Demos are a fantastic display of talent and potential for a limited amount of time. Rather than devoting attention to a full release, a listener can cycle through a catalog of up and coming bands before their introductory debut. I believe this is the reason why so many people get excited for demos especially ones that offer a chance at something unorthodox. Athanatos comes with little information other than a 17 minute demo. The band’s sound may start out traditional but ends somewhere south of depraved. I am thankful for demos as some records need to come in shorter running time lest the threads of mental stability be lost forever.
Athanatos is easy to understand once one boils the Chilean band down to essentials. Unholy Union, at its most basic core, is made up of riffs and a seemingly endless supply of attitude. Unholy Union makes itself known among even other black/death acts by having odd and angular song structures. The opening title track, “Unholy Union” sounds like the introduction to seven or so thrash and death songs before breaking into madness and returning to the start line. In fact the whole of Unholy Union focuses on what sounds like the middle of great songs before quickly moving to other things. The psychedelic nature of the music is never allowed to rest as Unholy Union soon becomes a labyrinth with irregular passages, sharp objects and possibly one or two deadly crocodile traps.
Black/death is a style which is hinged on brutality. After awhile, however, it becomes increasingly difficult to deliver the same sort of punishment to your listeners. Athanatos may have found something which feels entirely unnatural and unearthly. Unholy Union otherworldly approach to black/death is something that can only be described as a success if one considers rotting in this infernal maze for the rest of one’s mortal years a success. Tremendous job Athanatos, now please show me the exit.