been in this band and the voluminous, masculine vocals of Uffe Pettersson also build a bridge to the outstanding power-voice of Defiatory's lead singer. (Dear visitor, you are entering the sector without Schmier-like high-pitched screams!) But Mezzrow do not fall victim to their own need for harmony and so the melodic site never gains the upper hand on 'Summon Thy Darkness'. With very few exceptions, the thrash hammer rules in its own unyielding way. No wonder, because it benefits from the transparent and powerful high class production. By the way, has there ever been a Swedish thrash band with a bad sound? Don't think so!
Despite the lukewarm start and a small number of inadequate melody lines (in particular the nearly cheesy chorus of 'What Is Dead May Never Die'), Mezzrow celebrate their comeback successfully. The material does not lack substance and the band does not run out of breath as the album progresses, just listen to the swift 'Dark Spirit Rising' with its hardcore-like shouts in the chorus. It's amazing to see that Mezzrow in their 2023 configuration sound fresh and tradition-conscious at the same time. This combination, mixed with their natural energy and convincing song-writing skills, gives old and greyed thrashers like me a good feeling – and simultaneously a bad one. Shit, I was already listening metal at the time of the release of Mezzrow's debut. And I will be too old to enjoy their third output, if they need again 33 years to finish it.
Rating: 8 out of 10396