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CVLT Nation’s Top 10 DEMOS of 2021

#10 GOIFER Grabschlöfer

Welcome to the 7 layers of Sonic Hell that is the new GOIFER demo Grabschlöfer – it’s fucking beyond beautiful! To say that I’m impressed with this band would be an understatement because this demo is straight John Blaze. Everything about it is well balanced, from the grim scathing vocals to the melodic orchestral textures that swirl around their songs. Don’t even get me started on the underlying D-Beat vibe that I hear in the drumming. GOIFER is a band that brings unbridled passion and honest magic to every second of this demo. I’m addicted to this release and I have a feeling if you are a fan of Black Metal soon you will be! Yo Repose Records – you have done it again by releasing this beyond-stellar offering! The Helvetic Underground Committee never disappoints and we salute y’all. Close your eyes turn up the volume and enter the intense world of GOIFER.

#9 Morbid Sphere Demo II

It’s time for y’all to enter the depraved world of Morbid Sphere’s Demo II. To say that I’m impressed by this band would be a vast understatement. There is no way that you can’t give them props for manifesting some of the sickest audio atmospheres of 2021. Honestly, this tape hits harder than many albums because I can really feel where this is coming from. Yeah Morbid Sphere is heavy on many levels, but it’s their tones of empathy that draw me into their sound. Yo, this is a message to the band: I know that this is your second demo, but I just want y’all to know that we can’t wait to hear your full length. Respect due Morbid Sphere, keep up the amazing work — you will always have a home at CVLT Nation.

#8 FILTH CHASM Demo ’21

WTF! I’ve got to say it one more time louder: WTF!!!! The new FILTH CHASM demo tape is a Black Death beast that goes straight for the jugular and never lets go! Every minute of this release proves that new bands can bring the rage harder than most. To say that I’m into this band would be a lie because I’m fucking addicted to them! FILTH CHASM’s songs are brutal, yes indeed, but it’s their sinister complex audio portals of torture that really fucking get me going. Join us as we celebrate the release of one of our favorite demos of 2021.

#7 PERILAXE OCCLUSION Raytraces Of Death 

Crush Kill everything around me with the sounds of PERILAXE OCCLUSION as my soundtrack to destruction! This band’s demo is brutal, but it’s also well-executed. With each listen to Raytraces Of Death, I become more of a fan. This band is able to blend the filthy dirge of Death Metal with the Down-tuned Despair of Doom like no other. It’s hard to believe that PERILAXE OCCLUSION is only a 2-piece because their sound is so immense. I want to bury my thoughts of dread under the sonic chaos that is the sound of PERILAXE OCCLUSION! 

#6 LAUGHING MATTER Demos

The 90s is when everything started to go downhill for me. So it’s ironic that LAUGHING MATTER is giving me such Dinosaur Jr. vibes on their single “NEW LOVE,” because this song is speaking to a soul revolution I’ve been undergoing over the past year, ending a cycle that started in 1994. It’s like I’m not the only one.

My teenage years were the perfect storm of a dysfunctional family, a sick parent, and the beginning of three decades of self-medicating that quickly became self-abuse. It’s only after I turned 40 in 2020 that the parts of myself I had hidden, rejected, and attempted to kill finally came back to me and I found a true love. A new love for myself. “Stop looking from the outside/start looking from within” is so profoundly simple and so deeply important for us to do. So between the lyrics, the grunge, and the baby—Billy Quatro—the amount of joy I’m getting from this song and video is unholy.

The 90s is when everything started to go downhill for me. So it’s ironic that LAUGHING MATTER is giving me such Dinosaur Jr. vibes on their single “NEW LOVE,” because this song is speaking to a soul revolution I’ve been undergoing over the past year, ending a cycle that started in 1994. It’s like I’m not the only one.

