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Shadar Logoth > Demo 2006 > Reviews
Shadar Logoth - Demo 2006

Actually very well-written - 80%

Muloc7253, January 17th, 2008

In honesty, I wasn't expecting to like this as much as I do. The imagery seemed all too simple and old, the review descriptions didn't make the demo sound like something I'd like, and I was pissed off that my case got damaged in the post (yes, I know this has nothing to do with the band, but I was still pissed off). Even from listening to it once I found it to be a bit generic on first listen. Well, what can I say? It grows on you.

This is one of those releases which seem generic on first listen (mainly because you've heard all the elements before) but after repeated listens you discover that the band is actually good at writing very catchy music, that sticks in your head and draws you back for more. The music's not easy to describe, but it's not exactly bizarro world out there either. I'd say genre wise it's a black/death metal album (the black metal side coming from Marduk, Dimmu Borgir and 90s Bathory) and the death metal side mainly to do with few riffs and vocals, no particular band similiarities. The viking parts come in the form of melodic, epic, folky riffs and the typical Enslaved-style viking chants layered over the harsher vocals.

Production wise this is well done for a demo, and I'd say everything is mixed at the right level. What's makes this so good is Shadar Logoth's excellent songwriting abilities. After a few spins you'll remember all the riffs on here (and there are plenty of them), all the viking chants and even some of the black metal parts. The solos are nicely done, catchy and melodic. I'd say if you're already into extreme metal then this is pretty accessible stuff. But that's what I like about it, if it wasn't, then it would suck with this style. Heck, there's one part of 'In the Throneroom of Our Eternity' that reminds me of a certain Bubblegum Octopus song, but that's what's great about it. It's just a fine piece of well-written melodic death/black metal. It's aware of what itself is (or should I say, Shadar Logoth are aware of who they are) and it actually overaccomplishes what it set out to do, and is much better than you'd expect a demo of this style to sound.

In short, this is the kind of thing which would sound much better with a really grand production and in the form of a full-length album. I like it, you might too. Check 'em out.

Shadar Logoth - 85%

Zephyrus, December 15th, 2007

(originally submitted for

First off, I’d like to thank Ardroth for the free copies of this CD as well as his debut solo full-length, which I’ll be reviewing sometime next week. One of my goals for this blog is to promote the local metal scene and Ardroth, the drummer for Bangor’s Shadar Logoth, has given me the opportunity to realize that goal.

So what is Shadar Logoth? The name, the cover art, the logo and song titles seem to point straight at Black Metal, but the music itself is much more complex than your typical Black Metal sound. While that genre seems predominant in the music, a range of other styles are mixed in to the point that you really can’t place these guys in any category. I would call it “symphonic blackened folk death metal” if I had to be real specific.

That aside, the best way to describe these New Englanders is through the instruments they play. Dominating the sound is the band’s vocalist/guitarist/lyricist Dan Eaton, who contrasts rough and clean vocals that are both quite reminiscent of Vintersorg, with a little Mikael Åkerfeldt mixed in. While a skilled vocalist, he demonstrates superior prowess with his guitar by belting out complex, dynamic riffs that fly all over the fret board. However, good technique does not always translate into good songwriting ability. Luckily for this band, it does. A great example of this is featured in the song “Prima Nocte” in which an emotional breaks into a clean vocal acoustic section before launching into another attack of fast-paced riffing.

To describe the work of the other instruments draws a complaint that they are a bit too low in the mix, often overpowered by the guitars and vocals. The bass is audible in some sections, and is played well. The drumming is masterfully played with blast-beats and fast-paced rhythms that keep a confident pace, but again they are suppressed, with the bass drums virtually inaudible. The keyboards harmonize well with the guitar melodies, but they are a bit of a chore trying to hear, and the atmosphere also suffers. This is especially evident in “Of the Lanterns”.

All of these instruments combine into a unique sound that reminds me much of Borknagar, with a little of Gorgoroth’s Under the Sign of Hell thrown in for an extra kick. This is a far cry from your typical suicidal/depressive USBM à la Xasthur or I Shalt Become. Given its geographical context, this band’s sound is not the only thing in common with Scandinavia (Maine has the only natural fjord in the contiguous United States, to give you an idea).

So in conclusion, Shadar Logoth is a unique find and should be placed at the pinnacle of the Maine metal scene. Composition matches musicianship in a band that I recommend for Borknagar fans or any folk/black metal enthusiasts.

Decent, but lacking definition - 64%

Noktorn, April 10th, 2007

Given the nature of the 'real' city of Shadar Logoth, I was expecting something a bit more... ominous from the band that has taken its name. After all, this is a forbidden city with tentacles of venomous fog that kills everything it touches, and if that isn't grim, I don't know much that it. But Shadar Logoth the band isn't quite grim at all; hell, I'd even call them downright cheerful in parts on this demo. Hell, those little leads on 'Of The Lanterns' nearly make me want to do some sort of folky jig, not die by fog (not that dying by fog is something I ordinarily want to do).

The music is one of those big melodic black/death things that often gets called 'dark metal'. Melodic guitars, DM-style drumming, rough melodeath vocals, and all wrapped up with the pretty bow that is folk. The combo is pretty convincing in places, the best probably being final track 'Prima Nocte', which synthesizes all the influences handily and switches between styles effectively, keeping the listener interested throughout. It's unspectacular but effective; this isn't a band that's rewriting the musical book per se, but there's nothing wrong with what they're doing. Production leaves something to be desired; the lead guitar has a rather ghastly tone, and the vocals don't mesh well with the rest of the musical entity. However, this is a demo, and such allowances must be made.

The central issue that faces Shadar Logoth is a lack of distinct identity. A lot of the pieces are in place: good switches between clean and unclean vocals, quality melodies, and decent song structure, but it hasn't been put together in a way that really grabs the listener and forces them to pay attention. I get the feeling that it's mostly a matter of the band finding their style; attempting to combine all these elements, while pretty common these days, is an ambitious effort for any band, and so while it's good to see an artist figuratively reaching for the stars, it might be necessary to take things back a notch for the sake of consistency.

Shadar Logoth's demo, while certainly not essential, is not at all a displeasing listen either. I'm more curious as to what future releases will be like for this band. As it stands, they haven't quite come into their own yet, but I imagine it's merely a matter of time.