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too derivative - 35%

Spatupon, October 3rd, 2018
Written based on this version: 2011, Digital, Independent

I've always had a sort of a soft spot for Russian metal bands, especially black metal ones. To me, it seems that Russia can be considered as a very fertile ground for the progress of such anti-establishment music genres such as black metal, which mostly operate in the underground scene. I don't want to sound biased or political, but we routinely hear about bands being refused entry into ex-Soviet countries because of political and religious regions. Also, the harsh life endured by Russians due to climatic, political and social reasons, can flare up the rebellious nature of the individuals living in that country. This can be said for a lot of other countries in the world, but right now, we're specifically dealing with a Russian post-black metal band.

This demo, released in 2011, contains two songs. They both are similar in nature in theme, having Lovecraft's work as their main focus. Since the lyrics for these two songs aren't available, I can't say for certain whether they actually know anything about Lovecraft, or just decided to use a few fancy words just to look cool. The music on this demo is average post-black verging more on the depressive side. Their music reminds me a lot of bands like Coldworld, Unjoy, and to a certain extent, Lantlos. The formula for both songs is pretty basic. Minor chord progressions are employed throughout both songs in order to create a despondent atmosphere. The guitars alternate between clean sounding and heavily distorted. However, one thing I noticed, is that the guitarists' playing is sometimes a little bit too sloppy for my taste, which entirely ruins the atmosphere the song formerly enjoyed.

The drums and the vocals on this demo are the main offenders and the reason why I have deducted a lot of points. The programmed drums sound very unnatural, terribly programmed and most fills sound extremely basic and boring. This is a problem which a lot of black metal bands suffer from. One has to invest a little bit of time, in order to find the best sounding drums in order for them to fit in within the whole song. Unfortunately, it seems that Deafknife did not bother to do this. The vocals, although they have potential, come off as pretty whiny and ever-pervasive in this short demo which spans only around ten minutes. In my honest opinion, the lyrics could have been way shortened in order to give the guitars sometime to actually shine. The bass is literally either drowned in the total chaos or simply doesn't exist in this demo. This is very unfortunate because a lot of cool bass notes could have been applied to accompany the minor chord progressions.

Unfortunately for Deafknife, their first demo didn't really kickstart their career in the best way possible. This demo seems to have been poorly written and put together in a few recording sessions. The musicianship is sloppy, and there is little of interest or ground-breaking. This is just a sub-par demo which lacks any vision and is too derivative. If it were not for all those aforementioned failures, this could have easily been mistaken for a Lantlos outing.