The Norwegian act under review belongs to the category of those abruptly mixing different styles within lengthy songs but it's much more than a Progressive act, and actually the Progressive Metal parts are not the majority.
"World Demise" is a concept album, in that all the lyircs are connected with each other and a few of them are repeated in diverse tracks; besides the opener, also recurring to a few Norwegian lines, all of the lyrics are in English and touch the following topics: a legacy of human lies, a sail into the unknown during a storm, life facing oblivion, suffering and soul sacrifices, a betrayed man walking alone out of control, truth and lies about falling into darkness and waiting for Judgment Day, pain, disillusion and confusion, a fall by mesmerization, and finally rising sorrow and hate during the world demise.
Devoid of intros, "Legacy" sets in with fast Power Metal, later it turns to Death/Thrash, then there's a Doom break alà My Dying Bride with the above-mentioned words in the local language, followed by Viking Thrash structures. As if it weren't enough we meet a Techno-Thrash riff and afterwards Death/Thrash Metal again recurring to an alternation of effected and clean vocals. The previous patterns are utilized one more time until it's time for Doom Metal this time matched with System Of A Down-like vocals! There's also a rocky, slow and skillful axe solo before the closure in faded out Doom Metal. See? Such a large quantity of elements involved and this is not even the longest track!
"The Legacy" begins with some Viking Black Metal, while intense drumwork and Speed Metal riffing come on stage after in order to create tension. Clean vocals and Techno-Thrash Metal break follow, and after a while a mid-tempo with Black Metal vocals starts, with the guitar building a sombre plan. The vocals turn clean and then the album's finest solo appears, trilling and rich in sustain, before the reprise of the heavy beginning sections.
Power Metal with high vocals reminiscent Rob Halford's in "Painkiller" along with disruptive drums constitutes the early seconds of "Time". The guitars, first melodious, soon turn Progressive together with frantic drumwork; the refrain blends clean and raspy vocals, whereas in the successive strophe only the raspy ones remain. Noteworthy is the Techno-Thrash Metal riff preceding a reflective and melodic breakdown in which the guitars are slightly distorted and the vocals are effected as if from out of a radio. There is later an alternation of aggressive and controlled parts, and then Heavy Metal recurring to vocals in the vein of System Of A Down and other kinds of clean vocals. When the solo comes in, the listener is surprised by it, being tranquil and not abrasive at all, coming before a sudden acceleration, a pause, a fugue and another faded out finalè. Most reviewers agree on this composition as one of the highlights of this record and I strongly believe it, too.
As the title suggests, "Out of Control" is fast and furious, changing with blastbeats to become Power Thrash without speeding up at the same time. Once again a structure reminding of the Armenian-American act before Thrash Metal and Black Metal in shifts anticipate a guitar solo. A blastbeat reinforced by Black Metal vocals restarts the hostilities before another solo, another time variation, another framework and the third axe solo. The initial structures are repeated not long before the conclusive climax that doesn't convince me enough, sounding a bit sloppy.
"I Walk Alone" is delicate and the singing style is really moving, but the music changes when a break bridges to a blastbeat. The next two Techno-Thrash riffs are also worth mentioning, and then it's time for the fastest Black Metal blastbeat of these 9 compositions; the ingredients are mixed later until a melody interrupts leading to a Pink Floydian guitar solo accompanying the track till the end.
"Truth & Lies" resorts to fast Death Metal immediately and then Techno-Thrash Metal before the triple attack made by blastbeat/break/blastbeat. The remaining particularities to be mentioned imply Death/Black vocals, a Doom Metal part slowly growing melodic, Techno-Thrash riffs and vocals - effected the Deathstars' way or clean - continuing as is common by the album canons. A very tight Black Metal blastbeat before a punishing Death Metal riff and different sorts of blastbeats is later filled by an array of multifold clean vocals, when all of a sudden Black Metal vocals appear in company with sinewy parts. The Techno-Thrash Metal frame that follows reminds me of the early Metal Church, and then there is time only for tom tom beats and riffs faded out without vocals.
A distinct beginning on the trail of the early Paradise Lost is what you'll find in the long "The Edge", having recourse to clean vocals and a crushing riff to the touching refrain twice. Later on comes an introspective piece, which is pretty long and includes a brief axe solo. Then the song regains power with the known crushing riff and an assortment of excellent clean vocals. The drummer launches separate series of machinegun kickdrums on a base of Doom guitars coming ahead of tormented Death/Black vocals duetting with clean ones. A sublime overpowering guitar solo arrives with a waterfall of decibels up to a slowdown and a fading out the way Pictures Of Pain like.
Pulverising Doom Metal opens "As We Fall" broken off by an intrusive Techno-Thrash Metal riff; then the song gets ablaze and the skinbeater shows that he knows how to emphasize the accents, while the lead guitar keeps riffing without mutating even when the vocals turn Death Metal. A sad Doom axe solo characterizes the middle of the composition that then adds Progressive components and then mincing Death Metal with robust kick drums. After that the penetrating first constituent is played again, as well as the Death Metal one, a riff similar to some in Metallica's "...and Justice for All" pops in, with Death vocals conducting to the unexpected short acceleration and the end.
Those who know UK's Sabbat's first material are destined to find similarities during the start of "World Demise", where fast Thrash Metal is injected with majestic vocals and then riffs composed by the legendary British combo. Finally an original Doom Metal riff enters on stage, still the weird System Of A Down-influenced vocals aren't fresh at all. Without interruptions a ferocious blastbeat arrives, utilizing both Viking Black Metal elements and a Death Metal riff, and going ahead of a melodic break and a Jazz solo. We get back to the initial Thrash Metal, in order followed by a Power Metal speed-up, a rabid Viking Black Metal section transforming itself into Doom/Thrash Metal, three fiery guitar solos, warm-hearted vocals in the style of Nevermore, powerful drums, Jazzy drums, mighty drums again and then faded out.
The recording made at the Black Dimension studios sees the bass a bit hidden, as it's typical for Scandinavian studios; the rest of the instruments and the vocals are clear; the kick drums are mixed high but not all blastbeats sound as edgy as they should and neither the tom toms in the rapid passages. Another flaw of the album lies in the lack of originality of some vocals and in the not always perfect timing of the drummer. Since it's so difficult to play live such elaborated songs without mistakes, as well as composing them, I have great respect for these musicians, notwithstanding I'm aware that they fall into that group of technical bands bound to be assimilated and appreciated by too few in the first years of their career. Only luck can land them to a third album and not a split due to the frustrating situation they're in.