"Hopeless" (Open Grave; 2007)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

You know what you're going to get with a band named Demon Dog Sperm, right?

Well, you might be surprised.

With a name like Demon Dog Sperm, you might expect this band to be one of those extreme bands whose growling death metal vocals and ragged guitars are going to be buried, perhaps intentionally, in muddy production as the band sings praise to Satan, death or the end of the world. And, yeah, some of that's here.

But Demon Dog Sperm also add a little originality to the mix by marrying stoner sludge and death metal roar to create a unique listening experience. Although each track differs, the balance between death metal and stoner is usually level. In other words, most songs don't sound like a stoner song or a death metal song. They sound like the hybrid created by Demon Dog Sperm. There are exceptions, of course. "Feed" plays more like a stoner tune, even with its bloodied-throat vocals and "Embrace" leans toward death metal. Of course, that variation in tracks is another highlight of "Hopeless."

Heavy, sludgy and raw, "Hopeless" should appeal to fans of both the stoner and the death metal genres, as well as anyone else looking for something (just a little bit) different.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2008 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 26 Sep 2022 12:18:30 -0400 .