Hailing from Finland and one of the leaders of the short lived Finnish scene that delivered some of the greatest music to ever grace the twentieth century and that genuinely scared most “metalheads” as this was truly an intellectual movement that retained the essence of metal while completely deviating from the norm musically. It is very hard to regroup these bands into a specific style but the closest connection between them is their ability to complete deform common scales and patterns with strategically chromatic notes.

Demigod had a strong understanding of how to make songs with a limited set of complex ideas and how to convey themes of apocalypse and human decay and the role a strong individual within that apocalypse. “As I Behold I Despise” is the first track after the intro and sets the frame of mind of what’s to come after through it’s use of a recursive melody that is always changing, blistering tremolo riffs and hyper active drums that don’t steal attention but empower the guitars.


A blistering tremolo picked riff on both guitars commences the song contained almost within the harmonic minor scale but stripped almost entirely of its oriental sound by adding a minor ninth and by barely referencing the root note. The octave is traditionally the most pleasing interval of all as It maintains a perfect ratio of 2/1. a minor ninth is just a semitone above the octave which adds tension to the interval without being as dissonant as more commonly used intervals in metal. A tactic used by Robert Schumann to add suspense to music which Demigod use very well by basing the melody around it. The root note has the role of tying down a melody and resolving it to add a feeling of completeness, it barely appears here adding a pensive feeling to the riff that searches for the answer. The concatenation of these elements brings to life immediately all themes of the album to follow as the narrator tells his tale in a state of complete awareness and a deep state of thought.

Introduction of second theme:

The tremolo from before changes slightly as to add stability by maintaining the same pace and by removing a lot of the notes as to allow space to introduce vocals and to diverge in a multitude of ways. Lyrically the narrator has come to the revelation of some great event through suffering and isolation from society. The gods are a metaphor that represent our narrator’s ability to see what others were unable to realize. The lyrics perfectly follow the melody as the introduction conveys the thinking process and the stabilization of the initial riff proves that our narrator has come to a conclusion that he is about to share with us.

Forsaken and lost
Alone below the darkest realm
Through the eyes of suffering
I have seen the gods from beyond

We are treated to a powerful riff showing ever so slightly its speed metal roots by slight syncopation but in a far less obvious manner than most speed metal metal bands. The root note doesn’t make a single appearance as we continue in the harmonic minor scale but this time with even more bizarre intervals that seem to be a minor and a major seventh but an octave above that are ambiguous intervals for their relative lack of consonance and dissonance. These intervals do tend to be common in jazz as they add a certain coolness that Demigod have transformed into forming the first iteration of the main melody in the song that slowly reveals the narrator’s epiphany. The drums slow down as the vocals are introduced while our protagonist acts upon the fruits of his thoughts as he embraces the oncoming devastation.

Fathers of time
Behold and forsake
Bring an end to our timeless existence

Deconstruction of the first theme:

A quick return to the second riff that is identical to its first appearance but rather than a safe point of return, the riff builds tension as it keeps away from the release of the second theme and forces patience upon the listener in the form of a diversion from the climax. All human idols have fallen at this point and their place is being overtaken by what is referred to darkness similarly to how Tolkien projected all of man’s defects into the one ring.

The almighty has fallen
No god to rule the vacant throne
As darkness takes over
The dark overlord shall dominate

The initial theme has been entirely deconstructed and reduced to an almost static riff, reflecting the destruction of humanity. Longer note groupings are juxtaposed with quick notes changes giving this an almost groovy feel due to some accent shifts. As those who want to submit to the frail notion of eternal peace are mocked as only suffering and anguish awaits them, those who understand the reality of the situation will seek to embrace and adapt to these dark times.

The fools who seek eternal peace
Shall wither Slowly to suffer
Again to reach the shores of death
We must be one with darkened earth

Initial climax:

An obvious riff composed of two power chords panned to the right announces the narrator’s intention to reveal the first part of his truth. On top of that riff a melody eases itself into the melody of the second theme but this time the root note is fully present though an octave higher and the second part of the melody has been transposed an octave. By removing the tremolo picked from its previous iteration, Demigod have allowed to reveal all of its splendor and released all the tension accumulated up to now for a satisfying release but not before a fast dissonant riff cuts the melody short before revealing the truth that we have been waiting for. Again the main melody has been transposed but this time an octave higher. The two power chords from before have now formed a complete melody consisting of fairly complex diminished seventh chords known for their ambiguity and in this scenario showing again the pensiveness of the narrator. Mankind’s idols are but now a memory and have been abdicated of their power as what has replaced them is total emptiness. The greatest evil present here like Nietzsche wrote, is the complete lack of the will to power. Humans have discarded everything to become drones mindlessly aiming about without thought or the desire to exist.

As we are shadows in this dismal mist
We shall hear the moan of our gods
Cloak of darkness, the lord of all
Upon this valley of utter nothingness

As the vocals and the main melody fade, a guitar solo burst forth as an extension. Following closely the chord pattern and the mood imposed here. The solo recapitulates the melody and pushes it even further through a run of sixteenth notes while showing some joy from the death of Man. The last note being in the melodic minor scale leads perfectly to an interlude.


The guitars take turns blasting away a fun heavy metal styled riff, that shows joy even though it is in a minor scale through it’s catchiness and pedal point rhythms. The final growls allude to the pride of those who retained the slightest hint of wisdom hoping that was once the right way may just give them the power necessary to not suffer as those who are empty.

May the periphery
Of ancient wisdom
Remain merciful
For the ones who deny the darkness

Final climax:

The first climax was bombastic as our narrator showed heart by rejecting the movement of the herd. Here our second and final climax is much more subdued as all life has been extinguished and infinite emptiness is all that remains. A melody in triplets presents us the end through it’s dark yet calmer and almost subdued temperament as the secondary melody during the climax returns but not to signal thought but rather the end of thought as humanity could not see the forest for the trees and all that remains are the ashes of our existence being washed away to be forgotten with the only human being the parting growl of our narrator.


The secondary riff from the first climax takes control but changed into triplets and with much more syncopation in the same way that Beethoven’s fifth symphony opening motif immediately takes charge. An outro that perfectly fuses composition with atmosphere. The first step of this journey is reaching it hell and the album will only delve further in from this point on.

A very complicated song musically as there are so many elements that are formed through very few basic ideas that the band managed to extort all the potential from. Various twists and turns that may look simple at first but slowly reveal themselves with many nuances. A tale of maintaining strong beliefs and furthering yourself away from the masses in the hope that when society crumbles even though you will not survive you will be rewarded by the ability to survive what will destroy others. Death metal at its best, combining philosophy with action. Unfortunately there are far too many things that have been left unsaid like the carefully placed vocal patterns and the drumming really creating the atmosphere even though it closely follows and rarely diverts from the riffs. A complete study of this song would take much more time than most humans have. Embrace the eternal beauty left by the defunct Finnish scene.

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  1. Nespithe & Burzum says:

    Finland is the best. Even the “lesser” bands made better metal than some of the “greats”: Cartilage, Abhorrence, Thergothon, Agonized, Sentenced, Charon, Disgrace, Obfuscation, Paraxism, Rippikoulu, Xysma, Mordicus, Nomicon, Purtenance…

    1. Marc Defranco says:

      Also Depravity!

  2. Rainer Weikusat says:

    I try to stay clear of purely affirmative statements as they always have an air of chanting football fans to me but one has to go here: This took just about as long to read as the track and the article was a great, running commentary on its progress.

    1. Thewaters says:

      Stupid fanboy! Quit it with the positive statements as they make you sound stupid which you obviously are not.

      1. Jermaine says:

        But muh nigga schopenhauer explained how perception is reality

        1. A desk lady says:

          Shut up goatcraft

      2. Rainer Weikusat says:


        Regardless of what this “makes me look like” (which is going to be some worsenend caricature of the negative sides of whoever person contemplates such thoughts, anyway — people who believe to be capable of mind reading usually aren’t very creative. They always end up ‘finding’ something familiar to them they claim to despise, regardless of what they believe to be looking at) it’s useless communication: 50 people shouting Yes! in unison just make a lot noise.

        If I had an idea to project arbitrary ‘impressions’ of me (and I assure you haven’t), I’d rather use that to convince stupid women that I’m not trying to make a pass at them just because I happen to be physically close to them and they just can’t imagine anyone not being motivated by this. This would do away with a lot of petty conflicts whenever the next lady thinks she absolutely has to resort to an attempt at “physical violence” to quell unasked-for urges which only exist in her fantasy (unfortunately, some defensive actions happen instinctively and going straight for other people’s faces is a good way to do so …).

        1. Rainer Weikusat says:

          Should have been: “is a good way to trigger them” — fast movements towards people’s eyes are usually unwise.

          This is also dedicated to ‘nice’ lady who tried to punch my back for some absurd reason but only managed to hit my beer on an otherwise nice concert last Friday. This was Sufferer, Ereskigal, Volnir and Domitorem. Two times very listenable black metal, at least live, (the first two) and thankfully not played by a bunch of hipsters for a like-minded audience. Pretty underground event in the sense that a large part of the audience seemed to be “friends & family”. so, the general atmosphere was rather calm. Volnir was pretty much spoiled by the rock drumming, so, I ended up skipping most of it. Domitorem was ok, too. Wouldn’t call this ‘black metal’, seemed to be more losely Kreator-like thrash. But that’s certainly not the worst thing for a gig, especially if the pissed 40somethings seeking to overcompensate for the dull lifes by drunk violence aren’t there.

        2. Does this self disclosure perception on what others tell you applies vice versa too, schweiner? Are you projecting yourself too, cryner?

          1. Rainer Weikusat says:

            Do you have a second trick, brackbingdintoefftal-m™, or at least a second misunderstanding?

            You’re still wrongly assuming that everyone in the world must naturally care for your opinion about him just because you’re an (uninvited) audience anyone should consider himself glad to be free of.

          2. Rainer Weikusat says:

            Just so that you have some more facts to base your … ahem … ‘interesting’ interpretations on, dear M? bring-bring-bring-this-is-uranus-calling[*], here’s the complete story of the two events (in chronological order)

            1) I was walking up and down the Black Heart with a pint in my hand as I had intentionally arrived early enough to have 3 pints with leisure before the music started. When I walked past a four people group composed of three ‘large’ bearded men and a ‘large’, funny-hair-coloured women (without beard), I felt a (fairly soft) violent impact halfway hitting my back and halfway my left hand. This caused me to spill about 1/4 of my pint. I turned round to look at the group which caused one of the beardos to go into a defensive/ protective position and adressed them with “I suggest that you don’t do this again”. They seem to have left (or at least moved elsewhere) very soon afterwards as I didn’t see them again a few minutes later and neither for the rest of the evening (NB: I do not presume a cause-and-effect relation here, I’m just telling the coincidence).

            2) Moving around on some dance floor with a couple seemingly busy with itself on it, I suddenly found myself vis-a-vis an arm which seemed to be about to smash into my face around the upper part of the nose. This was too close and too sudden, caught me off-guard, and hence, I grabbed the arm without thinking and pulled it down with some violence until it made an ugly sound, followed by (coming back from the black mists) “You are not going to punch me”. This obviously put me into an impossible position and ruined a so-far fine evening, hence, I left on my own before I had to talk about it (leaving 4/5 of a perfectly good beer behind … :-().

            Here’s another for fun:

            “Once upon a time in the past” I walked through Reading high street noticing a double couple close to the Friar Street side of it. Apparently, there had been some kind of argument between two of the half couples because the lady grabbed her habitual bedside carpet, whirled him round and smashed him into a close-by shop window that the glass was termbling very visually.

            “Love is a beautiful thing”.

            As usual, there’s a back story, namely the “War on Women”: That’s a conspiracy theory which roughly seems to go like this: “There’s a global conspiracy of awful, evil creatures called ‘men’ targetting other creatures called ‘women’ with senseless violence in order to maintain their undeservered, global stronghold”. In my experience, people usually become violent if they consider themselves strong and think their target is too weak to mount effective countermeasures, usually because they’re taller/ fatter. Women do this as readily as men it’s just that they’re usually smaller then average men and hence, don’t target them.

            Not that this would be anyone’s business or that I’d usually consider this worthwhile of being told in that much detail.


            1. Frederick Dinkledick says:

              Rainer my man, don’t take the troll bait. that’s why ppl keep making fun

              1. Exactly, and its always exciting to see rainer take every lousy bone you give him with such overengagement

  3. HELL V.666 says:

    Because they better comment on the new Absurd and GBK!!

    1. Adam from Malokarpatan says:

      Did you know Absurd just changed their logo to something without a Thor’s hammer and celtic cross to “distance themselves from ideology?”

      Chances are they’re gonna go faggot multicult like Nokturnal Mortum did. At least we can always rely on GBK for jew-bashing

      1. S.C. says:

        Wow that’s disheartening.

      2. thewaters says:

        Who cares? Absurd has not done anything relevant for nearly 2 decades. The further they distance themselves from the original incarnation of the band, the better. I’m off to listen to Asgardsrei……..

        1. NWN War Metal Tranny Rapist says:

          The shemales of Germany have assimilated them. If you don’t rape gang the other, the other rape gangs you.

        2. bloody dead whateverpulp says:


      3. Marc Defranco says:

        Don’t be absurd hehe. Absurd posted a statement on their site saying that the new logo was to be used simply because their lyrical topics span many things so they didnt want their logo to be too specific. “After more than 25 years of bandhistory, we decided to get a new bandlogo (based upon the former design) that has no obvious connotations to one or the other ideology and religion. Our lyrics are manifold and in no way confined to a particular attitude, hence the new logo”

        Get your facts straight before spouting nonsense. All reissues will still use old logos.

      4. Svmmoned says:

        Hendrik Moebus is also back in band, but he doesn’t sound like he has changed much: 7:13 mark). Maybe they are trying a different approach, which is needed, because nsbm not only ceased to be art, it ceased to be strong and inspiring.

        1. NWN War Metal Tranny Rapist says:

          Absurd was the best one there. The rest: shemale music.

  4. Great anal says:

    Great analysis! Hopefully others are hungry for this type of content too. Metal sites seem utterly incapable of writing articles like this, so it feels necessary to speak up.

    1. LordKrumb says:

      I fully agree!

  5. Metal Mystic says:

    Though lyrics are usually of tertiary importance to metal music, this track’s lyrics (and the music itself of course) always struck me as something noteworthy. If anyone ever asked me what death metal songs lyrically captured the spirit of death metal, I would say this track and “Enjoy The Violence” by Massacra. These selections also provide an interesting contrast between esoteric and exoteric expression.

  6. Charles Stuart says:

    Nice analysis. I’m a good 15 years removed from my study of theory, but it sounds to me like a lot of jumping between Dorian, Phrygian, and Locrian scales as context demands within the larger framework of an harmonic minor composition. I could be way of base here. At any rate, this song does show the power of the minor scale: you can jump between natural, melodic, and harmonic and everything remains in key and you are given a shitload of melodic and chord choices. IIRC the Eagles used this a lot (I’ve had a rough night and I hate the fucking Eagles, man!) and Radiohead also uses the minor keys in this reason(Exit Music comes to mind).

  7. bloody dead whateverpulp says:

    cool article. and it’s true the finnish stuff is some of the greatest. i have a great love for early polish grind too.

  8. Spaten says:

    I believe there are a few things wrong with your theoretical analysis of the song up until the initial climax. First of all, your use of the word ‘dissonant’ makes little sense because it usually refers to the relationship between notes sounding at the same time, not to consecutive notes in a melody.

    Furthermore, I am not even sure whether we are identifying the same tonal center (it’s c# at first and changes to b for the initial climax) because many of the things you’re saying don’t make any sense to me, like:

    ”The root note doesn’t make a single appearance as we continue in the harmonic minor scale but this time with even more bizarre intervals that seem to be a minor and a major seventh but an octave above that are ambiguous intervals for their relative lack of consonance and dissonance.”

    I have no idea how you’re getting these ideas. If that’s referring to the riff that appears 30 seconds into the song, which is the only thing that makes sense considering the context of that snippet, then it is patently false. The riff is a fairly basic example of c# phrygian dominant and the root note is very present throughout. There’s more, but I will leave it at that for now.

    1. Nicholas Vahdias says:

      Thank you for your insight.
      I meant dissonant in the context of the scale which does make sense when you consider the melody
      Everything has been done by ear as most of the tabs online tend to lack a few details and such so if you have any good tabs I would much appreciate it.
      After looking again at my notes and listenig to the song, the whole song is in B harmonic minor yet a case could be made for C locrian mode but the secondary melody deeply entrenches this song in B harmonic minor

      1. Spaten says:

        I think it makes the most sense to just view everything up until the initial climax as based around c#, while making use of locrian mode (with occasional use of a major 7th) and phrygian dominant. Then the tonal center shifts to b, while mainly making use of b harmonic minor for the rest of the song, as you point out correctly.

        I used this GP tab for a rough overview, it is identical to the txt tab also present in the link. Some of the chord shapes are wrong and there are some minor errors in other places but it gets most of the riffs right as far as I can tell.

        I am generally appreciative of these kinds of analyses, of which there is unfortunately very little on the internet when it comes to extreme metal, so kudos to you.

        1. Nicholas Vahdias says:

          thanks for the guitar pro even though that GP has quite a few errors it’s nicely done.
          Yeah I agree with what you are saying in many ways but just the fact that the riff feels unresolved is what irks me the most but unless the band themselves give us the tabs it will be hard to find out

  9. Nuclear Whore says:

    Thanks a lot for an article (and comments) dedicated to one of my favourite records ever, from a POV I think I can understand.

    Much of the wording here I don’t, but my passion towards Finland’s old school death metal will help me in learning things.

    Thankfully the scene is still alive in Finland with many acts I figure you already know.

    Best wishes!

  10. wishes he was Finnish says:

    “Again to reach the shores of death
    We must be one with darkened earth”

    Those lyrics really resonated with me. I have an incurable degenerative disease which will is killing me, and this is remarkably close to how I feel about life and death said so beautifully and succinctly. I could not wait to get back to my desk from traveling to give this whole album a proper listen, and it was amazing the entire way through. This here is the good shit.

    Is anybody still making music similar to this today? It reminded me a little bit of Necrovorous’ Plains of Decay sonically, but please also tell me why I am an ignorant idiot as well.

    1. Nuclear Whore says:

      Best wishes, really. That album has something difficult to find. Desecresy are more monolithic, Krypts tries to make something somewhat new but, Stench of Decay and Ascended are “all glory to the old school Finnish DM”… I love them all. Specially Krypts with their last record.
      “You know the way to the place where I am going.”

      Don’t lose hope. And besides the Bible quotes, I know people that six years ago that have been told they would not live for more than six months.

      A big hug, fellow Death Metal bro, the power of nature shows up in that music

      1. nvm too much snow says:

        Dude, thank you so much for the Krypts recommendation. I am listening to the song “Open the Crypt” right now, and it is going to take my head off. This shit fucking rips; I love it.

        Thank you for your kind words as well. Some days I think that we all have to confront suffering and ultimately death, but there is something about the certainty of it, the profoundness and permanence of the loss of health that has me frequently questioning the nature of suffering and life. Death metal has been soothing to my experience. I appreciate your comment because I am still trying to educate myself.

        1. Nuclear Whore says:

          God bless you

          > wishes he was Finnish says:
          > nvm too much snow says:

          Humour sense is a big virtue, thumbs up man, I believe in you.

          Another hug, glad you liked Krypts :)

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