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In February of '94, Abigor got together to rehearse some material they were working on. As one might expect, a one-take black metal demo is not something that's going to appeal to the audiophile in all of us. Although the songwriting appears to have promise, I cannot give this album anything more than a low rating, if only for the fact alone that it sounds so garbled.
'Promo '94' comes from a long stream of demos from Abigor, and sadly, none of them are particularly good. Abigor always saved their quality for full lengths. 'Promo '94' does show a degree of improvement from the band's origins in 'Ash Nazg', but they were still light years away from what they would accomplish in November of that year, with 'Invoke The Dark Age'. A three song collection, 'Promo 94' sounds like it was recorded with a budget tape recorder. The guitar sounds like it's a sorry product of damaged tape, and the vocals are amateurishly filled with superfluous echoes that ring above everything else. As for the drums of Thomas Tannenberger, they are barely heard in this performance. It is a shame that the recording values of the rehearsal are so poor, because the songwriting here is relatively solid. 'Eye To Eye At Armageddon' has some memorable guitar melodies, even. However, more often than not, the entire thing ends up sounding like a singular blob of distorted mush. 'Promo 94' may have been useful for the band to get their thoughts on tape, but for the average listener, this is a waste of time.
Although further refining the approach that would define their career later on, Abigor manage only to be decent with this relese.
Here Abigor would make a stronger attempt towards involving overt classical influences in their music. Whereas the first track does imply possible greatness to follow, the rest of the demo is comparatively lackluster. A middle track serves as an intro/outro type piece completely unnecessary for such a short work, followed by another that is decidedly dull, and would see much better use later on as part of a LP.
The music here, as before, shows a high underlying comprehension of the nuances in making complex compositions without having them fall apart. There is certainly a lot to like here but the end result is, just as with Ash Nazg, ultimately unremarkable. Numerous moments of brilliance shine through, but are almost all contained only in the first of these tree tracks. Additionally, the problems that would plague their first few-full lengths (disunity, misplaced focus, awkward transitions) begin to show themselves on this demo, although their effect is curtailed by its brevity.
Nevertheless, for any fan of the band -or even for any curious fan of black metal- this demo will reward exploration. It shows an approach to black metal that has yet to meet further refinement by other bands, and does this to a more effective degree overall than the first demo did. Despite not being nearly as powerful as Lux Devicta Est, it does better display the bands' affinity for taking classical-derived compositions and molding them to fit into a framework for praising Satan.