I hesitate to call this a "demo", as the quality and production far exceed the majority of the full releases I've laid ears on so far this year. This will probably end up being my album of the year. So, who is Tiwanaku? Wade Black- vocals Emo Mowery- bass, vocals, guitars, keys Rick Renstrom- lead guitar Richard Christy- drums The demo track listing is as follows: 1. Illusion 2. Magnacore 3. Shockwaves 4. What If The sound? In simplest terms, Tiwanaku is a merger of Ethereal Tomb-era Nocturnus and Astronomica-era Crimson Glory, however, there is much more going on. Vocally, there is a mix of Emo's thunderous death vox, Wade's soaring melodic chops, and also the addition of what I'll call a blackened vocal style Wade is unleashing on these recordings. Vocally, there is something for everyone, with all vocal styles occuring within each song and at times simultaneously. The music has progressive and technical moments, as well as flashes of sheer brutality, but never sacrificing melody. Richard Christy's drumming is as intricate and interesting as ever. Of his expansive body of work, I'd have to say that his performance on Control Denied's debut is the closest reference. Rick Renstrom provides the guitar pyrotechnics and is, as usual, brilliant. Rounding out the sound are some very atmospheric keyboard lines that provide an element of fine detail to the songs. The songs: 1. Illusion- by the time you've reached the half-way mark of this song, you realize just how flawlessly the many divergent metal styles have been fused together to create something very fresh and invigorating. All of the vocals styles are utilized in this track. 2. Magnacore- Have you ever wondered what it would be like if Rob Halford joined a death/black metal band? Listen and you will know. 3. Shockwaves- After a brief slower-paced intro, Shockwaves launches into a carniverous rage. The tempo switches between the slower pace and near-blast beat throughout the song. Eerie and atmospheric keyboards drift through the slower paced sections and close the song. 4. What If- This song opens with a keyboard-driven passage featuring Wade at his melodic best. The songs segues into heavier domain via Richard Christy's frenetic, technical drum fills. This song features what is probably my favorite lead solo. Combining death/black/clean vocals is nothing new. Pick up a half dozen or so albums by some of the bands currently doing this and there will be no doubt about it. One listen to Tiwanaku and you will realize that where there is a creative will, there are infinite ways to combine the familiar elements of metal into something riveting and vital.