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a boring and typical variety of suck - 30%

Noktorn, May 5th, 2011

It seriously feels like 90% of Ukrainian bands out there do a string of shit demos before their first full-length which suddenly does a 180 and results in great music, and Underdark is no exception. A year after this demo, Underdark would do 'I Am Above All', a really infectious, interesting, moody black/death record, but on here they're doing just about the most typical garbage Ukrainian demo-level shit out there. Terrible ambient tracks? Check. Incompetent production? Check. Overly simple, droning, pointless riffs? Check. It really does nothing right and I see no reason for this to have been re-released on CD except to capitalize on the Ukrainian BM obsessives who will collect anything from that scene.

I'll admit that there's like one moment I actually enjoy: the end of 'Internal Hunger' has a pretty neat clean guitar passage. Apart from that, though, there's nothing really worthwhile here. Recycled 'Under A Funeral Moon' dissonant tremolo riffs, an overly smothered, synthetic guitar tone, boring songs based off two or three riffs, blandly shrieking vocals, no particular sense of style. It's pretty odd how defined Underdark's particular sound is on the following album, because here there's no such development; everything is taken from other parts of the Ukrainian scene or from old Norwegian black metal, and at no point does Underdark define itself as a unique musical entity. The song structures are all based off of blast and thrash passages, there's no atmosphere to speak of, and even the individual parts to this music seem so bland that it's a wonder someone would even bother to record them.

Nothing in particular sets this demo apart from a million other demos made by overambitious and undertalented kids. It's hardly the most unlistenable thing I've ever encountered (even within the Ukrainian black metal scene), but there's absolutely no reason that anyone would need to hear this and its re-release is a pointless cash-in on a scene that many believe to be infallible. Spend your money and time on something more worthwhile.