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In honor of the band, this review has no title - 45%

Valfars Ghost, March 10th, 2016

Luckily, this Czech band discovered the perfect career-murdering mistake before any more promising groups could. While the idea of having no name is respectable in a way, these guys are essentially condemning themselves to a lifetime of laboring in obscurity. Nowadays, people discover a lot of the music they listen to on the Internet, making the ability to be easily googled essential, something these guys either don't realize or don't care about. Unless they make a lot of improvements to their sound, though, the world isn't missing out on a whole lot with their namelessness effectively banishing them to the darkest, least-visited corner of the metal underground.

This demo starts with an optimistic soft passage straight from the generic blackgaze playbook. Things seem OK until the vocals and the blasting kick in. Michal's shrieks sink this album like a beach ball-sized hole in a submarine. With his voice being such an integral component to these songs, there's no hope of the band being good until this guy either leaves or figures out how to shriek. He's trying to go for some kind of anguished shout but can't make it sound like anything other than pointless screaming. There's no discernible rhythm to it. His shrieking is there because he wants to be noticed.

The first song sounds like it was recorded and engineered by a different, less experienced producer than the other three. In 'I', the vocals are buried behind everything else and the drums have a hollow, lifeless feel to them. For 'II' through 'IV', these guys must have been able to afford a better producer, because those songs have more potent and vividly realized drums and stronger, more immersive guitar textures. While a lot of the instrumental passages sound better on these three songs, the clearer production also calls undue attention to Michal's obnoxious singing, now much closer to the front of the mix, and the headache-inducing blast beats (the cymbals sometimes sound like they're being dropped on the floor over and over really quickly).

As for the music itself, this is more or less a Deafheaven clone. It's got the intense blasting as the backdrop for many of its passages, the tapestry of thick major chords and upbeat tremolo progressions layered over top, and a similar (though more irritating) vocal style. If you're TRVE KVLT, this is the exact sort of thing you'll deride as gay and toss aside so you can get back to your Burzum worship as soon as possible. For Deafheaven fans, this still might not cut it. Nothing about Demo succeeds in being memorable. While there are a lot of different segments that flow into each other well, none of them are especially engaging. Most of the faster rhythms are interchangeable, the tremolo lines and blasting drums all blurring into one unspectacular whole. Despite what I said about the drumming earlier, (nic)'s drum punisher, Palma, puts forth the most interesting performance, providing a number of unexpected tempo shifts and interesting breaks throughout, almost seeming like he's the one leading the band half the time.

Despite Palma's efforts and the inclusion of some pleasant softer passages that nicely break up the pace, there's nothing here that elevates these guys over Deafheaven or Alcest. Without even being nearly as long as your average song from Roads to Judah, the tracks on Demo seem dragged out, even in most of better sections. In short, while there's still hope for these guys, they're going to need to pull themselves out of their idols' shadows if they're to make anything that leaves a lasting impression.