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Visions (1991)

Desultory was a Swedish death metal band that formed in 1989, based in Södertälje. The overall style is somewhat a mix of fast and violent riffs and more epic doom riffs, sounding much like a combination of old Amorphis and Dismember. In 1991, they released their second demo, Visions, recorded in Studio Sunlight, handled by Tomas Skogsberg. This should be a strong clue, regarding what to expect.

The first song is "Forever Gone" and, as the title might imply, the sound is quite epic and mournful. The opening riffs are very similar to what one might find on The Karelian Isthmus, It's mid-paced and sorrowful, with a good guitar sound. It's not the typical Sunlight buzzsaw sound, as there is a little more bass present and the style of riffing does not really lend itself to that particular sound. The vocals are rather high-pitched, compared to many other death metal bands of this era. After a minute or so, the song speeds up and there is some nice solo work to be found here.

"Darkness approaches, death calls I hear"

"Depression" starts out with a good fast-paced death metal riff, and slightly more forceful vocals. This is the longest song on here, though it doesn't do much to really stand out, in the early moments. It's fairly standard, but still enjoyable. Things slow down, near the middle, and the atmosphere becomes quite a bit darker, with a sombre lead solo accentuating this and adding some epic feeling as well. As the song closes out, the speed picks up as does the intensity.

"Now life seems to cease
Nothing will be the same again"

The final song is "Visions", and it begins with a monster of a riff that imbues the listener with a sense of dread. Following this, we have fairly standard Swedish death metal, with a somewhat epic feeling to some of the riffs. The solos are well done and they certainly help bring life to the song. There are moments where you suspect things will be rather average; however, it's at these moments where they unleash some new riff or solo to prevent you from drifting.

All in all, Visions isn't a bad demo. It shows a lot of promise, but it's nothing absolutely essential. This is, mainly, for fanatics of the early 90s Swedish/Finnish death metal sound.
(30 Jan. 2010)

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