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On disc: Despise & Conquer

Promo 2009 - Mike Thompson - 8 stars

Promo 2009

Promo 2009
(self-released - 2009)

Despise & Conquer is an up & coming death/thrash band from Herten, Germany. I acquired this demo when Daniel Stöckner, guitarist in the band, gave it to me on the bus back from RockHard Festival. He assured me it was something a little different to the majority of bands in the sub-genre. For some reason I was actually quite excited to listen to this CD which is unusual for a band I've never even heard of before!

I'm happy to report that I wasn't disappointed! Despise & Conquer play modern death thrash but with added keyboard elements which add a huge melodic touch to the music, similar in effect to some symphonic, melodic black metal bands such as Cryptic Wintermoon.

Despise & Conquer don't have the all out aggression of the likes of Legion Of The Damned, Adorior or Deathchain, nor the virtuoso guitar / keyboard dueling of (early) Children Of Bodom but they are far from the watered down melodic thrash sound of the Swedish band Decadence. What they have done is come up with a good mix of all of the elements that make the aforementioned bands luminaries in their chosen field without sounding like copycats and delivered memorable songs that will have you putting this on repeat ad infinitum!

The promo CD contains three tracks of mostly mid-paced thrash songs with riffs that will make your head bang, groovy undertones that catch your ear, face-melting solos, keyboards that add an extra dimension to the music and awesome sing-along lyrics delivered in fine style by growling vocalist Udo Erwig.

There is little negative to say about this album. Sometimes the guitars lose a little of their bite and the keyboards do seem a little superfluous at times but these are both minor elements that the band can rectify for the next release.

Despise & Conquer are about to release the debut album but unfortunately this has been delayed by the departure of the drummer! This demo shows a band that is fully capable of tearing the world of metal a new arsehole. Hope they find a drummer soon so I can hear the full-length!

8 stars

Mike Thompson


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