Thursday, March 8, 2018

Tony Tears - Demons Crawl at Your Side (2018)


Last year I picked up a split between Tony Tears and Violet Temple titled "Witchmothers" - it was my first exposure to either band. While Violet Temple laid down some hair-raising doom, Tony Tears focused on building an atmosphere of eerie horror using trippy synth and guitar work. Both came together to create something delightfully dark, so when I saw that Tony Tears put out a new album called "Demons Crawl at Your Side", I was definitely interested in checking it out. But what I didn't realize earlier is that "Tony Tears" is a name much like "Dio" or "Danzig" - it's the name of both a man and the band behind him. While the Witchmothers split featured Tony Tears the man, this album is from Tony Tears the band and as a result this reaches beyond a chilling ambiance and hits new depths. If I didn't tell you these guys were from Italy, you would probably hear this album immediately ask me if the band was from Italy. They capture that Italian horror aesthetic perfectly, and on top of that they hit all the high points of Italian doom - layered instruments feeding you a psychedelic feeling with moaning, off-center vocals and synth tones that make you feel like you've woken up out of a dream, but you feel like you might still be in another dream. Paul Chain fans will be well satisfied. Sometimes you'll be left sitting hopeless in a gloomy stone dungeon like on "In Lilith's Days" which stews in melancholy as dreary riffs, disturbing whispers, and distant chants all seem to close in on you. But on the other hand "Demon Always Stands at the Darkness of Fear" is driven by a classic rock 'n' roll rhythm that sends it running motorized down the road, until it comes to a tense, terrifying pause when that rhythm falls away and a trepidatious guitar backs fearful vocals in the face of unholy judgment. Each track is a unique experience and the music tells amazing stories. You'll be taken through synthesizer squeals that will give you goosebumps, pensive guitar passages, gothic melodies, heavy headbanging moments, psyched-out sound experiments, and more all while Tony Tears maintains an unshakable eerie atmosphere that really makes this album special. You just have to hear this to understand its many facets - open yourself to this dark magic and let it evoke an unreal horror within you! -Brandon

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