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HUUUUUUUUGGGEEE Improvement - 65%

OzzyApu, May 27th, 2009

Wow, if this was recorded at the exact same time as that other travesty known as Endless Damnation, then the joke’s on me. I thought these guys had no skills at the time, but this demo really proved me wrong. It isn’t anything completely standout like the famous Lunar Poetry album by Nokturnal Mortum – the one that obliterates almost every one of their full-lengths.

It’s clear that these guys play black metal, but the production is miles better than the first demo and although the growls are more akin to the genre, the double bass is thicker than all hell. First time hearing them I thought it was the production, but no, every time we here the double bass kick, its going to be the thickest thumping you’ll ever hear. It makes the thumping on Gorgoroth’s “Revelation Of Doom” look like Mormons at the door. It’s muddy and deep, but you’ll hear it over the bass no problem. The cymbals also seem to be louder than everything else, which gets annoying since the toms and snare are drowned under what sounds like the bass… bass? Yeah actually, the bass can be heard – it isn’t outright noticeable, but you’ll definitely hear it trotting along with a bellowing, sludgy tone.

Complimenting this are the spacey, supernatural sounding riffs really steal the show away once you overcome the shock of how much the production excels over the previous recording. Not only do they hold these traits, but you can actually follow a rhythm - believe me, after hearing that last travesty, you’ll envy hearing a rhythm again. I’ve heard thinner riffs like on Gorgoroth’s Pentagram, but that’s mainly do to the ice cold production. While this one is an evil sounding release, it isn’t a cold, hateful one. Nergal most of all has a sort of lazy Abbath scream from early-Immortal going – I just noticed it now, this album reminds me of Immortal’s Pure Holocaust the most. Only difference is that the production isn’t as clear, the songs aren’t as memorable, and this one still is sloppier.

Keyboard-wise, Darken doesn’t improve conditions much; no doubt you’ll definitely be put in the right mindset and atmosphere. However, the keyboard songs are so creepy that they’re a stark difference compared to the regular tracks. No joke, those keyboard tunes actually give me chills – if I heard them at night, I’d no doubt go to bed uneasy.

I’d wholeheartedly recommend you hear this demo and forget Endless Damnation even exists. That demo is a tarnishes Behemoth so badly, but it might be a necessary listen in order to appreciate this demo even more.