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Restraint play 

Local metal band Demons bring an outsider's perspective to a malleable genre

click to enlarge JASON GREENE
  • Jason Greene



with Weedeater, ASG, Cough
8 p.m. Friday, April 13
Will's Pub

To the right, speakers elicit a restrained roar of sluggishly saturated feedback while a muted March Madness game emits a delicate whir from atop the nightstand. A pipe aptly packed with a finger full of Tawny Flake tobacco migrates around the triangle. Vocalist David Gayler and drummer Brandon Killian of rising Orlando metalmancers Demons chuckle and reminisce about the origins of their sludgy doom tunes they create with guitarist Nick Galimidi. Demons are gaining favor among local heavy-music fanatics for their “more with less” compositional approach to slothful malleus-melting metal within a subgenre not exactly known for its stripped-down approach. Their unorthodox methods, including Galimidi's use of an eight-string guitar rather than the typical six, were born out of a learning curve: Prior to their formation, none of the band members had prior experience playing metal at a laggard's pace. Contrarily, Demons' résumé collectively begins in the hair-trigger South Florida death-metal(core) environment.

“Nick and I had been making music since we were 14 years old,” Gayler says. The duo met their future drummer when “[our bands] got lumped in on a show together at the old PIS,” Killian says. (Pompano Indoor Skatepark, or PIS, was a beloved hybrid venue in South Florida.) “I ended up playing guitar in a [different] band with Nick and Dave and we've been friends ever since.” At the time, Killian was in a “melodic Swedish metal band,” and went on to add that “the band we were eventually all in together was more like technical death metal.” Gayler laughs, interjecting that they “were kinda riding on the Between the Buried and Me train.”

Coincidentally, professional and academic aspirations brought the group to a new home in Orlando following their high school graduations. New beginnings brought forth a mutual thirst for a stylistic metamorphosis.

“Demons' stuff came about one day when Nick said, ‘Y'know, I've been thinking about starting a doom band,'” Gayler says, pausing to take a puff, “and then he puts on Electric Wizard.” The sluggish, crushing grooves of bands like Electric Wizard and Cathedral enticed the band members since they “had done playing fast for so long that it was fun to do something new.” Gayler says they “had no idea what tone to use or how to write songs like that” at first but, by immersing their listening habits with “atmospheric big sounds,” they were able to come together as a new band.

While the outfit has yet to release any recorded material, Gayler declares “the [forthcoming album] title will be Hell, whether that be a personal or physical hell.” Killian says they plan to release a few songs here and there prior to the full-length's release, but both agree that being in Orlando, a town “dominated by an extreme metal scene,” provides a great opportunity for doomthusiasts, or curious newcomers alike, to enjoy a “niche metal community” free of homogenous snobbery. Gayler amicably notes that their own newness to the genre hasn't discredited them in the slightest. He says the city has been “a welcoming crowd.”

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