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Frosty and necro obscure Russian black metal - 70%

VladimirCokorilo, June 9th, 2024
Written based on this version: 2024, Digital, Храм Больного Звука (Bandcamp)

Producing and releasing a black metal demo in this overpopulated world of music sometimes feels like shooting at the pitch-black sky in a hope that your bullet might hit something in the air, but on the other hand, it is a good way to showcase what you’ve got and what you give as a musician who is walking the footsteps of veteran bands who started out the same way in their youth. Case and point here are the Russian one-man band Teufelsdom, from Saint Petersburg, which had recently released its first demo Смерть, Проникающая В Мир Духа on June 6th, 2024 via the label Храм Больного Звука. If you are someone who is truly passionate and always curious to discover new obscure stuff in the underground scene, then you should take a ride with me on this short journey.

From the very get-go, this demo introduces the predominantly frosty and necro black metal, which sounds like it was filled with the dark essence made by the Slavic goddess of death and winter. Throughout the entire demo, the general output is very misanthropic and death-defying, with a cold and melancholic atmosphere that flows through the raw performance of Teufelsdom. Style-wise, I’d say that it’s a bit of everything, combining works of early 90’s Norwegian black metal classics, primarily bands like early Darkthrone and first two Burzum albums, along with some other elements from other bands such as Nargaroth and Judas Iscariot. Overall, it’s a very short demo that provides a brief glance at the starting point of Teufelsdom, with its 14-and-a-half-minute runtime that gives a nice glimpse of this musical entity, which is concluded with an instrumental acoustic outro track “Смерть, Проникающая В Мир Духа” that closes the first chapter and slowly opens a new one.

The songwriting is for the most part very simple and straightforward like with any other traditional black metal band out there, however there are plenty of dynamics as well with the frequent tempo changes and the constant switching back and forth rhythmic formula. There isn’t much to say about this demo so far, but I will give it to you that it does have a pretty solid start and it transitions pretty well from one song to another, almost like a story that goes from one part to another, with plenty of things happening along the way. The simplistic tremolo picking riffs, along with the dynamic drum patterns, do a pretty good job at keeping the song flow steady, while also maintaining the frequent atmosphere that keeps the attention going from start to finish. There aren’t any memorable riffs per say, but they are not weak or thin by any means, in fact there are some nice open chords that give this eerie and melancholic vibe that just captures the right mood for the song. What stood out to me about the demo was the cover art by Brazilian artist Yan Dexxxtröyer, who pretty much gave us a sketchy art in a simple hand-drawn style that is in spirit with the obscure black metal demos of the late 80’s and early 90’s, and it does manage to capture the musical essence of Teufelsdom.

To sum things up, this demo isn’t outstanding or captivating in any particular way, but it is nonetheless pretty good for a demo produced in this day and age for fans of obscure and oldschool black metal. It certainly did a good job at giving a starting point for an entity which can gradually develop into something much meaner and menacing in the near future, so I hope that we will get some good stuff from Teufelsdom in the years to come. If you want to check out this demo, feel free to do so, because I am sure that some of you may like it for what it is.

Written for www.Metalbite.com