My teenage years were the perfect storm of a dysfunctional family, a sick parent, and the beginning of three decades of self-medicating that quickly became self-abuse. It’s only after I turned 40 in 2020 that the parts of myself I had hidden, rejected, and attempted to kill finally came back to me and I found a true love. A new love for myself. “Stop looking from the outside/start looking from within” is so profoundly simple and so deeply important for us to do. So between the lyrics, the grunge, and the baby—Billy Quatro—the amount of joy I’m getting from this song and video is unholy.

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#5 LAW OF POWER S/T

LAW OF POWER has unleashed three of the coldest Hardcore songs to come out in 2021! Unholy Hell Yes! I can’t stop listening to this band because they are that fucking RAW! Being from LA, I can hear and feel my city in what this band creates. Every minute of the LAW OF POWER’s debut is bruising. When you grow up in the streets of LA, something is in your blood that can’t be put into words and this band has it! LAW OF POWER is next up to straight wreck shop. The vocal delivery and song structure that they’re bringing to the game get me fucking HYPED Real Talk! Don’t even get me started on their use of oldie samples — that just makes this release even more next level! I want to send a shout-out to everyone in LAW OF POWER: respect due — y’all are killing it! I want to take our whole family to see them live. Our 7-year-old daughter will be in the pit with her boxing gloves on doing her thing (a proud dad moment).

#4 DIRECT THREAT DEMO 2021

Direct Threat is a threat so you better get with the program! This band is Raw Hardcore at its best! If they were around when I was young the pits would have been insane! I’m looking forward to hearing more from y’all!

#3 ANGUINE MMXXI / MMXXI²

Really — this is a demo? Really — why does this shit on so many releases? Anguine second demo MMXXI² comes out on Dec. 3rd via Total Dissonance Worship and is for sure going to be on our end of the list for sure! Unholy hell, you better get with the program this band kicks in teeth and smashes bones. Yes, this band creates unreal dissonant blackened death metal but it’s the intelligence that they do it with that makes them so special. I feel so stoked to share with y’all their demo in full below. Anguine is a band that you better keep your eyes and ears because they are that AWESOME!

#3 Torturer’s Lobby Again (Demo 2021)

WTF WTF WTF the Torturer’s Lobby Again demo rages so fucking hard I’m high off of their RIFFS!!! Damn, I can’t get over how this band has created one of my favorite releases of 2021 and it’s only a freaking demo. Imagine if Morbid D-Beat, Sex-Crazed Thrash Metal, Fucked in the Head War Metal, and Suicidal Black Metal all had an orgy, the outcome would give me eargasms sort of like Torturer’s Lobby does. It’s hard to write about a band that can’t stop my brain cells from stage diving! Ok, I want y’all to press play below and tell this band is not all that!

#1 APEX PREDATOR DEMO

WTF WTF WTF

This Apex Predator demo packs the sonic punch of Triple 6 Mafia “Tear da Club Up” so you better get with the program! Every fucking song slaps harder than Tony Atlas. This band puts a Hardcore battery in my back to go totally ape shit in a circle pit. Don’t even get me started on their insanely gnarly breakdowns that make me want to snap the necks of racist bastards, real talk!

Lyrically and vocally, Apex Predator is urgent and intense which makes me even more of this band. This demo is one of those cases where it sounds better than a lot of bands’ albums. I’m not trying to throw any shade, I’m just saying.

These hardcore warriors have created a raging caustic affair that at its core is very uplifting. “Strength of Determination” makes me say hell fucking yes — when Apex Predator comes to Vancouver the whole family has to roll out to the show. Before I go, I’ve got to say that the way this demo sounds is AMAZING and the songwriting is off the chain. If you asked me right now has Apex Predator created the best Hardcore demo of 2021, I would have to say yes. They have set the bar high, now let’s see what happens.

I want to say thank you to everyone who made this demo a reality because I will be playing it non-stop. This is a message to Apex Predator: please make some tees with the cover art!

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Written By

Meghan MacRae grew up in Vancouver, Canada, but spent many years living in the remote woods. Living in the shadow of grizzly bears, cougars and the other predators of the wilderness taught her about the dark side of nature, and taught her to accept her place in nature's order as their prey. She is co-founder of CVLT Nation.

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