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Too Bad about the Mix - 60%

Thumbman, December 10th, 2017

Oh man, I'm so conflicted over this one. On one hand this sort of overt melodic riffing was pretty rare in black metal at the time and they pull it off really well. On the other hand, the mix is fucking atrocious (yes, even for a demo) and it ends up being really distracting. Luror offer up some really interesting ideas, but the sound is so bad that I can't really picture myself coming back to this.

It's pretty cool that Warriors of the Storm was released in 1996. The second wave scene only reached its high watermark two years prior and hell, even Filosofem, which is considered a second wave classic was released that year (even if it was recorded a bit earlier). It seems like '96 was the year when more divergent ideas started proliferating more frequently in black metal. Still I haven't come across that much black metal from that early on that had such a willingness to incorporate infectious melody as a main facet of their sound. The tremolo riffs are routinely melodic and they are weaved into the riffs wonderfully, making them catchy and helping maintain a feeling of forward motion in the songs.

All this is well and good, but boy does the mix here blow. I'm really trying to be lenient given it's just a demo, but it really drags down the whole listening experience. The production is quite lo-fi and thin. The guitars are wispy and trebley, which works with the sound but the bass being so low in the mix makes it sound frail. Besides being pretty muffled the drums are mixed really loud and this becomes insanely distracting. The drummer's having a good time though, he plays his energetic beats well, makes good use of double bass and knows how to rock a fill. Another point of annoyance is sometimes you get this godawful warbling sound coming in out of nowhere that almost makes it seem as if the file has been corrupted. To make matters worse, there's some recording issues that lead to there being really shitty distortion on the clean guitars.

So yeah, if fleshed out and recorded properly this could have been fucking amazing. I'm still impressed this was released in '96. However, the issues with mixing and production make it hard to listen to. I know bad recording is expected with demos, but it's particularly bad here. Oh well, I'm sure they did their best with the resources available to them.