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Modern USBM Classic - 98%

The Dread Lord, March 5th, 2019
Written based on this version: 2015, CD, Forever Plagued Records (Slipcase)

Demoncy is one of those bands. A band that's been around for thirty years, but never seems to get near enough recognition in the black metal scene in the United States of America. Which is terrible, because this band is horribly underrated and deserves more praise than they get. Ixithra has made some amazing albums and demos during his career, however, I am inclined to believe this is his magnum opus, taking an album that had so much potential to be amazing, and not only making it so, but adds four new songs to make it even better.

Starting with the performance and instruments, this is absolutely demonic sounding. The guitars here are absolutely crushing, nothing too common in black metal. Where you would usually hear standard or half step down in the genre, the guitars appear to be tuned to C or B standard, creating a heavy and crushing atmosphere you would not get if they were in standard. The riffs usually aren't the most intricate or technical things in the world, however, the repetitive and simple riffs on display do accent the heaviness. Giving a slow and doomy (if you will) sound to it. Warmarch of the Black Hordes really show what the heavy and repetitive riffs do best. The vocals are very, very, very good here. I might even go so far to say this is Ixithra's greatest vocal performance here. He sounds like a demon here. The vocals are done in a quiet, almost whisper growl. Throughout the songs, it's almost like a demon is whispering in your ear about hell, and it almost makes the album on the vocals alone. I didn't at first think the fast and heavy instrumentation would work with the slow and quiet vocals, but they actually go together very well here. For the bass, I got nothing. Drums aren't the most standout thing here, you'll come to realize early on that the drums are quite ride heavy, but that's just kind of something in black metal as a whole, not just the album.

Some specifics I really like will be discussed now: At the beginning of Night Song, there's an acoustic guitar helping to kind of build an eerie atmosphere, and I think it's a nice touch. One of the new songs, Invocation to Satan, is nothing more than an atmosphere building track, but the vocals done by Ixithra really add a demonic sound to it. While only drums and vocals are used here, it successfully builds a creepy new intro to the album, rather than just starting off with heavy guitars like the original version. Actually, all of the new tracks fit really well here, they don't feel out of place and sound like they were there in the original. On the song Risen from the Ancient Ruins, it incorporates both the slow, doom metal riffs, and the fast and aggressive black metal sections. Helping tie both types of riffs together. This happens a decent number of times on the album, but on this song, it works the best I feel.

A minor gripe is the way some of the songs end, it just happens without warning. There's not really any fade out in the songs. And while it keeps a continuous flow between songs when I listen to it as a whole. However, when listening to songs in a randomized order (which cd players can do) it just kinda ends. But don't let said minor gripe get in the way of an otherwise magnum opus for an already great discography. A must listen for all black metal fans.