It’s still a little early in 2021 to be putting together best-of lists, but if we had to make one tomorrow, Demiser‘s Through the Gate Eternal would undoubtedly be on there. Fast, lean, and fun as hell, the album is a toothsome treat for fans of classic extreme thrash acts like Bathory, Venom, Sodom and Possessed. At the same time, the South Carolina band’s American roots are present in the syrupy low end of their sound, resulting in music that comes not only with a bladed edge but a weight atop it that’ll ensure a quick decapitation and a gush of hot blood.
“We don’t want to be the most evil, fast band in South Carolina, we want to be the most evil, fast band in the United States,” says frontman Demiser the Demiser. “We want to maintain that classic rock and roll hard-lined sound. We want it to still be catchy and be a throwback to that classic speed metal sound. But we also want it to be our own thing. Given all our influences, all the different places we’re pulling from, we think we can do that.”
How did Demiser form in the often thrashless wastes of the American south?
It started off as just a thought in my brain — I threw around the idea with a guy I met when I was living in Charleston who plays in some punk bands. We came up with the name Demiser and just started playing some Bathory worship, and it went from there. From there, I looped in our guitar player Gravepisser, and Infestor — I wasn’t a very good drummer, I was doing drums and vocals — who I met at a show that I booked, he came up for that. And it kind of just went from there! We were fully formed by 2018 after looping in our bass player Defiler and Phallomancer down in Charleston. Once we got those guys on board, we were a fully-formed band and started writing enough songs to play shows.
South Carolina isn’t a state I associate with this sort of metal. What’s the scene like there?
Bands like us are few and far between down here. I’m from Ohio, and when I was up there, there were a lot of faster bands, whether they were thrash bands or death metal bands. There were a lot of bands doing blastbeats and playing faster. And at that point, at least up there, the whole doom and stoner thing was almost a thing of the past up. But when I came down here, it was almost like I went back in time. The sounds coming out of Savannah — there were a couple of bands playing stuff in Atlanta, but as far as South Carolina goes, it was all that downtuned sludge. And I just couldn’t. That shit is so boring for me. I want to hear more notes. I want to play fast. We’re all speedfreaks. So finding the guys that really lined up with that mindset, it really helped propel things forward. These guys aren’t into that whole thing — they want to play fast, and they want to play fast all the time.
I’m in Charleston, I want to see some nasty satanic thrash — where do I go?
Fuck, man. Nowhere. It’s almost nonexistent — we’re pretty much it, to be honest. And I think that was one of the goals. That shit just doesn’t exist here.
How did you end up getting signed to Boris Records for Through the Gate Eternal?
They’re out of Atlanta, and a friend named Matt in Atlanta made our introduction. They’d seen us at a couple of shows — we play Atlanta pretty often (or at least we did, when shows were a thing). Then we played Blood Of The Wolf Festival in Lexington, Kentucky, which in my opinion is one of the better underground fests in America. After our set, they were talking to Infestor and they sent us a formal e-mail.
How much of this was put together before shit hit the fan with COVID?
We had the songs written for the most part, but the album was recorded during the pandemic.
If you could thrust one part of Through the Gate Eternal in the face of a new fan — one track, one performance, whatever — what would it be?
We picked our singles with that in mind. “Deathstrike” was one of them, the track you premiered, “Unholy Sacrifices,” is one of my favorite tracks on the album. As far as speed, diversity — it’s got my favorite solo that Gravepisser does on the album. His leads on that are just fast as fuck, I don’t know how he’s doing it. That track would probably be my personal pick.
What’s the goal for Demiser moving forward? Is it play the main stage at Wacken, or just build the extreme metal scene in the south?
We want to be the nastiest band in the United States. I don’t know if we’ll hit that European level — I mean, that’s the goal, we’d love that. I want to play every large festival there is when it comes to extreme heavy metal. But the goal is do this for the rest of my life. I’ve been playing heavy metal for 15 years, and I don’t have any plans on stopping. And I don’t think any of these guys do, either.
Demiser’s Through The Gate Eternal comes out March 12th on Boris Records and is available for preorder.
Words by Chris Krovatin