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This is an excellent demo. Over 20 minutes of great american black metal. The first song Excidium starts off very powerfully. Soon enough, keyboards come in and then the vocals. The last minute of the song is a nice keyboard passage with a slow down from the aggression. The title track starts out very cool and is fairly similar to Excidium. The third song starts out with some cool riffs. It's fairly short compared but it's one of the faster songs on the demo. At about 1:50 the keyboards start to really stand out. And last we have Fields of Mourning, which is probably the most melancholy song on the demo. A cool guitar solo can be heard in the middle of the song. Very beautiful way to end the demo.
I also must add that every song on this demo sounds very similar to some older, and well-known black metal bands. Inquinok is a very talented band and I can't wait to see what else they can come up with. If you're a fan of Dissection, Emperor (think Nightside Eclipse), or even Dimmu Borgir, you will not be dissapointed with this demo.
I came across this band on a couple extreme metal sites as well as seeing them in Metal Maniacs and decided to purchase their demo. Let's just say I wasn't dissapointed at all, Inquinok is one of the best black metal bands I've ever heard come out of the states.
The first song on the demo (Excidium) is a superb song, when hearing it for the first time it felt like I was hearing some classic black metal song, it's that good. The first riff is great, as soon as the song starts you know your in for a epic journey. Their is a lot of great riffing throughtout the song as well, with a excellent melodic part at the end to balance out the aggressive first half. The other songs on the demo are also top notch, I also love the title track, great atmosphere and excellent switch between the guitars and keyboards playing the melodies. The third song on the demo is the shortest but it's intense from start to finish. Fields of Mourning the last song, is the most melodic song and the catchiest, this song features some great guitar work as well as an excellent solo.
As for the members, all do their jobs well, the leads on Shadows and Fields are really well written and executed. The vocals on all tracks are excellent, I love the play with the different vocal styles Krelian does. The production isn't the best in the world but it's pretty good for a demo, I love the atmosphere throughout the album and the guitars sound pretty heavy, the drums sound a little weak at times but it's not anything that really takes away from the experience.
Overall though this demo is one of the best I've heard from a black metal band from the states and I can't wait to hear the full lenght with some of these songs re-recorded.
There are three words that could be used to describe Inquinok. Those words are: Enchanting, Inspirational, and Dark. So many bands have forgotten that those words are a part of which builds black metal. Instead today I see more and more bands being formed with the ideology of hatred and racism. Which in a sense is fine if its what they want to do, but Inquinok stray away from these recent trends and create a form of music that is nothing shy of mystical.
Shadows Amongst the Moonlight is a 4 song demo recorded within two time periods. The first three songs are recorded with differant members then the last, with the first three representing the Inquinok lineup as it somewhat appears today. Check the info here on Metal-Archives to view the lineups.
The demo starts off with the song Excidium which is my personal favorite. The guitar riffs sound somewhat like early Emperor, with the opening riff reminding me of the main guitar riff in "I am the Black Wizards". While the keyboards give off a feeling of enchantment like you would find on Satyricon's "Dark Medieval Times". The keyboards are obviously present, but are used in a way to create atmosphere rather then a bunch of wanking like you would find on a Dimmu Borgir album. Which makes this a great album for the "raw" black metal listener, and the symphonic groups. The blending of both styles is perfect. Each song on the album can show this.
Each member shows off talent in this group. Krelians vocal range is really impressive. He uses typical "high pitched" vocals for the most part, but now and then will give you a haunting deep growls of despair. It really sets the mood and can consume your thoughts with its presence and take you into another plain of existence.
The guitars are amazing. Performed by Krelian and Andrew, there are lots of tremolo picking melodys which is an essential in black metal. One thing that sticks out with guitars though in Inquinok is that they actually have guitar solos to their songs. The guitar solo's are very well thought out and lift the spirits of the music and in a sense puts you in total harmony.
The bass however is almost not even there, like you would find in many black metal recordings. Now i've seen this band live many times, and I can tell the bassist is very good at what he does using his fingers to do the tremolo picking instead of a guitar pick. However in this demo, I hardly ever notice the bass at all.
The drumming on the demo though is great, Tyburn can really blast the fuck out of the skins on his drums, while doing intricate footwork on the double bass. Theres plenty of differant fills and rolls that are incorporated into the music to switch it up instead of just a constant blast beat the whole time. My only gripe is that his bass drums are too quiet
As noted before, the keyboards on this demo are used in a matter to create atmosphere. Very well thought out, and they don't over power the music and become a main focus.
All in all, this is a great demo from a great band that loves and takes time into the music they write. Production quality is what you would expect from a demo, though leagues above most black metal band's demos that sound more like noise then music. One thing though that is annoying, is the sudden quality change on the last song of the album. Since it was recorded at a differant time, it came out differant. Sounding alot louder then all the other songs on the demo. If your not expecting it, it can really startle you if your blasting this in your headphones.
Definately pick up this demo.