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I recently found out this promo was recorded in 1 day on an 8 track, Thergothon style if you will, and I was absolutely shocked given how insanely good it is. The production quality, as one might imagine, is extremely poor. I hate to sound cliche, but it does greatly enhance the atmosphere. The guitar sound is also something of peculiarity, think of a mix of diSEMBOWELMENTS "Deep Sensory Procession into Aural Fate", Thergothon's "Stream from the Heavens", and the guitar tone previously used on "Embrace the Emptiness" by Evoken. Only on some songs does the poor production quality and almost archaic guitar tone add much to the atmosphere, really, most prominently "Coveting Elysium" and "The Last of Vitality", which really do sound slightly better than their Antithesis of Light counterparts. One of my only main complaints about Antithesis was the production, which felt a little too drenched in reverb, especially the bass drums.
But given that this promo is more or less Antithesis of Light with different production, and a few tracks swapped in and out, why review it instead of the full length? Well, that's entirely because of one, outstanding, track, which didn't really fit into Antithesis of Light, and didn't appear on the album. That would of course be, Introduction:Omniscient, a 9 minute instrumental behemoth which is among the finest doom metal ever created, and probably the best Evoken track recorded. This is a truely spine-chilling track, largely driven by synths and clean guitars, with the distorted guitars put in the background. This track is done in a peculiar style for Evoken, who've always really focused on really killer, heavy, guitar tones kicking you in the face. It almost reminds me of the early Shape of Despair recordings in style, with a touch more morbid death/doom stylings added to it and virtually all traces of hope or happiness utterly deprecated. I'd justify picking up this promo if you don't have it purely for this amazing track.
The other track which didn't make it's way onto Antithesis of Light is "Coveting Elysium", again a very strange track that doesn't fit into Evoken's normal stylings. It's by no means a bad track, it just doesn't touch on the majestic, dark, grandure of the Intro. Coveting Elysium opens up awkwardly with some clean guitar lines, followed by a strange, but very dark, jazz beat accompanied by a flute(synthesized?). After a brief, calming, nepenthe in the form of this strange, slow, jazz passage, the listener is bludgeoned by what's fairly uninteresting and repetetive death/doom, with a few synth passages mixed in. I know we're dealing with doom metal here, but the problem with this track is that it's repetetive to a fault, and when it does finally shift, it does so very awkwardly and roughly. The first part of the track certainly was an odd but pleasantly original surprise, but beyond that it becomes apparent why this track was scrapped, and a few of the clean guitar parts at the end made their way onto Antithesis.
Overall, this is a shockingly good promo that any Evoken fans should pick up.