The Finnish death metal-band Raster Density was founded in 2008, and "El Hombre Pablos" is their third demo-release. The name of the game is still mostly the same as on the group's previous work Infecting Purification; heavy and technical death metal with darker interludes. The CD-R is housed in a slimcase and holds no lyrics, but in this case they aren't too important to see anyway.
Let's go over the negative aspects first for a change. The demo has a slightly thinner and more professional sound than its predecessor, which means that it doesn't have the same kind of punch, and the occasional breaks don't make as strong an impact as they should. On the other hand, the sound does justice to the riffs' twists and technicality, and the same goes for the sharp drum-sounds and their patterns. Still, even though it sounds professional and suitable, the soundscape would need more contrasts to reveal the songs' power and to shine a positive light on the riffs' switches and crushing force. The two vocalists could practice more to achieve deeper and more commanding voices, as now they're on the verge of being buried by the instruments. I like the fact that there are indeed two voices being used, and they do bring a nice amount of extra originality and variation to the songs. They would have the possibilities for bolder and more varying arrangements, which is something I hope the group will exploit in the future.
Shortly said, the soundscape could use more of low end, rugged edges and brute force, plain 'n' simple. It might seem that I'm highlighting the sound-issues too much since they aren't big ones as such, but in this type of music a perfected soundscape is pretty much essential.
Aside of the problems with sound and the vocalists' young ages revealing theirselves through the shouts and growls, the songs leave very little room for complaints. They are very technical and gimmicky at times, but they have a good, natural flow as well: the compositions don't sound forced. The occasional mid-paced and melody-driven dark breathers and the simpler chorus-bits (most notable the repeating "Three Alls"-shouting in the respetive tune) create a nice and fitting pause from the violence without breaking the demo's overall atmosphere. The songs are different regarding their emphases on simpler melodies, overall pace and the frequency of twisted riff-attacks, but these pieces come together naturally to form a holistic picture; they are both similar and different enough. I'd guess that the group has spent a good while rehearsing, or at least it sounds that way. It seems as if Raster Density has found their own approach, which in itself is a big leap forward from the previous demo.
"El Hombre Pablos" delivers everything that was already presented on the band's earlier demo, but in a more professional, refined and just simply all-around better way - even the cover arts are less dull. The band has remembered to focus on both the compositions' base structures and the technic toppings that coat them, and this recipe results in a tasty treat. Even if I'm not sure if Raster Density should start crafting a full-length album just yet, I'd gladly hear an EP from them. If they can take their skills of technical face-beating just a notch further, they can say bye-bye to being a demo-band for good.