Sunday, February 12, 2012

Arachnid - Arachnid (Demo) [1992]

Probably the greatest thrash band to not record a full-length album. Yeah, these guys are that fucking good. Arachnid's only release is this seven track self-titled demo, while unfortunate, the empty void that these guys left could be filled by simply listening to this demo over and over because it doesn't wear itself thin and can sustain multiple listens for years to come. As you can tell by the release date of this demo, thrash was pretty much a dying breed and death metal was becoming the prevalent force in the metal underground, but that didn't stop Arachnid from delivering one of the finest offerings (to never be heard by the amount of people it should have) to the thrash realm. 

Sure, these guys could have hopped on the death metal banwagon, or even incorporate some death metal elements to their music, but aside from the evil sound on this demo, this is pure, raw and aggressive thrash that wasn't made for the weak. This is basically what Morbid Saint would have sounded like if they took that sinister sound from records like "Altars of Madness" or "None Shall Defy" and threw some minor glimpses of technicality into their riffs. The vocals sound near identical to those of Pat Lind, as they rip the listener to shreds with such a brutal force. On the track "Beyond Torment" it almost sounds like this song could have been a track off of "Spectrum of Death" due to the insane vocals and the intense riffage that backs them. 

The main aspect of Arachnid's music that separates them from the legendary Morbid Saint would be that looming, dark and murky atmosphere that is present pretty much throughout the entire demo. The clean intro on "Fears" conveys the song title perfectly, as the sound that is created is haunting and is amplified more as the track builds up with heavy powerchords and guitar solos. "Water Burial" also has a clean intro, though this one isn't as dark as the other one, it creates a different kind of feeling that isn't common with your typical brutal thrash act. The audibility of the bass is another great part of Arachnid's music, as it almost serves as the focal point of the music at points, especially when it serves as a fill over the echoing powerchords like on "Webs of Doom.

There are also some moments of technical brilliance from these guys, but not enough to consider them a technical thrash act like Artillery or Coroner. The riffs in songs like "Beyond Torment" and "The Witching" all have a subtle technical edge to them that doesn't take away from the sheer aggression of the music, but adds a sense of catchiness that will have the listener replaying the track several times. And of course Arachnid can get your headbanging with my personal favorite for such occasions, "The Reaper Within," which has one of the catchiest breaks I've ever had the pleasure of hearing. Simply put, it's demos like this one that makes the countless hours spent hunting down hidden gems of the past so worth it. 

"Beyond Torment"
"The Reaper Within"

Final Rating
Masterpiece [9.2/10]