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It's hard to tell what Wall of the Eyeless plays based on their album artwork of their debut demo, Through Emptiness, with the somewhat psychedelic and abstract art that could mean that the music could possibly range from doom metal all the way to those post-rock styled black metal bands. It was certainly surprising to find out then that this was actually the debut demo of a Swedish/Russian death metal entity.
Not so surprising then is the weirdness of the music that is present on Through Emptiness. This is not to say that the music is bad, but instead contain songwriting and elements that are rather unconventional in view of the recent surge of old-school revivalist bands. Album opener The Hands immediately presents the band's unique style of death metal to listeners, blending elements ranging from melodic death metal to thrash metal to even Spanish-styled acoustic instrumentals (like in the middle of The Hands) in their songs. After a barrage of aggressive riffs, the band suddenly goes into a melodic lead guitar section, presenting a weird sense of calm in the middle of all the chaos, before going back to their chaotic style, and the listener will soon realise that this will be the style of the band for the rest of the release.
While some bands try to hard to blend these whole range of elements together, Wall of the Eyeless manages to do this well, and what results is an extremely progressive record, and could eventually lead to a sort of a game to spot the various influences that have gone into the songwriting process. Despite the rawness of the record, the band manages to bring out the atmospheric essence of the music, and this is especially audible on Do We Belong Here?, where the clever usage of echoey clean singing creates a haunting atmosphere with a heavy emotion on the music. The depressive melody on the acoustic guitars towards after the halfway point of the track even reminds me of Shroud of Despondency's brand of atmospheric black metal, and led me to almost expect a spoken vocals to appear, and some moments on the self-titled track Wall of the Eyeless even border on atmospheric black metal in terms of the riffing pattern and song structure, with the clean leads that are littered throughout the track. The epic closing track, The Rain Song is probably the most representative of the band's style of music on Through Emptiness, with the nice balance of melody and aggression throughout the track, and that constant ominous atmosphere that lingers.
The instrumentations on this demo are also remarkable, especially the guitars of SL, who often displays his technical abilities, yet managing to maintain that sense of melody that provides that emotional element in the music on Through Emptiness. There is only one complaint though, that is the solo towards the end of Wall of the Eyeless, where it sounded almost as if SL were trying to squeeze in too many notes into the solo, spoiling the flow of the track. Through Emptiness has thoroughly displayed the potential talent that the duo behind Wall of the Eyeless holds, and listening to the demo has certainly left me thirsty for more.