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Lol - 5%

Feeble_screams, December 28th, 2009

Von’s influence on the genre of black metal is widely acknowledged, considering the year that this demo was released and the sheer number of bands that have covered this material, or have otherwise cited them as an influence. However, influential doesn’t necessarily mean that something is good. The actual significance of Von (more specifically, this demo) is highly questionable.

To break things down a bit, Von are the quintessential raw black metal band. Primitive is a very apt description here, if one word were to suffice. However, I’d prefer to use a number of words to convey how utterly stupid and generic this music is. This demo contains most of the fundamental aspects of black metal that the listener would expect to hear, and its evidential influence is more than enough to spark an interest to the aspiring fan. Unfortunately, this demo is the old school equivalent to the average bedroom black metal band, and isn’t even worth your time if you dislike such hastily constructed nonsense.

The lack of variation and substance here is profound. The consistent, seemingly endless repetition of each song is excruciating to endure. Quite simply, this music is sterile and boring beyond your imagination. The drumming generally consists of one specific tempo, a relatively slow blast beat which dominates the majority of each song. It sounds programmed. It alone is enough to make you want to pull your hair out after a few songs. The guitar tone is incredibly thin; riffs are very basic and one-dimensional, and is very typical in regard to the style of the first wave, which by that point had already ended. Furthermore, the songwriting is as basic as early Ildjarn, (if even that) and is very elementary in composition, to say the least. Each song sounds almost exactly the same as the previous one, which is probably the single most intolerable aspect of this vacuous crap. The vocals consist of low grunting more suited for death metal standards; a not-so-typical feature of raw black metal, but regardless - they’re somewhat comical in manner, and if the intention was to convey a sense of evil, Von have failed miserably.

The year of its release doesn’t seem to merit its influential stance within the genre. The second wave was well underway in 1992, and there were a number of bands who had already improved upon the very fundamental beginnings of the first wave by that point, creating more innovative and interesting music in comparison with what is presented here. But whatever. It is what it is. I think Von generally appeals to the "look, I'm so satanic" crowd who are into the image and visual aspect of this work more than anything. It's aesthetically pleasing to those who find excitement in owning old records for the sake of owning old records on vinyl and such other "look at my awesum collection" purposes. This demo is primitive, minimal, and certainly raw; however, it’s also an endurance test. I suppose it’s cool for collective purposes, but I’d assume anyone who legitimately worships this nonsense to lack an average level of intelligence.