Demos: 1993 – 1996 (Rotten)
by Martin Popoff
Here’s Dax, Sammy Audie, Mike, and Jimmy caught quivered in caustic terror, creating the first vestiges of Acid Bath‘s signature doom thrash, these songs to be painfully birthed at later dates and cast like a black pall o’er the band’s two legendary albums. The vocals are crazy, the dynamics crazily ill-advised, the evil so real, no church-burner could ever compete. Only Agony Column, select early Life Of Agony bits, and Phil down in the dumps ever touched the same sonorous, melodious malevolence coddled by Dax, whose place in swamp rock history is assured through this band and more toweringly, the Agents of Oblivion album, which is a bloody vocal masterpiece. Demos plays much better than a bunch of demos, the album spanning three sets of sessions, with one home recording falling down (into an abyss of pit vipers), but the rest slashing with the band’s wily, canny chaos.