Dec 20, 2013

AOTY 2013: Top 10 demos

10. Devouring Star – Demo

Great new discovery! These Finnish dudes did a great job with this two song demo and their material is very promising. I'm curious to listen to more stuff by them and a full length is needed. Quite clean production for a demo and a chaotic sound similar to Deathspell Omega (but less complex, maybe) and raspy vocals on the top.

9. Phlesh – Demo / Promo
Suicidal Black Art Productions

One man project from Vancouver, Canada. Crystal clean sound, as if it's a full record and better, inducing into crushing black metal with great vocals and great strength, more close to the Swedish scene. A new album is set for early 2014 and this works as a promo for that upcoming release as well, including three compositions, of which one is an interlude.

8. Monument – Geminae
Dead Section Records

Dark and intense stuff by this obscure American act. The demo lasts almost ten minutes and it's quite noisy, but it gives a great feeling of decay when listening to it. The reason I chose it is because it has everything primitive I like in such records, both tracks are relentless and brutally wonderful! Apart from the fast, hammering parts, there are also slower, almost drone-like moments, perfect for world outsiders. Geminae has it's own deranged experimentation and that's why it's unique.

7. Hrungnir - Hymn to Bragi

Dark ambient / dungeon synth records rarely make it to a full length list, since there are so many other stuff for me to include. However, small and neat demos have their own beauty especially when it comes to medieval keyboard music, battle samples and folkoric atmosphere. Hrungnir's demo contains two tracks of exactly that and that's why I loved it. Specifically, the change of the second track “The Chants of Old Heroes” from a depressive, evil melody to a bard's flute in a castle on a sunny day, is really great.

6. Impious Blood – Temple of Flesh, Pillars of Bones
Nexro Records

Killer stuff by Impious Blood. The only flaw of the demo is that it's short, and it has unnecessary instrumentals. For more comments about it, click this.

5. Ancient Crypts – Devoured By Serpents
Iron Bonehead Productions

Old school death metal from Chile. Second demo, in the veins of foul odor bands like Asphyx and Autopsy, with powerful compositions and great arrangement. The demo is not that original, but it's not indifferent either, building it's atmosphere from the guitar sound and melodies, as well as the hellish vocals. For fans of merciless death metal, this is ideal.

4. Beastiality – Ancient Bell Chimes

A mixture of awesome Swedish death metal, occultism and early Bathory. More information here.

3. Montsegur - Under The Banner Of Witchcraft

When I saw that the band is influenced by bands like Vlad Tepes and Moonblood in their Bandcamp, I thought “not another band of nothing” but it's nothing like that. The kvlt atmosphere and awesomeness of the nineties black metal unsung heroes is all over this beautiful record. Audible sound, great musicianship and accurate song writing, along with a medieval artwork and very cool titles, make this demo one of my favorites of the year. All the fan freaks out there should get this.

2. Serpentfyre - Of Darkness & True Light
Cursed Tapes

It's possible that this might be an EP after all, but it's entitled as a demo in their bandcamp so that's how I'm going to count it for. Outstanding work by this Finnish act, puts them among their best acts for me already, even though that's their only release. Absolute darkness and excellence.

1. Skógr – Skógr

It's strange how I enjoy this a lot more than the full length these guys released this year as well. I was always a fan of well written, chilling depressive black metal. This has the production, the vocals, the riffs and the atmosphere of a DSBM act (similar to Irrwisch, early Woods of Desolation) but it's sped up, giving a hell of a result. I did not go through many demos this years, but because of personal tastes, this was the most breathtaking. Listening to it is like a journey and I recommend the fans and only, to give it a chance.

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