Thunder on the Fields – Vinyl // CD // DD
The Sign Records // Caligari Records – released April 7, 2017
Reviewed by Santiago “Chags” Gutierrez
Demon Head was formed in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2012. After releasing a couple of demos and a single, they released a rather impressive debut album, Ride the Wilderness, in 2015. They quickly followed that album up with a split single, sharing the release with their equally impressive country-mates Alucarda. The common factor here is vocalist Ferreira Larsen who provides his drumming talent to Alucarda as well. Upon listening to “Menneskeӕderen”, the first track off Demon Head’s Thunder on the Fields, it was clearly obvious that this release was going to be just as equally impressive, if not more so, than the already absorbing Ride the Wilderness. Their Facebook page says their rhythm section, which consists of Fuglsang (bass) and Jeppe Wittus (drums), swing much like “Bill Ward and Geezer Butler had a loose, jazzy rhythm style that made Sabbath’s songs swing no matter how hard and heavy they got.”
Listening to Thunder on the Fields, and all their previous work for that matter, it’s hard not to agree with that statement. The expressively captivating vocals of Larsen adding to the overall ambiance of their sound. Add to that the seamless guitar work of duo Gjerlufsen and Gjerluff Nielsen, and the record just flows from one track to the other.
“We are Burning”, “Thunder on the Fields”, and “Older Now” resound with a deliberate prominence found in early proto-doom/diabolic rock, yet with a sensibility all their own. “Hic Svnt Dracones” and “Gallows Omen” are longer, more drawn out tracks with sheer musical sections that transfix the aural senses. “Hic Svnt Dracones” featuring a fantastic, soulful solo. Final track, “Untune the Sky”, showcasing their theatrical, impressive flair.
Demon Head’s version of nefarious proto-doom, is a welcome throwback for the modern age. They have a way of admirably channeling that vibe much like early Witchcraft did. There is a certain charisma to this band, a somewhat soulful swing to their sound, whether it be on harder and heavier tracks like “Menneskeӕderen”, or on slightly more subdued tracks such as the masterful closer that is “Untune the Sky”. There is an underlying mood to this record that you hardly find anywhere else.
Worth another listen? I’ll let Demon Head answer that question: “Lose your way, we are burning, we watch the sun rise, still with stars in our eyes, lose your way, we are burning, we watch the sun fall with the fire inside. And I’d do it all again with you.”