Inner Demons is:
Karl Hasse: vocals
Chuck Hillyard: lead guitar
Zakk Hillyard: bass
Sean Watson: rhythm guitar
L.P. Parsons III: drums
I can’t tell you guys how excited I have been since being informed that my good friends in Inner Demons were releasing their new album, Feel the Cold, due out October 21, 2016! Well, I got my grubby paws on this beast shortly after the production was complete this last weekend and have been spinning it almost constantly between other music duties with MN ever since. So freakin’ killer, this release! Everything I have come to expect from them and more! Raging guitar work, some of the coolest bass lines around, blasting drums and the unique, powerful vocals of producer/vocalist Karl Hasse. As I was preparing to write my review, another good friend of mine, one of the founding members of That Riff Promotions and die-hard supporter of local Metal dropped his review. Not willing to pass up the opportunity to support MN, That Riff and Inner Demons, all at the same time, I asked permission from him, the members of Inner Demons and my editor to allow him a guest spot in the MN family. So, without further ado, it is my pleasure to introduce my buddy, Jason Jagodzinski’s review of Feel the Cold by Jacksonville, FL’s very own, Inner Demons!
If you’ve been around the local heavy metal scene in Jacksonville, Florida…then Inner Demons is a band that you’re familiar with. They have been around for over a decade, have dealt with various line up changes, however…it would now seem that they have finally assembled the perfect line up of musicians within the ranks.
Inner Demons consists of the father and son duo of Chuck Hillyard on lead guitar, and Zakkary Hillyard on the bass guitar as well as backing (harsh) vocals. Sean Watson covers rhythm guitar duties, and the harmonic mixture of singing and screaming can be heard from front man Karl Hasse. Their only hiccup is maintaining a steady full time drummer, however I have learned that the problem has been solved. Until the new guy finally sits behind the kit, Inner Demons‘ veteran drummer James Leopard has been filling in on the throne. (as an addendum, Longineu Warren“L.P.” Parsons III, formerly of Yellowcard will be joining the band on drums and began practicing with this killer band since after their last show with legendary Death Angel!)
Inner Demons‘ latest CD release entitled Feel the Cold is scheduled for this Friday, Oct 21st at 1904 Music Hall. It is the band’s second release with Karl Hasse holding down the lead vocal duty, and Sean Watson’s first. Although he recorded the songs that was released on the VillainFest (a large show held earlier in the summer supporting the flourishing Jax Metal scene) CD which are also included on Feel the Cold.
I was privileged enough to be able to hear a majority of the tracks that were recorded for the CD release this Friday, and I cannot stop listening to them. If you’ve seen the band live quite a few times, then you have seen 60% of these new songs performed. From the slightly sarcastic humorous tones of “Nobody Cares” to a tribute to a fallen brother and soldier with “Never Coming Home“, these songs proudly represent Inner Demons and local Heavy Metal as a whole.
This album was also recorded at KRR Studios, which is Karl’s home! The sound engineering is amazing! Ladies and gentlemen, this is a quality recording and it is quite impressive the amount of time and dedication that went into this album.
Now, allow me to give you a brief teaser of these songs…
Track 1 – “Into Hell”
This opening track sets an eerie and cryptic tone where what sounds like souls or demons are moaning with agony while on their journey into hell. I applaud this little prelude of the music that is to come. We all deal with our inner demons, sometimes on a daily basis. What do your demons sound like these days?
Track 2 – “Die and Bleed”
Drop the curtains on the stage and let the chaos reign! You’re hit with an arsenal of drums, guitar and bass followed by a few soothing vocals that lead up to the chorus of screams and a welcoming guitar solo. A delicious opener musically for this CD.
Track 3 – “Feel the Cold”
The title track for the CD, and (in my opinion) probably the heaviest song Inner Demons has in their catalog. A beautiful thrash metal inspired musical track filled with rhythmic rage, growls, screams, guitar dive bombs and pinched harmonic squeals that Dimebag Darrell would nod in approval of. Circle pit time!
Track 4 – “Nobody Cares”
We slow it down a bit for this song as we welcome some groove riffs to nod our head to. This song will have you singing along in no time. “Nobody Cares” is a representation of how much this bands’ songs can get stuck in your head all day long. Sorry if that’s a problem, because nobody cares! (had to throw the bad pun in there!)
Track 5 – “Never Coming Home”
This personal track has been written in memory and as a tribute to Karl Hasse’s brother Sgt. Donald Jay Hasse who served in the military. Unfortunately, he paid the ultimate sacrifice for his country while being deployed overseas. How Karl isn’t a teary eyed mess by the end of this song, I have no idea. Raise your lighters and raise your glasses. Cheers to our armed forces!
Track 6 – “Acceptance”
…aaaaand we’re back to bangin’ our heads to the grooves of the rhythm in this song. Another Inner Demons song that WILL get stuck in your head and you won’t be satisfied until you put this CD in your player! I think I’ve seen this song played twice live and as soon as I heard the studio track, I automatically recognized it. I have yet to hear a bad song from this band.
Track 7 -” Little O’ Me”
We close this CD out with… wait a minute, it’s over?! Already?! You’ve got to be kidding me!!! Sadly, yes. This is the last track on the CD, and Inner Demons ends this release in proper fashion. You’re still under their spell. You’re still head banging and you’re singing right along with Karl. You’re watching in amazement at Chuck’s handy solo work. You’re sharing Zakkary’s intensity as you’re screaming the lyrics to him and with him. You find your groove with Sean, exchange horns, and the drum beats go through you like a shock wave. This song has all of the elements you love to hear from Inner Demons all wrapped up into one.
But wait… there’s more! There IS a hidden song that will be available with the CD. This one I have not heard yet, but I will! Inner Demons has yet to disappoint, and I don’t think they will start with that track!
To summarize this all up, I have enjoyed watching Inner Demons mature as a band from ‘Cry, Scream, Beg‘ through Feel the Cold! My only dislike is that there aren’t more songs on this release. However, I get it. You have to keep the audience wanting more! The band has placed these songs in a perfect order and it’s a CD that you can start from the beginning and listen until the end. Not many bands are able to achieve that these days. A lot of big name bands aren’t able to keep the attention of the fan, yet it seems like a lot of Jacksonville’s local bands ARE doing just that!
Congratulations, Inner Demons! Job well done, and we are all looking forward to this disc and seeing you on the stage! ~ Jason Jagodzinski
Link to the CD release party at 1904 Music Hall: CD Release Party