Usually I'm not in favor of a band posting "raw" cuts of their music. Usually when I click on a song labeled "raw", "unmixed", or "rough demo", it will sound like it was recorded with a 1980s boombox that was placed on a shelf right next to the drummer's crash cymbal.
In the end, even the best demo songs will sound like crap and most newcomers will likely never pay a visit to the band's website ever again. It's a no win/no win situation, see?
BUT! HOWEVER! NEVERTHELESS! ETC.!
Once in a blue moon, posting a rough cut can be beneficial provided that the instruments can all be represented fairly giving the song's dynamics a slim chance of shining through.*
Yes, there are exceptions out there, such as Fatal Demise, who have hit the ball out of the park with some killer tunes on less than stellar recordings.
Such is the case with Sacramento, California's ART OF CHAOS. Truth be told, when I came across this band's Reverbnation page and saw the words "Raw Cut" labeled on their available tunes, I almost passed them by.
Thankfully, intuition gave my jaded brain a tiny kick in the nuts and I clicked play. Art of Chaos's streaming songs hit me with a hardcore-leaning thrash assault that turned my twisted smirk of doubt into a big fat teeth-grinding grin.
They pummel the listener with a monster blend of old-school thrash with a handful of heavy crossover and NY style hardcore.
The guitars pulled me in with a combo of tight thrash riffing and sliding power chord stomp, all brought to light with the drums that hit the balance of speed and groove perfectly. Vocalist Paul Laughlin commands the vocals with the salt and grit that brings to mind the brutality of Tom Araya and Billy Milano.
To not move around, stomp, and headbang while listening to Art of Chaos would viewed as either a Herculean task of epic proportions or that the listener might be dead.
I'm glad I didn't end up passing these guys up.
Have a listen to their Raw Cuts below and then hit them on Facebook here.
* Quality control cannot be determined by the ones who wrote the songs, especially for novice songwriters. Band members can never tell if their basement demo recordings sound like crap because A. They know what the song originally sounds like, and B. To them, the song is always going to sound freakin' awesome.