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A demo which promises good things to come... - 82%

GoatDoomOcculta, February 18th, 2008

...which, unfortunately, Demoncy never delivered. But that's not the point. What we have here with Demoncy's Faustian Dawn is some impressive and somewhat experimental American black metal from the early 90s, around the time the genre itself was really taking form (back when artistic integrity counted for something).

The demo begins with a three-minute, synth-heavy intro track, with indecipherable vocals - unless you play the track backwards, in which case you get some cool music which basically sounds the same, with somewhat-coherent vocals. Props to the band for having the ability to pull off the whole backwards thing with a degree of skill, and not seeming like complete faggots in the process (see Cradle of Filth for a spectacular example of how to do the opposite).

The music in the demo is nothing special by today's standards - remarkably down-tuned and distorted guitars, an atypical raspy-sounding lead vocalist (at the time, at least), and some occasional death growls from an unimpressive backing vocalist. Certainly nothing to warrant any merit in terms of black metal today, but for the time in which this was recorded, the band really shows that they have a lot of balls by trying something so innovative.

The music itself is, in a fashion very dissimilar to modern black metal, very slow-paced for the most part, and oddly reminiscent of early-80s Black Sabbath. If the listener is familiar with Faustcoven, the music is somewhat similar to that in terms of rhythm and riffs - although there is a disappointing absence of anything even resembling a solo. There's a lot of blatant (albeit not bad) Beherit worship going on here, which, anyone who has heard their earlier material is sure to pick up on and appreciate the fact that Demoncy does not make a mockery of it in the process.

Also very atypical at the time is the reliance on synthesizers to create an atmosphere, rather than relying solely on the guitars and drums to give the music a generic fast and heavy sound. There's no tremolo-dependence here, no technical wankery, no symphonic bullshit - just a lot of synth, slow, down-tuned, droning guitars, and some essentially (obligatory) negligible drumming, and it all comes together quite nicely to create a very dissonant despairing-yet-hateful sound.

Unfortunately, as with most black metal at the time (and still today...), the production quality is absolute shit, to an inexcusable degree. Your ears will have to swim through no small amount of auditory mud to hear the music, but it's worth it - but it certainly detracts from the experience, when half of what you hear is music, and the other half is a nondescript buzzing noise.

If you can find a copy of this on CD that was released as by Damnation Records 13 years ago, by all means, pick it up. The tape and vinyl versions should be disregarded, as the sound quality needs all the help it can get - just download it if you can't find the CD. Although Demoncy gradually went to absolute shit after this demo, Faustian Dawn is a - dare I say it - historic (although largely unknown) bit of musical progression, and the roots of modern USBM are quite evident in this demo. Despite the considerable evolution after this CD that the genre has gone through, any black metal fan will be able to listen to this, and enjoy it considerably. The only thing not to like here is the murky recording. Highly recommended.

Masterpiece of evilness - 97%

So_It_Is_Done, December 1st, 2004

Demoncy is one of the pioneers of American black metal, and although their new album is very epic and has “heavy” influence, they are still the fundament of the scene. “Faustian Dawn” is their first full – length and it’s unrepetable art. There’s no other Demoncy album even close to this record.
All evil starts with a backward recorded intro(after turning it right, song sounds still very similar and words are hard to recognize).
Winter Bliss – “This is the time of celebration!” This is unbelievable how atmosphere can be created without keyboards. For careful listeners – if u noticed the “techno” beat at 2:02 – 2:06 you are aware what will be going on further – exactly black metal which can lead everyone to madness and fears, wonder why it’s not banned! The quality of sound of this and other songs is just ideal. Guitar tuning or synthesizer or whatever they used to made this madness just chills your neck. Later on after reading the lyrics and seeing member’s pictures and a cover art you have one feeling: those guys should be kept in hospital for lunatics. Not only their nicks like Desolate Wings of Pagan Dawn or Wicked Warlock of Demonic Blasphemy but also their image( one of them has half bald half hairy head) proves that they are mad.
Second song – “Satanic Psalms” defines the lyrics – “ I desecrate the one Named Christ” - pure desecration and holyness turned upside down – that’s what’s going on here, no place for people who are into dark funeral and similar shit! Tempos are very differential, great riffs happen rarely but they kill – 5:33 .
Third song is something like ambient shit which can be ok after some drugs but it can be skipped also(like as other non metal shit here). “Denial of the Holy Paradise” – “River of blood from Angel Eyes” - changeable tempos, great lyrics and that subconscious voices; great echoes 1:07 – 1:10, at the end of the song, plenty of effects like this on the whole album.
“Hidden Path to the Forest Beyond” – “ Feeling Adoration of Beautiful Silence”- shortest song but very powerful, can be taken as a summary of whole album, it has everything, all the genius inside – vocals, riffs, all the evil atmosphere.
“Fullmoon Twilight” – unbelievable riffs and all the genius which I mentioned above – 2:11 – chilling sigh of evilness which shows that subconscious sounds and whispers are much more effective and far reaching than stupid shouting.
Last song is a cover of some shitty death metal band, skip it. All in all this relase is one of the best five ever. That’s the way how black metal should sound like, hails!