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Not to be underestimated - 100%

Zeroumus, November 3rd, 2004

Upon seeing this review, one might contrive that I'm either affiliated with the band, or just want to get a free copy of the demo. However, I my choice of rating has been founded after listening to this demo countless times. I enjoy demos greatly - I often hold some of the better demos in my collection in higher regards than albums, mostly due the fact that a demo often has more effort contained within. Eternal Dementia's demo is an example of this thought. This demo is a mere three tracks, one being instrumental, yet so much has been put forth by the band that the length hardly seems an issue; truly, a demo that has the meat of a full album deserves such a score. Anyway, on to the actual review, and a discontinuation of this odd review of a review of sorts.

The opening is simply enticing; it drops the listener right into the song, especially the first vocals. Speaking of the vocals, they are excellent throughout - distinguishable and interesting. The production leaves nothing to be desired - crisp and fits the well-written riffs. The short and somber keyboard segment at 2:20 is a standout moment in the song. The overall structure is tight and fault-free. The lyrics (correct me if I am incorrect) seem to be an allegory of sorts to the birth of Jesus, but in a much more vile sense. The words are fitting for the vocals, which often sound other-worldly. There are moments when the vocalist pays homage to Dani Filth, but at no point did he come across as a carbon copy. When the keyboard line starts around 4:30, the song's mood shifts cleanly and doesn't feel like it was just thrown in for the hell of it. The emotion evoked by the music is truly genuine, clear of all-to-common cheesy crunches. Coupled with the excellent keyboard closing is an equally powerful guitar riff, and easily my favorite moment of the entire demo.

Once the title track has died down and given way to the short instrumental piece, the demo moves further builds on the mood that the Virgin Sedated and Seduced ended on. The keyboard styling has a much more prevalent middle-eastern atmosphere, though the suffocating sense of darkness that was used in the first track is still present, which creates a rather mysterious backdrop. Around the mid-way point, the music shifts to background, and the voices begin, which I've assumed to be (based on the lyrics) the virgin crying out in suffering as the child is born. As the screams grow louder, the song drops suddenly into the next track. Well, the song should but my copy of the demo has the two second gap between the songs. But that is hardly a gripe. One can easily listen to both tracks verbatim on winamp, which is what I've done to get the full, immersive effect.

Set out to Die is more or less the antithesis to the eerily calm Prelude, which immediately drops into a blistering introduction with vocals similar to the title track. At 0:30, clean vocals are contributed - one of the higher points of the song, very fitting, and well done. The keyboard lines follow the same style as the previous song, though they are much less ominous and more aggressive, which is the best way to sum up this closing track. Around 1:50, the aggression relents slightly, as the music slows, but the vocals still maintain the same mood. While The Virgin Sedated and Seduced was more driven by tightly written guitar riffs, this song is carried much more by the use of the keyboard. At 2:30, the song picks back up with renewed intensity, as the protagonist of the story foretells his coming death. At 3:15, the guitar overpowers the keyboard for a few moments, with a rather impressive riff, followed by what is easily Stig's best vocal wail throughout the demo. The song finalizes at 3:35 with a surprising grand closure from the keyboard.

In closure, despite the short length of the demo, the band managed to tell a story that was more than just a crutch for the music, partially due to the well-written lyrics, and mostly because the band clearly excels at cramming (in a good way, mind you) a large load into a small area.