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Demoncy - Faustian Dawn/Within the Sylvan Realms of Frost
Review: Although inspired by the 1990s Norse wave of black metal, early Demoncy crafts a voice of its own through an apocalyptic sensation of nothingness constructed of aggressive primal riffing. These two albums, one a collection of demo tracks and the other an ambitious first offering that recapitulates many of the demo songs, are evenly divided between an early black/death sound reminiscent of Havohej, Beherit and Incantation in a blender, and a second-wave melodic black metal sound inspired by second-wave black metal like Graveland and Gorgoroth.
Within the Sylvan Realms of Frost upholds the sense of alien yet intensely organic conflict that anchors the more martial vein of black metal, creating like the best of that genre woodland settings in which a mystical experience unites details into larger themes that replace the ostensible with the invisible pattern language of reality that we uncover at the end of a long journey of discovery. Songs make verses of riff motives in sequence, then return to a chorus which expands as context introduces more expansive views of previous themes.
Unlike the more detached later works from this band, early Demoncy is melodic and beautiful without losing any of its sere violence, resembling early Emperor in its balance of melodic beauty and ear-savaging primal chromatic rhythm riffs. For sheer spirit and panopoly of invention, this double album shows Demoncy at their most vital, although the tracks that later made it to Joined in Darkness are more mature on that album. As with later Demoncy works, this music pulls back the camera of the individual and views existence instead as a landscape not just of space but of time, in which the only forces that exist are primal emptiness and a struggle for significance in an ashen process of destruction.