Welcome to Demo:listen, your weekly peek into the future of underground metal. Whether it’s death, grind, black, doom, sludge, heavy, progressive, stoner, retro, post-, etc. we're here to bring you the latest demos from the newest bands. On this week’s Demo:listen, we revel in the riffs of Santiago’s Violent Scum.
Praise Hail Satan for demo reissues! Otherwise who knows if Violent Scum’s three song debut, Festering in Endless Decay, would’ve ever made its way this far north. But thanks to Blood Harvest’s purview and efforts missing out on this one's no longer an issue. Violent Scum self-released their demo last fall; 500 CDs now little more than the rumor of a stench in the wind. “Blood Harvest is a well-known label in our country, they have produced many bands from Chile,” says Cristian Astorga, lead guitarist and founding member of Violent Scum, who once took part in those elusive first wave black metal-revivalists, Communion. For which band Violent Scum’s bassist, SS, also shreds. While vocalist M. Gonzales and Astorga know each other from their days thrashing together in the now defunct Basilisk.
Despite--or, perhaps because of--all the member sharing, Santiago (and Chile, in general) boasts one of today's most resiliently underground scenes in extreme metal. Says Astorga: “The metal scene in Santiago has grown a lot in recent times. I have had the opportunity to be present in other South American metal scenes, and the Chilean one is the most underground--sick and bestial.” But with bands like Violent Scum, et al, blowing up the spot it seems only a short matter of time before attentions turn southward.
Six-stringed and blood-maddened, Violent Scum’s riffs are exactly what you might expect from a banda sudamericana of veteran underground slayers so long as you're expecting deftly-performed rusty-blade amputations and relentless face-napalming. “It is not just a death thrash metal style, it is our way of living, the philosophy we have inside,” says Astorga. “We are . . . interested in making extreme and violent music, vomiting all the good and bad things from our entrails through our musical execution.”
With Festering in Endless Decay, Violent Scum do more in eleven minutes and three tracks than many bands ever achieve doing in their entire discographies. The formula seems simple enough on paper: predatory riffs/pyromaniacal solos + molten vox + a locked-in-the-pocket rhythm section = a great demo. Also helps that Festering was recorded at Santiago’s Maestro 3, apparently the studio to go to in Chile for an incredible sounding demo. All due respect to old school tactics and DIYing yourself out there, but clarity conquers all, especially when the playing is this exquisite. All the same, there’s something more than great playing and killer production that makes Violent Scum’s gestalt so evil and so potent. Something dark and feverish . . .
The Blood Harvest cassette reissue of Festing in Endless Decay dropped about two weeks ago. It’s limited to 150 copies, so don’t sleep on this one. Don’t even power nap on it. As for what’s next for Violent Scum, Astorga says: “Soon we will have some local concerts and two splits that will vomit their hate before the end of this damned year.” The splits will be with their fellow Chileans in Coffin Curse and the Polish act Putrid Evil.
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