Cosmic Reaper, first of all, is an epic band name, and second of all, they’ve made some serious waves on the underground metal world. Their debut self-titled LP landed them a spot on the world-renowned Heavy Psych Sounds roster and MORE importantly, it hasn’t left my record player since purchased. I have a picture to prove it, and truly mean what I write.
When the opportunity arose to review their EP Demon Dance released in 2019, I jumped at it. For one, it would give me an excuse to listen to more of Cosmic Reaper (not that I needed it), and two, it allowed me to hear where the band started. Demon Dance is being released on vinyl for the first time by Black Numbers and this may be the record to push their Self-Titled off my turntable, well for a few minutes at least!
Subintroeo is a short instrumental intro that gets the blood pumping immediately. The distorted tones are gnarly, and short leads are faultless in tone and technique. It’s the perfect precursor to the doom ridden riffs awaiting the rest of the album. The only downfall is it’s 2:42 and not 22:42.
In the Lair begins with a dark bass riff by Garrett Garlington and I was instantly transported to the small room of Static Age Records where I first heard this song. The bass riff vibrated through me that night. The studio version sounds the same as live, which always impresses me. The song on the recording maintains the energy felt in the live rendition. Thad Collis and Dillon Prentice fuse their guitars perfectly, leaving room for them to work their doom magic.
The clean vocal contrasts the distorted music and covers all the spectrums of their sound exquisitely…
The chugging riffs of Skin Ritual are in the forefront and grab your attention. The opening riff is epic and perfectly fuzzed out on its own but is elevated by the slight variations to come. The clean vocal contrasts the distorted music and covers all the spectrums of their sound exquisitely. It’s easily one of my favorite riffs of theirs that’s powered by the thundering drums of Jeremy Grobsmith and the metallic tones of Garlington’s bass. Doom in its finest.
Demon Dance builds on the last three songs and could easily fit on an early Black Sabbath album. I don’t think it needs any other explanation honestly, but since I like to hear myself talk, I will continue. The closer is the last thing left echoing in our minds when the EP is done, and this song will surely stick with you. It will make you crave Cosmic Reaper long after the music fades and you’ll want to start the EP all over again.
I’m a collector. When I discover a band I truly like I want it all on vinyl. I get disappointed when it’s not possible and Cosmic Reaper must have known that because they’ve fixed that problem for me. I have enjoyed listening to this album through headphones and in my car, but I love the artwork and holding the physical copy, needless to say, I was excited about the news. Now to pre-order the vinyl.
Scribed by: Josh Schneider