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A good deal of promise shown on just 3 songs - 75%

bubblezorz, June 11th, 2013

When I came across this band I found that they had been listed as melodic death/black metal and had just recently put out their first release. As a pretty big fan of that combination in musical style I did some digging and learned that their first was on bandcamp so that it could all be listened to. The prospect of hearing underground music is one that has kept me searching for such instances. With an open mind and no lofty expectations I began to listen to their efforts. Just under 10 minutes later I was quite impressed by the demo and will definitely be keeping an eye on any releases they make in the future.

The band was founded in 2008 by a lone member, Fenris, who had previously been a member of 2 other bands. Through the next couple years he brought it through several ideological and personnel changes before it was cemented in 2012. He had brought in vocalist Diva Satanica and their combined effort is seen here.

Musically it is a bit of a mixed bag. I have a great appreciation of the guitar lines that Fenris plays throughout. The tremolo sections remind me of At the Gates in a way and they are done very well. The other side of the rhythm parts is palm muted chug riffs that are performed to a pretty good degree by the aforementioned guitarist. There is also a nice melodic section in the third track Saints of Sand where the attention is focused on the guitar and the vocals over top of it. I appreciated this section because it served a good purpose as a break. The soloing is also present and very tastefully done, with a lot of present melody and some nice showcases of the chops that Fenris possesses such as the short sweep sections in each of the solos for the last 2 songs. It's quite nice to see a band in this genre with solos that are significant but also fit in with the rest of the music. The bass however sounds nearly nonexistent, as it becomes quite apparent what his musical preference lends itself to. I can only hope that this demo gets them enough attention that they can gain a full-time bassist and Fenris can focus more on his guitar playing.

The drumming is definitely an interesting concept with a band such as this because they do not have a drummer. Instead they have a drum machine which is programmed by none other than Fenris. In some portions of the songs the drums are powerful and work great with the rest of the composition. Unfortunately I believe they are hampered by the absence of a dedicated player. In some portions of the music the drum lines become fairly repetitive, especially during the parts where the guitar is playing more rhythmic palm muted riffs. I believe the addition of someone with the capability to perform fills and provide a more fluid rhythm section would greatly enhance the music and yet again allow Fenris to focus more on the instrument he's best at.

Vocally I was blown away, going into it I did not look at the line up choosing to dive headfirst into the music with no preconceived notions. Rarely does this shape my opinion of the music, but this is certainly one of the cases where having no prior knowledge enhanced my listening experience. The intro song doesn't have any lyrics by the band, instead being an instrumental track with a movie clip playing over it. However not having the vocalist perform does not limit its impact on the rest of the music, in fact I feel that it does a great job of setting up the rest of the listen. In Saints of Sand and The Bloody Throne however Diva Satanica certainly makes her presence known. Her anguished shrieks and growls are a stunning vessel for a grand display of emotion. I must mention that where the vocal talent is strong, the lyrics themselves leave something to be desired. They are repetitive and the intended imagery is fairly weak. However I believe that in subsequent releases the band will be able to better find its lyrical voice and significantly improve.

In closing I must congratulate Bloodhunter on putting forth a great effort that is indicative of their strong suits on a demo of just 3 songs. It was somewhat formulaic and left some things to be desired lyrically and in terms of mixing. However in the grand scheme of things it stands on its own sufficiently. I personally would recommend listening to this demo to anyone who is a fan of the genre, or just wants to broaden their horizons and give a fairly underground group the listening that it deserves.