Returning from well over a decade of silence isn’t easy for any band, much less one that never really “made it” in the first place. After two well-received albums of NWOAHM-styled death-influenced blue collar thrash on Metal Blade in the mid-‘00s, DEMIRICOUS kind of just…poof!…faded.
So, hearing of their return, I had to at least see if the years had been kind.

Chaotic Lethal begins with ‘Unconditional Hate’, a rumbling, glitchy (thankfully abbreviated) intro with sparse piano in the background before absolutely annihilating, leads squealing like Deliverance and Lord Of The Flies had a baby and it was Ben Parrish and Scott Wilson. I’d always thought they were a solid duo when it came to this crop of American metal, and nice to know they’ve retained that sense of camaraderie. Bassist/vocalist Nate Olp hasn’t lost a step, and drummer Dustin Boltjes loads his barrels with a mixture of grind/metal techniques without coming off as prissy about it, first notable during the solo section of ‘Terminal Future’.

‘The Follow’ blasts forward to Mach 666, the aforementioned grind flirtations being imbued with more than their share of furious ‘n’ frantic punk, the true win being that such a diversion doesn’t sound whatsoever contrived. This is DEMIRICOUS at its most violent, most fucking vitriolic ever, and it’s good. Damn good.

The title track takes its time on the build-up, but when it does ‘Chaotic Lethal’ is doomy deep groove, swinging like a sledgehammer on the end of a chain, elements of MACHINE HEAD’s classic material referenced, time changes near the end tossing a bit more speed into the mix, but still dirty, deep as this band’s Midwestern roots.

While closer ‘Faith Crime’ is ambitious as all Hell, at 9+ minutes it drags in moments. I’d have released this one as part of an EP either earlier/later this year, because it tends to drag what’s otherwise a short, sharp shock to metal culture circa 2022 down a bit more than a final track should.

In all, though, DEMIRICOUS has, with Chaotic Lethal, crafted an album worthy of its revival. Metal of, by, and for the people.
Review By: Lord Randall

Chaotic Lethal
POST. Recordings
3.5 / 6