In 1994, Demented Ted, a Chicago based death metal band, released their unheralded, chimerical debut album “Promises Impure” on Pavement Records. Besides a small article in the Chicago Tribune (which lauded the band for “singing about genetic engineering as opposed to, say, decapitation,”) “Promises Impure” went largely unnoticed by just about the entire music listening world. Following a tour with Broken Hope, the members of Demented Ted went their separate ways and on to a life of quiet contemplation. Had it not been for the timely intervention of mutant animals, a Bornean monk, and legendary actor Donald Sutherland, that’s how the story would have ended.
Sutherland was working on the film “Outbreak” in 1994 when a he was handed a copy of the album by co-star Cuba Gooding Jr. Gooding had caught Demented Ted the night before and accidentally purchased their CD at the merch table thinking it was DVD copy of Jaws 3-D. Sutherland, a devout metalhead who partially financed the Entombed album “Wolverine Blues”, immediately got hooked on the record and brought it with him on his vacation to Borneo after the film wrapped up.
When he first arrived in Borneo, Sutherland was immediately attacked and ripped to shreds by a pack of gigantic three-headed moths. His head was put in a local museum for the amusement of the inter-dimensional travelers that often visit the island while attempting to elude the narwhal shaped jellyfish that police time travel in this sector of the galaxy. The rest of his body was taken to different parts of the island to be used in the annual Jane Fonda ritual mock sacrifices that are popular in some of the smaller villages. In the midst corpse pillaging frenzy, Sutherland’s copy of “Promises Impure” was snatched up by a crafty monk named Tippi Hedren (his parents were huge fans of the Hitchcock classics “The Birds” and “Marnie”).
Hedren smuggled the album past the local authorities at great risk to his own safety. After all, death metal and most grindcore were illegal for most of Borneo’s history. Up until recently, the nation, in fact, had very little interest in music in general. Voronezh FM, the country’s one radio station, actually played the Garth Brooks album “Ropin’ The Wind” on repeat interrupted only by local weather broadcasts from 1991 until 2004. When Hedren played the record for his religious order, they were deeply moved, identifying on a spiritual level with the metronomic double bass and relentless riffing. It quickly became a staple of religious life in the village of Banjarmasin.
The arrival of the record coincided with the elimination out of Type 5 Banalpox, a disorder that forces the victim to watch Terrance Malick films repeatedly until falling into a coma. The disease had plagued the nation for hundreds of years and had seemed incurable. Many of the locals connected to the disappearance of the virus with the Demented Ted record.
Slowly but surely through tape trading and the use of music transporting micro-viruses, the people of Borneo grew to love Demented Ted. In Borneo today, it’s rare to meet a schoolchild that doesn’t know the words to “Liquid Remains” by heart. Choirs of old women singing “Psychopathology” on street corners are not an uncommon sight. Demented Ted CDs and tapes are actually used as currency in many of the villages of Northern Borneo.
The people of Borneo have grown impatient. They have waited what has felt like a hundred lifetimes clinging to the hope that a Demented Ted reunion will come to the island. They have written hundreds of thousands of letters to the band and prayed vociferously to any god that they think might listen, but to no avail. Finally, 173 days ago, in a last, desperate act, the people of Borneo have renounced the consumption of food or water. According to the government’s Department of Demented Ted and Human Development, Borneo cannot survive another three months without a concert from the band.
So far, the band has remained silent on the matter, preferring to ignore the suffering that the large, Demented Ted deprived island has had to endure. Several human rights groups have issued public statements imploring them to get back together and at least throw together an EP of Uriah Heap covers in order to satiate the Bornean people’s endless lust for obscure mid-90s, Chicago death metal. However, many experts think a reunion is unlikely and that a solution to this crisis is not coming anytime soon.