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

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.