History & BiographyThe group was founded in 1990. Loimaa was a town north of Helsinki, which still was located in Southern Finland. A rehearsal tape, the Unholy Domain demo and a promo tape were circulated. During this period Esa Linden sometimes sang and sometimes sang and played guitar. He wanted to drop the guitar to focus on the singing, but the band was unable to recruit a second guitarist. The band's other guitarist Jussi Kiiski had joined in 1991. The demos were sold out, but several of the songs could be heard on the group's split with Necropsy through Skin Drill Records. The band signed a one-album deal with Drowned Productions and released Slumber Of Sullen Eyes.
Finland's Demigod produced one album worthy of its name before falling into turmoil with line-up changes, label distrust and a lack of commitment. When the decision to change the band's name to Neverborn was reversed, the band recorded a demo simply called Promo ‘94, which proved the band still had what it takes to produce fantastic death metal, but it just was not to be. Then again, the band was so fed up with the music industry that Dave Rotten of Drowned/Repulse/Xtreem had us at Metallian dub him the band’s Promo ’94. The band would not send him one. Over the years, fans have rumoured a return of these death metallers but nothing concrete has developed. Demigod was supposed to record for Repulse, but had to abandon all plans after vocalist Esa relocated to London, England in 1999.
2001 brought news that the band is now on Spikefarm and recording. An album is finally released. Album number two featured a few experiments. In fact, it featured three vocalists. Mika Haapasalo (keyboard man, former band guitarist and producer at his Popstudio), Tuomas Ala-Nissilä and Ali Leiniö all sang as Ali refused to sing at first. Tuomas was sent to the Mike only for Ali to change his mind and come in. The band's comeback gig was at Tuska Festival in the summer of 2002. Shortly thereafter drummer Seppo Taatila left and was replaced by ex-Torn man Tuomo Latvala. The latter man found some success in Torture Killer. Xtreem Music (follow-up to Drowned) reissued the band’s debut, with bonus demo material in early 2006. The group also returned to the Spanish label for its Let Chaos Prevail album. The disc was recorded a year earlier independently by the band. The band’s sole original member was guitarist Kiiski. The band parted ways with guitarist Tero Laitinen and recruited Tuomas Karppinen of Torture Killer instead in 2007. November of 2008 brought news that Demigod had once again thrown in the towel despite work and the promise of a new and fourth album. Xtreem Music had coincidentally just issued T-shirts featuring the artwork from The Slumber OF Sullen Eyes album.
The band returned and played the Black Mass Ritual III festival in Helsinki, Finland in 2010. A couple of other gigs ensued and the band quit again circa 2013.
Svart Records re-released Slumber Of Sullen Eyes 1992 album on gatefold vinyl, CD and cassette tape in 2022. It featured a new vinyl master from the original source and a booklet with material by Hippo Taatila.
DEMIGOD - SLUMBER OF SULLEN EYES - XTREEM
Demigod’s Slumber Of Sullen Eyes is probably the best death metal release out of Finland ever. Whether this re-release is justified depends on how available this disc has been on the market, although the original album was issued by Drowned Productions, which later morphed into Xtreem of course.
It is one of the astonishing quirks of the metal scene that Demigod was able to only record and release two full-length albums. The band has been going in one form or the other, but in its heyday the band tried to obtain a decent recording deal and was met with rejection after rejection. To be fair, the line-up was consistently in flux or on hiatus or travelling overseas thus unnerving potential labels. Then again, the band was so fed up with the music industry that Dave Rotten of Drowned/Repulse/Xtreem had me dub him the band’s Promo ’94. The band would not send him one.
Musically, Slumber Of Sullen Eyes is not the fastest, heaviest or scariest death metal album out there. Instead, it gives tangibility to the band’s original sound, harmonized guitars, unique riffs and recognizable melodies. While the core of most songs consists of mid-paced and occasionally even doomy, distorted walls of guitar the demigods break into a fast segment often. It is remarkable how memorable and even hummable the band’s death metal is. The approach is undoubtedly abetted by the curious time changes, sound changes and guitar experimentations one hears in songs like As I Behold I Despise, the title track, Tears Of God or Darkened. The band does hint at the early Finnish death metal scene (Disgrace’s debut or town-mates Adramelech), but frankly is in a league of its own in 1992.
This version tacks the band’s 1991 demo Unholy Domain as a bonus, which in contrast to the album is fuzzier, noisier and less refined. Nonetheless, the re-release is above and average. The album is one of a handful of essential death metal historical records and belongs in the collection of serious enthusiasts. - Ali “The Metallian”
DEMIGOD - LET CHAOS PREVAIL - XTREEM
Finnish band Demigod garners a lot of respect around Metallian Towers especially for its debut album from more than ten years ago, Slumber Of Sullen Eyes. Admittedly, it is a good piece of death metal history and holds up to this day. Let Chaos Prevail is another solid death metal album that shows the band has not given up just yet and is still writing very respectable death metal with little in the way of extras or fancy. The line-up of the band has changed and one would logically expect several changes despite the core death metal being constant. For one the vocals of Tuomas Ala-NissilÃ¤ are more guttural and sound like an extreme version of Sepultura circa 1989. The bass sound is higher and much more audible in the mix. The guitars stay true to Demigod, but try on the sporadic technical mix. The album’s opener Not Dead Enough is a good example of the band mixing brutality with more complex elements. In contrast, To See The Last One Die is diverse and weaker, End Of Evolution is thrashy and Baptized In Enmity (cool title) ends the album again more varied, but without the need to leave the metal genre. Demigod should have been much more productive, but at least there is a relatively new album that fans and the curious can sink their teeth into. - Ali “The Metallian”