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The Demo Tapes Part II - 23%

Five_Nails, August 23rd, 2010

Another Dark Promise demo has found its way onto cyberspace, and with the same raw and unforgiving approach to black metal, Demon of Darkness prominently displays how low-fidelity production can help to create a painfully torturous and uncreative demo that in its attempt to be raw sacrifices much of its its musical integrity.

“The Return of the Dark Age” sets the demo off on an interesting note. The music is nearly inaudible in the mix, and makes this song nearly unlistenable. This song keeps generally the same pace until the end when a slow, desolate bass guitar sound closes it. Like the first Dark Promise demo, this song suffers from too little variation in an attempt to sound raw. It isn’t rawness that comes through, though as the song sounds more like it’s rehashing the same parts over and over again in the hopes of filling time. At first I couldn’t even recognize the bass guitar closer because of how terribly it was produced, but as the only audible contribution to the song, this bass section sounds desolate though too simple to redeem this track.

The second song, “To Curse them All” is opened with nearly the same bass guitar sound that closed the previous track, and at 1:00 kicks into an Immortal style fast guitar section with a slow drum pace in the background. The drumming just doesn’t match up to the guitars as there are no blast beats to speak of, or at least they are inaudible under the very loud guitars, and really the only thing that comes through is the constant of snare hits. Terrible sound cannot be an excuse for lack of creativity as both are evident in this track, it’s not surprising that this demo is crashing and burning as badly as the previous.

“The Dark Promise” is the only really solid track at its beginning. Built off a simple sound to create an intense and dark atmosphere, the tone of this track for once reaches the intended goal. The song starts with a small guitar whine and with the addition of more guitars creates such a melancholy and macabre whining drone that the song would have been fine if kept at just that pace. Instead, the song then builds off this macabre whine to bring in a powerful double bass kick at 1:31 that sets off the derailment of this track. As the song then takes a rising tempo tone with the guitars, the track becomes more a wall of sound than black metal and really loses it by the final upward drive at 3:34 when it quickly loses steam.

With only one passable song on this five track demo, Dark Promise fails to impress let alone write any proficient black metal. Where there was little promise in the first demo, “To Violate the Light” becomes more a violation of instruments than a strong attempt at music.