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Shadowgate > Demo I > Reviews
Shadowgate - Demo I

Trve Tyragon black metal - 61%

GuardAwakening, October 22nd, 2020

How I discovered this band is probably the most interesting bit you're going to get out of this review, so I'll just get that out of the way first. Ok, so you know that 80s puzzle point-and-click game Shadowgate? I used to play it all the time as a young boy on my Game Boy Color that my father bought me, but unfortunately I never finished it. I have been digging through my classic games collection lately, found the cartridge, decided to give it another go with the assistance of some walkthrough tutorial videos on YouTube. While typing in "shadowgate", the dropdown suggestion menu brought up "Shadowgate black metal" and my only instant thought was "Wait... I have to check this out." And here I am.

Cool band name aside, the music isn't spectacular but rather slightly-above-average black metal. I found a few riffs to be enjoyable. A lot of the more warmer riffs are reminiscent of the French LLC scene. Recording quality of this tape is, not gonna lie, pretty bad. It sounds like it's a rehearsal recording as it gives me vibes of that rehearsal demo Weakling put out that predates their full-length (which in some cases I prefer to their album in some aspects). I could be wrong, maybe the drums are recorded live and the guitars and bass could be over-dubbed but the fact that the audio cuts in-and-out of clipping sort of reinforces the theory so who knows. Drums are very standard by-the-book performance, they're quiet but still audible, sometimes employ blast beats, other times not, and are usually completely dependent on whatever the guitar is doing.

Vocals aren't really the contemporary high-pitch scream that a lot of newer black metal bands incorporate rather than a more early Darkthrone-style rasp. I personally prefer more of a screaming style, but these vocals get the job done I guess. Just wish they weren't so loud in the mix as the vocal track tends to run over everything else more often than not.

With only 21 minutes of material there's not a terrible lot to talk about, for a demo this isn't bad at all. Perhaps these guys will stick around long enough for a full-length if they're feeling daring enough because honestly some of these riffs own, and they definitely remain memorable. Riffs is the best thing Shadowgate has going for them as far as this demo tape goes.