The bombastic duo known as Sonic Demon have returned with their second album in as many years and their third overall, counting 2020’s Doom EP. Veterans Of The Psychic War dropped on April 7th and will be the focus of today’s review.
About Veterans of The Psychic War
Sonic Demon’s new album is …
“Nastier, rawer, and rougher than Sonic Demon has ever been. Veterans Of the Psychic War is a fuzzed-psyched-heavy in-your-face and mostly uncompromising, ears-melting attack.”
I have to agree with their assessment, as the heavily fuzzed guitar tones are as raw as they come without being abrasive to the ear. Though at times, Sonic Demon is able to apply a lighter touch that is on the psychedelic side, dropping the dirty tones in favor of effects-laden sections that are within the heavy psych realm.
1. Electric Demon
Sonic Demon wasted no time in bringing out energetic riffs with gritty tones, applying a Motörhead styled attack and a heavy psych-fueled guitar lead. If you’re going to do something, then do it as well as these guys do it here and open your album with an attitude that can’t be stopped.
2. Lucifer’s The Light
The band continues with the same tones but a less intense attack, which is a good way to follow up a track like “Electric Demon.” There’s a stoner groove running throughout, along with a very cool vocal performance. The ending is a bit abrupt and jarring, coming across as an odd way to end an otherwise killer tune.
3. The Black Pill
This is easily the best of the first three tracks and could be considered as desert-psych. There’s a tinge of Queens of the Stone Age in the first half, but the second is definitely on the psych end of the spectrum, a fact that makes this a very well-rounded song.
If you read the lyrics, you will find out that F.O.A.D. stands for Fuck Off And Die, and Sonic Demon seems to really stand behind that sentiment. The song seems to be about weak ass rock bands that don’t hold up to the expectations of this duo, and they charge through this track with the conviction to stand behind those words. The music is as good as anything out there right now and is a standout on Veterans Of The Psychic War.
5. The Gates
Here we find Sonic Demon using a desert-psych vibe and subdued style in comparison to some of their other music, and it serves them well. The mid-tempo riffing is quite memorable, and the vocals are excellent once again.
This one opens up with desert vibes and a killer lead lick, which is a bit of a change-up on this album. The end section dives into hazy and heavy psych territory, but beyond that, there isn’t a lot in the way of new ground being broken, though that doesn’t stop this one from being one hell of a song.
7. Sexmagick Nights
Opening up with their psychedelic leanings definitely helps this song stand out from the rest, which is a nice switch from their typical songs. That vibe doesn’t change, making this one feel more like an interlude than an actual song, but it does give listeners a bit of a breather.
8. To Hell And Back
The final song on this album is a ride into the Desert on an old, beat-up Harley. It’s not the best song offered up here, but it did get better as it went on. To be honest, they could’ve left it off of the album, ending with the instrumental psych of “Sexmagick Nights”; it would’ve fit better and left things off on a high note instead of a weak one.
Sonic Demon has a lot of cool things going for them, both sonically and in terms of songwriting. There are a few tracks that aren’t as strong as some others, but what album doesn’t have those same issues? Not many.
Is Veterans Of The Psychic War the best record to come out in April of 2023? No, but it is a worthy addition to your collection and deserves to be heard by many and played loudly!! So head over to wherever you listen to music and give Sonic Demon a bit of your time! Enjoy!!
Support Sonic Demon by finding them on Bandcamp or social media (Instagram, Facebook).
This review was written by Tom Hanno, who has been writing reviews for the last 7 years but has been sharing his love of music for the majority of his life. Originally starting out at the now-defunct Chimera Magazine, he is currently contributing to Doomed and Stoned, The Sleeping Shaman, The Doom Charts, Tom’s Reviews, and The Third Eye. Read more of Tom’s reviews by checking out his Linktree.
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