In the last several years the blackened thrash genre has seen a lot of great album entries from bands like: Burn to Black, Witchhaven, Aura Noir and of course, The Day of the Beast. Each band has their own style; some concentrate more on the atmospheric qualities of black metal like Cold World, and will then mix in some Sepultura. Others decide on putting in more of a thrash feel first and black metal second and sound more like Seven Churches era Possesed. Either mix is a potent but tricky one to handle. However, it’s pretty much common knowledge that you must have both the elements of black metal and thrash metal to be considered blackened thrash. Unfortunately, with Relentless Demonic Intrusion, The Day of the Beast make a bold hearted attempt, but their watered down endeavor fails to nail or make any solid impression whatsoever.
Unlike their Self-titled debut which was decidedly harsher and more thrash based, The Day of the Beast tried to walk a more “accessible” line. This much is apparent by just glancing at the album cover: gone is the almost impossible to read band logo, gone is the epic cover of an apocalyptic battle for the supremacy of earth and unfortunately, gone is any trace of their once powerful sound. What you’re left with this time around, is a band logo more common of a hard rock band, the cover replaced by something reminiscent of an early Nintendo side-scroller, and the sound watered down and changed to an almost unrecognizable level. It isn’t thrash and simply because it has fast beats and low production quality doesn’t mean it’s black metal either.
It’s unsure what The Day of the Beast were trying to accomplish with this album, but they missed in almost every aspect, which made listening to the album as unenjoyable as possible. The guitar work is uninspiring and often times sloppy and the same thing can be said about the rest of the band; it’s not just the guitar work that is lacking but the unit as a whole fails to maintain any sort of cohesion. There are no moments on the album that pop out or any lyrics that I could remember after the first, second or even proximate listens; it’s just an uninspired chaos that follows track after track. The one exception to this is the track The Day of the Beast. It encapsulates what they were trying to achieve with this album; a heavy thrash based galloping rhythm, hammering drums, a memorable guitar solo and solid vocal work creating a perfect mix of genres. But alas, it’s not a one-song demo, but a full length LP and I frequently found myself constantly checking to see if the album was done and towards the end even wishing it was done. Their exploration into new territory is largely to blame, leaving a skilled and adept band such as themselves sounding like a more disjointed version of DevilDriver than the blackened thrash band they once were.
Venturing into new musical territory is always a gamble and it doesn’t always pay off. Sometimes you get lucky, such as Disturbed and Machine Head did with Believe and The Burning Red. But most of the time as Amorphis, Sentenced and even Metallica learned, results and fan approval can vary. And while the musical change in Relentless Demonic Intrusion isn’t as polar as the examples listed, it’s still the change in sound and the uninspired approach to songwriting that failed The Day of The Beast regardless of it’s intent or necessity.
Perhaps in the future they’ll return to the more solid material of their self-titled debut and once more bask in the glory of metal community. They more than have the potential to, but who knows what the next album has in store? Until that day, we’ll just have to carry on and pretend Relentless Demonic Intrusion is simply an unfortunate chapter in The Day of The Beast’s catalogue of future successes.[signoff predefined=”Signoff 1″][/signoff]