Alien Invasion Defence System (AIDS) – Demo 2017 (2017)

Here we have an experimental brutal death metal demo from Arkansas. It was actually submitted to me by a guy that I remembered going to school with. So yeah, this goes way back. Not the demo though, it’s quite new. When I went to the Arkansas Deathfest a few years back, I noticed that the scene was full of brutal death and slam acts, something I never would have expected to become so popular here in the Bible belt. AIDS is a little bit along those lines, and it’s mastermind Clayton Haynes has been at work with so many different projects and ideas over the years that it is good to see he’s finally got one off the ground.

Most of this demo is instrumental, which is fine as it shows the kind of acrobatics the guitarist is capable of, heavily inspired by tech-death acts like The Faceless, Beyond Creation, Rings Of Saturn and Obscura. “First Wave: Disintegration” might not have offered so much that I hadn’t heard, but I was quite taken with “Dissected By Dark Matter Entities” and it’s level of intergalactic shred. “Credulous Species” finished off the first half of the demo, where I’ve noticed more of a bass groove influence and less of the shred-factor. There are some breakdown sections here that also would work well on the stage. One might even call it slam-influenced.

The second part of the disc brings this song back, but this time with vocals. The vocal approach is quite odd, but engaging. I’m hearing similarities to Dying Fetus or Wormed, but if they were transported into another galaxy. It has promise, but I feel the low end isn’t as impactful during the verse as it should be. This is incredibly hard during verse though, as the death metal vocal in general is often rather coarse and difficult to bring emotion from. The louder it gets, the more boulderous it becomes. This is done better on “First Wave: Disintegration” which is mostly slam and works very well in that regard. With vocals, the song stands out a little better than without. It makes me wonder why the artist didn’t put the vocal tracks on the EP first.

I’ve never been the biggest fan of slam, but my former colleague certainly was. I don’t know what he would have thought of this, but would have been a much better judge of the genre as he was simply fucking infatuated with it. That being said, I find the performance quite interesting and rather solid. I’d like to see what the band will offer in the future and would consider it a different approach than what we’re used to from the genre, even in similar alien themed acts.

(5 Tracks, 14:00)

7/10

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