Early on in their career, our late friend Brian Shields turned my attention to Chicago’s prodigal sons of progressive death metal Warforged. I rode along the Shields hype machine for the release of Warforged’s 2014 EP Essence of the Land, and they fast became a name to watch; Essence of the Land was a murky epic that took the modern tech death sound and steeped it in blackened atmospheric qualities and classic Opeth-style songwriting. It’s devastatingly brutal and bleak, but it’s incredibly artful. It’s no wonder Shields became such an adoring fan.
Five months after his passing, and there’s still a sizable hole left in the metal community that won’t ever be filled. He’s inspired many tributes, the latest of which, of course, is from Warforged themselves in the form of the eight minute “Two Demons.” The song is a tour-de-force of modern prog/tech mastery, largely a show of instrumental prowess and hypermelodic soundscapes. The minimalistic approach at vocals hits the memorial of metal’s fallen brother head on, with the lyrics, “Ghastly, twisted absence in my head,” taking prominence.
In fact, the track is the latest addition to the Brian Shields Tribute Album, now 20 tracks deep. You can hop on over to Bandcamp and get “Two Demons” and songs from the likes of NYN, Enfold Darkness, and more.
Catch the video for “Two Demons” below and get lost in its scenery. Reflect on not only Brian, but anyone else that may have left a positive impact on your life and is no longer with us.