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A Surprising Discovery! - 88%

Arjunthebeast, August 23rd, 2010

The interesting and sometimes exciting act of discovery is probably what keeps metal listeners returning to the vast net of the web to find more relics that will peak their interest and perhaps make the days go by a little better. This is the case for this wonderful demo and I, as I came across the group by reading suggestions from another, more experienced metal-seeker over last.fm (which is a great place to find metal and exchange in internet salon talk of all sorts).

Those that know me will tell you that I worship the legendary Lykathea Aflame, of which there are few pictures of. The ones you are likely to see feature a golden reddish haired lead singer in accompanied by several less flashy types in the background. As one might, I assumed this singer to be Ptoe, the man behind LA and Appalling Spawn. As you might guess from this introduction, it is not! Rather, it is a guest vocalist named Radim, who sang for this group (although not on this demo!). I would have never known this, nor of Leniena Mentis if I wasn’t keeping my eyes open for people in the know. (It also made me feel like an asshole because I was assuming that someone as intelligent and talented as Ptoe would also have to be “unique” looking, my bad).

I apologize for that long winded intro, but I felt very inclined to let people know some little facts I learned. As you might also guess, this group is from the Czech Republic and thus were acquainted with LA around the time of “Elvenefris.” What I am not sure of however is if they were in contact with Appalling Spawn at the time of this recording, but from the excellent mixture to both raging death metal and grind-y touches along with beautiful sections of melody and even clean female vocals on “Cesta Koncem” makes me assume so. A great band can bring the best of everyone who hears them.

As a starter, if you are a fan of LA and AP then you will absolutely love this. It has that same inherent instinct about what works in a song as showcased in those groups. The ten cuts actually go somewhere and even if I cannot understand the language I still feel something as they develop and reach their destinations. In “Vira” there is a melodic breakdown that will make you stop and pay attention, and it’s the similar moments like in “Severní Plánì” that will make you do the same. Its simply fills me with joy and gratitude when this recording reaches beyond its humbleness (there are times when it can stumble along, but it’s a demo for god’s sake!) as a demo and attains the same gorgeousness that fills the lofty works of Ptoe and his bandmates without needing to speed up to same destructive pace.

The vocals are actually very good (courtesy of vocalist Milan) and are more of a blackened death metal type (somewhat akin to Fenriz of Darkthrone on his Isengard demos, which are also awesome) which might alienate lovers of the distinct gurgles of brutal death metal and deathgrind. However, the vocals serve the recording well in the fact it seems to draw upon many different strains of metal which fuse together into something quite wonderful. I cannot praise the effect enough in this demo’s case. When the band opts to plug along without using their obvious talent then I didn’t feel that same magic and even got a little sad.

The instruments are also very good for a demo of this budget, everything is audible and the group does not rely on blast freakouts to fill space (which contributes to the brevity of the album). It also contains a great deal of riffs and changes in pace that will encourage you to listen actively as opposed to letting it fly by. Within the first few days of downloading it probably listened to it about ten times because it invited me to come back again and again. They clearly took their time in allowing the music to move and form on its own and thus the music has a certain level of spontaneity and warmth that is refreshing in such a by the numbers genre. It’s a shame that the direction the group took after this recording didn’t build upon the foundation formed here but instead moved towards a more generic blend of death metal. It’s very possible they might have created a masterpiece! Nevertheless, this little demo a worthy addition to the dark dank underworld of recordings we’ve never heard of that we should respect.

Being that most of the group’s recordings are available on their website, I was able to listen much of their catalog (My enthusiasm for this demo even compelled me to acquire a copy of “Turn Into a Man,” on Ebay). This really is well worth your time and if you actually are reading this I suggest you head over to their webpage and get it. Another demo they did called “V.N.A” is available on the compilation “Shambles of Mind/V.N.A” is actually very good (Shambles of Mind works okay too) which I recommend as well. Hell, find out for yourself, that’s what life is all about right? Enjoy fellow wanderer!