Demon Eye: Tempora Infernalia

The North Carolina outfit unleashes a furious, heavy record, but don't let that fool you into thinking this is a one-trick pony.

Demon Eye

Tempora Infernalia

Label: Soulseller
US Release Date: 2015-06-02
UK Release Date: 2015-06-01

Demon Eye whip listeners into a frenzy with a series of witchy songs that call to mind the classic era of ‘eavy rock. Sabbath and Purple are obvious touchstones and of course those dirty critters that crawled from Murder City — The Obsessed, that lot — over the years. Doesn’t matter, though, ‘cause the arse kicking we get over the course of these ten (mostly) lean tunes is almost unprecedented in its weightiness. Yeah, a lot of cats have tuned their guitars down lower, made their amps sound sludgier and written lyrics that were more absurd/darker/evil and all that but these guys really mean it.

More than that, the boys have a sense of melody that gets forgotten so often when young lads grow their hair down to their waist, eschew t-shirts and sobriety and turn their amps so loud as to bleed the eyes of God. But sure enough there’s melody in these here parts, like on the boogie-laden epic (at nearly six minutes) “Poison Garden”, wherein we’re transported across the pond to the dank living rooms of Birmingham circa 1970 for some bend-y/squealy guitar lines and the kind of groove that makes young maidens go all bacchanal at the drop of a heavy guitar pick.

It’s like during those warm, warm nights down in Raleigh this quartet has hunkered down and actually meditated on what will make a good song, not just what will be heavy and ooze out the speakers and divide and conquer the hydrogen and oxygen compounds at the bottom of the bong. It’s so well thought-out (but not too well thought-out) that you start to think that maybe getting in tune is far more important here than getting high. Is it? Doesn’t matter. Not when you’ve got cell-splitting stuff like “End of Days”, “I’ll Be Creeping” (presumably not about a pair of bad underwear) and the trotting trot trot of the drums on the closing helicopter blade punch to the head “Son of Man”.

The vocals are eerie, brimming with danger and the tight-as-a-Episcopalian’s-wallet rhythms are enough to send you to the dance floor and starting to shake your unkempt locks like St. Vitus himself has taken over your soul. And “Black Wind” is the kind of power punch that you just won’t find bands trying to pull off when they work this sludgy terrain. Too melodic, too melodic, too sexy, too hook-y, too ready to be heard on the radio and maybe even occasionally appear on the sound system at the hip grocery store late at night after all the squares have gone home and the heads are left to dust and face the shelves.

And won’t you be surprised if one or two of these songs is as catchy as KISS could be on its early albums, although this is still, musically speaking, miles and miles ahead of anywhere Gene, Peter, Ace and Paul and even the replacement guys could ever be. Is this praise stacked high enough? Maybe so. But listening to “Give Up The Ghost”, with its melody and menace you can’t help but wonder what the future might hold for this album. The band will be fine. One way or another, it’ll have its place in history but the question is: will the right people tune into this record and give it a go? Cherish it like an ancient maiden, make it part of the family heirlooms and pass it down to future generations like a well-worn copy of Paranoid or even Rumours? Only time will tell, but methinks that if we are wise we will feast on this sucker for a long time to come.

Dig it.




Reading Pandemics

Parable Pandemics: Octavia E. Butler and Racialized Labor

Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower, informed by a deep understanding of the intersectionality of dying ecologies, disease, and structural racism, exposes the ways capitalism's insatiable hunger for profit eclipses humanitarian responses to pandemics.


'Tiger King' and the Post-Truth Culture War

Tiger King -- released during and dominating the streaming-in-lockdown era -- exemplifies in real-time the feedback loop between entertainment and ideology.


Ivy Mix's 'Spirits of Latin America' Evokes the Ancestors

A common thread unites Ivy Mix's engaging Spirits of Latin America; "the chaotic intermixture between indigenous and European traditions" is still an inextricable facet of life for everyone who inhabits the "New World".


Contemporary Urbanity and Blackness in 'New Jack City'

Hood films are a jarring eviction notice for traditional Civil Rights rhetoric and, possibly, leadership -- in other words, "What has the Civil Rights movement done for me lately?"


'How to Handle a Crowd' Goes to the Moderators

Anika Gupta's How to Handle a Crowd casts a long-overdue spotlight on the work that goes into making online communities enjoyable and rewarding.


Regis' New LP Reaffirms His Gift for Grinding Industrial Terror

Regis' music often feels so distorted, so twisted out of shape, even the most human moments feel modular. Voices become indistinguishable from machines on Hidden in This Is the Light That You Miss.


DMA's Go for BritElectroPop on 'The Glow'

Aussie Britpoppers the DMA's enlist Stuart Price to try their hand at electropop on The Glow. It's not their best look.


On Infinity in Miranda July's 'Me and You and Everyone We Know'

In a strange kind of way, Miranda July's Me and You and Everyone We Know is about two competing notions of "forever" in relation to love.


Considering the Legacy of Deerhoof with Greg Saunier

Working in different cities, recording parts as MP3s, and stitching them together, Deerhoof once again show total disregard for the very concept of genre with their latest, Future Teenage Cave Artists.


Joshua Ray Walker Is 'Glad You Made It'

Texas' Joshua Ray Walker creates songs on Glad You Made It that could have been on a rural roadhouse jukebox back in the 1950s. Their quotidian concerns sound as true now as they would have back then.


100 gecs Remix Debut with Help From Fall Out Boy, Charli XCX and More

100 gecs' follow up their debut with a "remix album" stuffed with features, remixes, covers, and a couple of new recordings. But don't worry, it's just as blissfully difficult as their debut.


What 'Avatar: The Last Airbender' Taught Me About Unlearning Toxic Masculinity

When I first came out as trans, I desperately wanted acceptance and validation into the "male gender", and espoused negative beliefs toward my femininity. Avatar: The Last Airbender helped me transcend that.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.