I wanted to write this review for great many years, although some might wonder – what good is it to review a demo of the band which has split up years ago, produced just one demo (and one promo), distributed/sold out long time ago, and which most of the readers will never come across?
Well, if one‘s persistent enough, you can download it from Demonahrávky slovenského podzemia – so the availability is there.
Nostalgia is a big factor here, guys came from my home town, so I came to know them personally and became friends with some of the members and the memories these songs bring…ah, so many, so great…and so long gone and buried in the past.
Forward 20+ years and this demo still stands as the witness of the might of our town’s local scene. So let’s have a look at the demo itself.
Useless Sacrifice were a melodic doom metal band, and their self-released 1996 demo “Tears, Thoughs, Desires…” would be best described as a mix between Paradise Lost and Cemetery of Scream. Great melodies, great musicianship, nice vocals and choruses (although truth to be told, the proficiency in English of vocalist Maroš „Cuker“ Čornanič was not the best one, which could be a little let down, but hey, we’re talking about the second half of 1990s, it was not uncommon thing), and clocking at 29:25, the demo contains 6 relatively long compositions (from 3:49 long “Without My Will” to 6:22 long “Faithless”), the first one, “Weeping Of The Angel Eyes” being an intro.
And what an intro this is. Actually an instrumental song, because, 5:07 is not really intro length, right? First three minutes we are slowly drifting in the space of nice, slow, melancholic melodies, just to be awakened by getting the tempo up. Personally, I love the bass line on this track and dual guitar riffs are a cherry on the top.
Next one is “Soul Sacrifice” and if you enjoy some great melodic, doomy hard n’ heavy, this one is for you. The melody of the song is catchy, and I am sure I will whistle it again at least for a few days. Actually I still recall it from time to time. And again, double guitars and double echoed ending of the verse just remind me how good this song is.
As I’ve mentioned already, “Faithless” is the longest track here, slow, melancholic in the first half, which ends with a nice, and ear-pleasing intermezzo of chorus-like keyboards, accoustic guitar and rain sounds, only to continue with the appealing chorus vocals and slowly, slowly…returning back to the central melody with double bass drumwork and then surprising straight-cut end. Dude, I can listen to this stuff on repeat, I swear!
From the longest one to the shortest one, “Without My Will” continues in the set trend. All building blocks of what makes Useless Sacrifice so listenable are still present, there is no departure from these. I am sure if this is released today instead of 20+ years ago, they might play on the radio and nobody would protest.
“Dreaming About Unrest” follows, with a nice combination of guitar work and keyboards, it’s captivating and dreamlike, and I guess it depends on the mood. It can be full of melancholy and sadness, but also full of hope and positivity. And the build up from 4:00 on is just fucking perfect.
“Life Lost” starts as a sad instrumental song, just to open up after first minute with appealing vocals with underlying keyboards and again, doubled choruses, if you like melodic metal, if you like melodic doom metal…hell, if you like music, you will like this.
I am clearly biased here, and I will not deny it. I love this band and this demo. But then, it’s not that hard to like good things.
Useless Sacrifice will be probably forever lost amongst the thousands of other bands never making it past demo-stage. Nevertheless, they did the great job with their material and I will keep cherish those great memories of this band, although at the same time, lamenting its demise.
And here’s the whole demo on Youtube: