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Demoncy - Enthroned is the Night
Review: If metal has a holy grail, it is to mix the vicious id of gnarled chromatic riffing with the order and beauty of melody. Merging the two, Demoncy compile a career worth of powerful riffs into this album reminiscent of early Unleashed crossed with later Profanatica.
Recent black metal tried to be "innovative" by combining known "successful" styles, but Demoncy instead tackles the harder task of crafting the new from a well-known aesthetic with depth to plumb. Riffs resemble the first Demoncy album in which a melodic Swedish influence dominates, and a carefully intermeshed dose of the powerful pure rhythm riffing that made 1999's Joined in Darkness such a legend. Taking a nod from newer Profanatica, complex single string riffs mingle with the marching legions of power chords.
Often songs use the raw riffs to establish a shape and then uncurl from within it a melody that both highlights riff contours and shows a pathway between the starting and ending points of its motion. Song structures project a duality in which most of what we hear is careful staging of verse and chorus, but as we listen into each song, the interstitial material reveals itself as pivotal. Over this the vocals drape, loud but distorted and reverbed into a sound more like a high wind rushing from the cold night.
Percussion seems to be of a digital variety or designed to emulate it, but while more active than previous Demoncy recordings does not obliterate the real lead instrument here, which is the rhythm guitar. As in minimalist bands like Ildjarn, or the undeniable ancestor of this album on the first Incantation album, guitar dominates all else and narrates a dark adventure. Riffs flow together so that as only as each completes do we see its importance in the newly expanded context its addition created. This powerful and sublime album bypasses the failed new school to advance old school primal black metal art to new heights.