Fhtagn-Nagh Yog-Sothoth

Having heard hundreds upon hundreds of demos in my days as a collector, I often make a point of thoroughly analyzing every aspect of a band's material, be that a negative or positive one. Nonetheless, there are times when one simply cannot but praise unconditionally the musical genius of a band, individual, or what have you; here we have such a case. I see here a perfect example of music which is so profound and evocative that it ceases to be music anymore; instead the individual notes and passages coalesce into fragments of visions which later aggregate into a travel through a different reality altogether, producing in the end a metaphysical/spiritual journey not to be passed idly by.

However, as this is a musical demo and not a review of a meditative experience... Thergothon is simply D.O.O.M- Dimensionless, Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Monolithic. The sound on here is SO precisely fitting that every sound and note that is played is exactly perfect; even when there is an off beat or missed note the perfection becomes clear... perhaps even more clear. The essence of this demo crawls up from the abyss, and words oft fail to describe feelings. Deep, Abyssic, Low, Labyrinthian, Chasmic... all separate aspects of a unified album, each a different face of this work.

The first song, "Elemental," was later rerecorded for the cd... nonetheless, that version absolutely pales in comparison with the demo sound. Starting out with that great first riff; slowly creeping by, and leading into a more emotional section with some mournful singing and a great melodic backdrop. Soon the passage leads into a section augmented with clean guitar arpeggios and some moans placed tastefully above. After this another great melodic passage is initiated; this time with the growls again. Lastly we are led into the chorus again, if that is what you would call it, again with the singing. The keyboards on here, perhaps the only detrimental aspect of the album, are terrible. They sound like a child's toybox or something; if they had only spent more time on this part of the material (something which also took away from the debut) I think this could have been an absolutely monumental song; above and beyond what it already is.

Next song- Evoken. A purely cosmic song further enhanced by the brilliant transcendental lyrics. An absolutely crushing first riff comes in, accompanied in time by the deepest growls this author has ever heard. Every time I hear this song I envision vast interstellar caravans traversing the void of space or colossal inhuman machines creating some celestial abomination to destroy worlds. Soon there are some slow breakdowns where the guitars stop momentarily and let the vox. proceed unaccompanied. This section leads into a more horrific, yet still astral sounding passage, which brings the song back into a version of the first opening passage. I can't stress enough how much these vocals kill!!! They are absolutely the deepest fucking vocals I have EVER heard. They are of course similar to a number of traditional death metal bands, for example, Severe Torture, old C.C, and Cryptopsy- however, they ARE better and more evocative in this DOOM setting. Soon the music is brought into a more melodic passage which leads again into another darker section of the song. Towards the end we see another initiation of melody, similar in character to those sections found on "Elemental." This concludes the song, as the guitars, keys, drums, and vocals, fade out in harmonic unison.

"Yet the Watchers Guard." Another track rerecorded for the debut cd. And yet again, a terrible indication of the band in comparison with the demo sound. Beginning with one of the slowest and deepest passages of guitar/vocal I have heard, the music straddles back and forth between brief breakdowns and sludgy proceedings. This slowly fades into the best guitar riff I have heard in a doom metal sound, and for that matter, all of music. Any one who remembers this riff (about 2:15) knows exactly what I am talking about; pure astral transcendence. This fades into a darker section of the song, which is great, but could have been better if they had left out the silly circus keyboards. In characteristic fashion, and as we saw happen in the last song, this riff leads back full-circle into a variation constructed on the last guitar riff. Although slightly modified, the similarity is there. The rest of the song is fairly insignificant, but provides the necessary transition into the last/closing section. Here we see the guitars taking main stage, playing a somewhat brighter melody with some cheesy keyboards played on top. Nonetheless this riff kills and is on par with the beginning to Evoken; about as possibly slow as can be played, and of course representative of deepest space.

The last track is not a favorite of mine, and that is because 1) it is so short and 2) there are virtually none of the growls we saw on the last tracks. It is much more depressive, a line taken much more seriously in the debut (and a line which I believe they should have steered clear of). Nonetheless, I suppose it is a comforting ending to a very uncomforting and moving piece of musical mastery.

While similarities and comparisons abound on the debut, this demo was something uniquely and singularly special. The Morgion sounding material they played later was void here; Morgion could never touch the astral dimensions tapped here. I end in saying this demo is essential... in every aspect.

2002 orodruin