Daemoni – Black Tyrant

Rating: 2.5/5
Distributor/label: Goathorned Productions
Released: 2019
Buy Album: https://goathorned.bigcartel.com/product/daemoni-black-tyrant-digipack-2019
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/DaemoniBand/

BAND LINE-UP:

Bifrons – Drums,
Ferat – Guitar,
Demongoat – Guitar & Vocals,
Helldrakon – Vocals,
Necroräv – Bass.

TRACKLISTING:

1. Moriens Pulsatio
2. Abstersion’s Rite
3. Carnifex Christi
4. Plagues Embraced
5. Black Tyrant
6. Illucescente
7. Daemonios
8. Thirsty Underworld

REVIEW:

Listening to music is a constant quest to find something that gets you fired up. We specifically don’t listen much to pop radio due to its drudgery, so the task is to find it within our own genre. That’s not suggesting that rock and metal is a fountain of gold beneath a rainbow for the good stuff (most definitely not for some of the stuff that’s been reviewed amongst these pages), but it has far brighter moments. So to the darker end of the spectrum: DAEMONI’s new slab of sunshine and roses “Black Tyrant”. What you got?

“Moriens Pulsatio” heralds the opening of “Black Tyrant”, with a spicy combination of piano and a crazy lady ranting and raving – one way to wake you up, right? The song erupts shortly afterwards in the usual blood and fire stylings so token for black metal and never ceases to let up. Blast beats, fiery tremolo and croaky, squawked vocals all marry up neatly into a quintessential cut of the genre; one that any fan will have heard a myriad of times down the line.

There are, however, flashes of variance throughout. “Plagues Embraced” slows the roll to a dirge, opting to capture the atmosphere of a dusty, esoteric library as opposed to an unruly furnace, whilst there are elements of classic black ‘n’ roll scattered through the likes of “Illuescente” and closer “Thirsty Underworld” that give a little groove back. Yet it’s the brief moments of melody that rear their head that really prick the ears up – most notably in “Illuescente”. Yet their infrequent use is an opportunity rather squandered – nothing makes an average metal record of the same stuff for thirty or more minutes better than an injection of memorability.

Whilst it may be a touch forgettable if you’ve spent years listening to the genre, it does have a certain charm to it. The cavernous sound it possesses is actually done really rather well for a change, and retains instrument clarity throughout. Additionally, there’s a distinct feeling that DAEMONI rather enjoyed making the record – a stark contrast to the grim demeanour most other bands pedal throughout their records. The enjoyment of the band translates neatly to the audience’s enjoyment, so a lot of bands could do well with tapping into this. Not only that, but their songwriting, despite being very much golden B-movie black metal, is focused and noticeably trimmed of fat – kudos.

But for all the “so black metal” spiel and the praise for the cavernous yet clear production, someone needs to take a good, hard look at themselves for the atrocity that is the mix of the opener. Talk all you want about creative choices and the like, but no one should ever mix drums to one side of the stereo field, with the majority of the other instruments on the other side. It’s like having your head carved diagonally in two, and made all the worse when there are sodding blast beats played. Out loud on a stereo, this won’t be much of an issue (unless you’re an audiophile), but over headphones, it’s like being skull-boned right in the earhole. And no post-coital cigarette or Vaseline will soothe that ache.

The promise is that the listener will reach a state of “demonical [sic] possession” after listening to “Black Tyrant”, yet it feels closer to a state of general indifference than anything else. Whilst it’s not untrue that the album feels mature, it almost needs that youthful vigour to try new things and experiment a little more to stand out. DAEMONI cannot be faulted for lack of effort, and there will most certainly be plenty out there willing to fall in line with the new sovereignty, but this manifesto won’t convince the old cynics out there.


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REVIEW BY LEE CARTER
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