Demoncy: Enthroned is the Night

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Demoncy: Enthroned is the Night
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Demoncy: Enthroned is the Night
Black Metal
Forever Plagued Records
March, 2012
Release length: 40:59
Myspace
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Demoncy is one of the latest Black Metal acts to be tapped by the growing melancholic underground resource dubbed Forever Plagued Records. Fitting perfectly into their niche, this one man act hails from the United States, and issued its first demo recording back in 1991, back when it was a full fledged band. Of course that latest up until Empire of the Fallen Angel in 2003. It’s been roughly nine years, and founding member Ixithra returns to handle all the duties of the band for the fourth, and long overdue album, Enthroned is the Night. But, can this overcome the usual limitations of the one-man Black Metal band?

All signs point to a decent yes, starting off with the audio. Enthroned is the Night has a nice quality, using a bit of a raw sound to the instruments, though still clearly a modern recording. The bass is the most obvious in the mix, coming through loudly with a moderately deep hum when performed. The drums also stand out dominantly on this recording, offering some tight snares that come through well, but have a low volume as though pushed back in the mix a bit. The same goes for the cymbals with their nice clarity, though they should have been a bit louder, as well as the click of the bass kicks so they come through more than just when the bass and guitars are not quite as rich. The guitars here actually feel more like back-up for the bass, having a rougher Black Metal distortion on them that comes off a bit on the dull and mid-ranged side. The vocals here are handled like a sinister whisper, as if a ghastly voice in the wind from a far off distance. It isn’t the most enthusiastic, but still works for the atmosphere of the recording, showing traces of Black Metal acts like Profanatica, as many others like them, just lower in volume and without any distortion applied outside a slight echo effect.

While all of this works well to establish a raw, underground sound and atmosphere, this release does have its faults. Enthroned is the Night starts off with an ambient song that is filled with whispers, low throat rumblings/growls, and some additional dismal effects laced together to create a creepy, melancholic introductory piece. It does a good job, especially when shadowed in pitch black and you allow your mind to wander. Nearly the exact same introduction is utilized again on “The Temple of Shadows” as an interlude, as well as to close the album out on “Nocturne.” Luckily, it sounds more like they continue it rather than just rehash with the slow start cut out of it or placed elsewhere while in the studio. After a brief period of silence at the end of “Midnight Veil,” “Winds of Plague” slams in with hard, burdening Black Metal with those whispered vocals that work well to enhance the experience. The aggressive and faster guitar chords are often catchy in the bridges and the chorus, while the remainder is usually tackled with some additional fury matched by blasting on the snares and bass kicks, all managing to keep time with both the riffs and the beat well except for an early two areas that it doesn’t quite seem to line up properly. The louder bass makes the song feel as though it were a crushing weight on the listening, staying grounded well enough to push the rawer aspects a little further than had the volume of it been turned down a little more. The slight echo on the vocals that come through with a rasp or gargling (as if from a crushed throat) suit the atmosphere well, and work hand in hand with the rather energetic performance. This track really does make for a great example of Demoncy as a solo act, and literally lays the foundation for the rest of the release.

This formula does describe the rest of Enthroned is the Night well, but it never really becomes repetitive. “Unclean Spirits” makes for another solid track similar to “Winds of Plague,” having the same mixture of mid-tempo to faster, blasting music. The cathier elements lie within the chorus and some bridges that often mimick the chords of the chorus. This one does offer a brief moment where the material seems to slam into a much slower passage for a while, and it suits the tone of the song well with a nice transition utilized in and out of it. The rhythm here is also a lot stronger, and will have you banging your head along a lot harder than on many others. “Enthroned is the Night” does manage to break this mold right from the start thanks to the slower introduction featuring some strong, atmospheric guitar work that is given a crushing atmosphere once again from the bass, lasting long enough to get the hopelessness point across to the listener before picking up the pace once more. Much of the track actually is comprised of faster material and pounding drums, creating an often unrelenting vibe that rarely ever slows down or stops. There isn’t really anything too heavily hook-driven like with the previous song, but the catchiness is still there in every part, retaining that aspect of the speed found on every other track thusfar and after. “City of Milennia” also stands out briefly with it’s short gothic keyboard introduction, but the rest utilizes the same foundation as the rest of the release, though with a little more quicker music thrown in.

For a one man project, Demoncy‘s latest effort really isn’t too bad. Unfortunately, the biggest flaw is that it seems to lack a good amount of substance and diversity. Many of the songs just end up sounding similar in foundation, having a catchy chorus as well as with some bridges, and the main verses often hammer away. But, the music itself is still enjoyable, and what is performed in those constant limitations is often really varied to where it does come off like a new song almost every time. Of course, there is no denying it will start to wear thin on you eventually, even after only a few spins, so the quality of the material, and its atmospheric potential, are largely what will draw the listener back again and again. It may not be the most engaging of releases to listen to under normal circumstances, but Enthroned is the Night is a must for cold, dark, rainy days. Just shut off all your lights, turn it up to just the right volume level, and get lost in the music and the sinister voice upon the wind beating outside your window.

01. Midnight Veil – 1:55
02. Winds of Plague – 3:12
03. Opening the Lunar Bloodgate – 4:31
04. Unclear Spirits – 4:12
05. Into the Twilight Mists – 3:58
06. The Temple of Shadows – 2:44
07. Enthroned is the Night – 4:07
08. The Arcane Aristacracy – 4:48
09. Black Vengeance of Ancient Hordes – 3:47
10. Black Millenia – 5:04
11. Nocturn – 2:41
Overall Score: 7/10
Demoncy (band)
Demoncy
Physical review copy of this release provided by Forever Plagued Records.