Demonic Slaughter – Dark Paths to Catharsis (2015)

demonic slaughter

Article by David Rosales.

Dark Paths to Catharsis an album clearly intended to be atmospheric black metal, perhaps even a little too intentionally. Its method is of the so-called ‘melodic’ type, describing long, simple melodies played with tremolo picking, a backing power chord guitar, supporting bass, and mid-paced double-bass drums. The vocals are not entirely screeches though, being more a sort of angry dad-rock that is only mildly raspy in style. There are two major problems with the orientation and the structure-building method in Dark Paths to Catharsis:¬†first of all, it is style-oriented; second, it replaces order with feeling.

Demonic Slaughter is a pretty laid-back, mid-paced band, with an overemphatic melancholic tone, like Sorcier des Glaces, but with inappropriate vocals and an even less-changing landscape. The techniques used are all cliched and nothing seems to stand out as particularly well thought-out, leading one to the conclusion that formulaic applications replace creativity. The band seems to be intentionally following trends in the style, without introducing anything, so that what we see is a technically-original melody around which extremely generic metal plays.

Concerning structure, the beginnings of songs are unaffected and simply present an initial melody; endings are non-existent, songs simply stop. On top of that, Demonic Slaughter has decided it is a good idea to insert midi-orchestrated interludes whenever they see fit, without these having a definite theme or orientation besides ‘this samey feeling throughout our album’, which is entirely based on what is probably a unvarying tonal centers and textures. The deficiency of the latter is especially taxing on the quality of this music: it offers nothing in particular in rhythm or theme; the only option would be to make up for it in texture like many other black metal bands do.

Dark Paths to Catharsis is a compendium of mediocre metal, very poorly composed computer orchestration, and more importantly, a severely lacking vision. This does not mean that we can claim to know if the band has a conceptual image in their mind regarding the album. The point is that the music is so limited, that it is impossible that any of that tentative storyline or imagination can seep into it. If an artist relies on incredibly generic construction for every aspect of the music, and the structure, furthermore, is lazily arranged, it cannot be expected that the end result miraculously contains the dreams or concepts the band was thinking about when putting the music together.

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15 thoughts on “Demonic Slaughter – Dark Paths to Catharsis (2015)”

  1. Order with Feelings, the modern liberal alternative to Order From Chaos.

  2. Poser Patrol says:

    You weren’t kidding about their songs abruptly stopping. They don’t even attempt closure. It’s as though they were writing their research paper last minute and simply left out the closing paragraph because “C’s get degrees bro!!” Unfortunately for them C’s don’t cut it in metal.

  3. Inferior Being says:

    “replaces order with feeling”

    What does this mean? I do not understand. Thank you in advance

    1. That phrase is the summary of the whole review. If you understood the whole review, then you understand that phrase. But… you must also understand that phrase to understand the whole review :)… think about it!

      Think about form versus fancy.

  4. Inferior Being says:

    “Form versus fancy”

    I do not understand the relationship between these two. I think I would benefit from an explanation.

    1. Rainer Weikusat says:

      I’ll try: It probably means “it’s composed of parts put together because of their ambient qualities, not because of
      anything specific to them” or – to cut this brutally short – it’s “easy listening” music.

      1. I wouldn’t want to say that the strict distinction lies in difficulty of the mere act of listening. I think Burzum is pretty “easy listening”. I also think it has depth, and that some of its aspects are not easily appreciated, but not necessarily because of an excess in the music, but a lacking in the mental habits of the average listener.

        1. Rainer Weikusat says:

          Gross simplification will necessarily be inappropriate, possibly even grossly so. But my understanding of “easy
          listening” is not “something that’s not difficult to listen to” (considering that listening is not a concious act,
          I wouldn’t even know what this means) but something that’s “easy-going” on the listener, ie, it doesn’t attract attention not voluntarily dedicated to it but blends into the background as “nice”/ “considered likeable” part of the “atmosphere” of a certain location: Both “mediocrity” and “arbitrary composition” (not moving towards anything) help
          greatly with that (although I once sucessfully installed ‘Last One On Earth’ as background in a certain room on a ‘student hippie/stoner party” :-). One could also describe this as “sound collage made up of parts not going against
          each other mostly chosen because they don’t”. I realized the risk of falling into a Burzum while writing the original
          text but “de gustibus non est disputandum” (I know how to say this in Latin and German but not really in English).

          1. Rainer Weikusat says:

            Additional illustration: Some ‘easy listening’ ‘death metal for a new generation’ (actual marketing slogan). I apologize to anyone who might like this but I consider it totally atrocious, starting with “if you don’t have anyhting to say, try displaying a semi-dressed woman” …:

            1. bung butter says:


    2. From the online Oxford dictionary:

      1. form: Style, design, and arrangement in an artistic work as distinct from its content.

      2. fancy: A superficial or transient feeling of liking or attraction

      1. Improving being says:

        Those are terms complement one another by describing the same work from two different perspectives.

        1. David Rosales says:

          Each has its own domain and function.
          The problem with this band is leaving form aside and thinking the rule of fancy on its own can do the job, even that of form.

      2. ay lmao says:

        Form as distinct from content? A man should read enough to never have to consult a dictionary.

        1. David Rosales says:

          So, you do not know the difference between the WAY in things are presented from WHAT is intended to be communicated?

          A man should think enough for himself so that he does not depend wholly on what others digest for him.

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