Deep Sleep Operator, the brainchild of Mark Ehlers, has created a captivating Sci-fi heavy metal album in ‘Demolition Moon’. It comes five years after DSO’s debut album ‘While The Earth Sleeps’. This album is packed with in-your-face guitar and drums, and the theatrical moments including the opening song and the PA speaker voice add to the atmosphere.
Opening with Strange Film in a Dark Theatre, this introduction sets the scene for what’s to come. It instantly conjures images of going to see sci-fi movies – the deep announcement voice increases suspense and anticipation of the rest of the album. The introduction segues into Sewer of the Universe, which, with its underlying evil-sounding tune slams you with a barrage of guitar/drum rhythms. There are some really cool in-between riffs that have a very sci-fi vibe about them. Together with the more surreal guitar solo-heavy ending gives you a cool outer-space atmosphere. Demolition Moon explodes into life with a very catchy guitar riff. The song is packed full of energy and has an old-school metal vibe to it along with those strong sci-fi themes. The interlude with speaker voice adds to the atmosphere of the song, as does the preceding wailing guitar solo. Continuing the overarching theme the song finishes with that PA speaker voice from the beginning of the album.
A bit of a change from the past couple of songs, Beast at Your Door is slower and features more technical riffs that complement each other. The vocal part remains quite low and growly but this works really well with the rest of the song. The rhythm is very catchy and fun to headbang along to, with the technical and rhythm guitar parts being somewhat reminiscent of something both Satriani-esque and Iron Maiden-like respectively. Final Blow has a cool groove to it, and with memorable and fun lyrics makes for a great song. The harsh vocals give it an extra energy that makes it more uplifting and fist-raising than otherwise. An awesome final guitar breakdown rounds off the song really nicely. Slightly more prog-sounding than the others, Endless Destination is the obligatory slow piece of the album and it is beautiful. Everything from the chill rhythm to the calmer vocals, and the emotional guitar solos makes this song the perfect halfway point in the album.
Druglords From Space features some interesting lyrics but the rhythm itself is dynamic and with variations between normal speed and the double-time drumming, as well as all the different speed riffs makes this song constantly captivating and interesting to listen to.
The technical opening riff for Empire Down is really cool and clean, and segues into chunky verses. There is a sweet balance between these chunky full-on parts and the quieter clean in-between parts. Some evil-sounding guitar parts top off this energetic song nicely. The lyrics sound like they were inspired by a sequence of events in Star Wars.
Decay of the Flower has a different rhythm to the rest of the songs and sounds tamer than the first few songs. The chorus is energetic however and sounds like it belongs in a futuristic sci-fi film. A very spacey tune, Old Riot in a New World is also once again another chunky and energetic song, with some cool heavy bass riffs threaded throughout. Some of the guitar solos are also reminiscent of Iron Maiden’s late ‘80s concept album tunes, which is nice to hear.
With its tom-heavy drum rhythm, Bleeding Machine is an awesome fast-paced song. It’s a very dark sounding tune but you can’t help but groove along to the rhythm. Some glitchy synth sounds towards the end tie in with the machine theme of the song. Only the Sky Remains, the final song on the album, is another mellow song, with some deep end-of-the-world lyrics accompanied by clean and emotional guitar riffs and rhythms. The song evolves with some heavier guitar parts intertwined, however these parts do not take over the whole song so it maintains that emotional feeling to it.
Overall, ‘Demolition Moon’ is a captivating album, full of dynamic songs and cool sci-fi vibes that make it a really worthwhile listen.