Saturday, July 16, 2011

Demogorgon - The Horned Moon EP (1996)

The Greek Demogorgon, one of numerous bands named for said malevolent pagan deity, is another of the myriad faceless black metal entities to manifest in the 90s, produce very little, and then scatter to the four winds. This is a one-man project, 'Demogorgon' himself later moving on to play with Legion of Doom for awhile, and while that's a common configuration in the black metal medium these days, it was slightly less prevalent during the rise and fall of the second wave. A pair of brief demos were written and released, leading up to this two track 7" EP which represented Demogorgon at the height of his powers, performing all guitars, drums, keyboards, bass and a typical but nonetheless resonant rasp hellish enough to summon up said deity should it truly exist...

The Horned Moon is not much to look at, and neither is there much content. Of the two tracks, the titular "Horned Moon" is a five minute sorrowful swell of synthesizers in traditional Gothic haunted castle fashion. I actually rather enjoyed this, for what it's worth, but the same creepy aesthetic, when applied to the metallic track "The Seal of the Dragon", does not work out nearly so well. Not because the keyboards suck, no, Demogorgon has quite a good grasp on composing a spiral descent into madness, but the malicious tone of the vocals (between Varg Vikernes and Dani Filth in execution) and the rather dull riffing does little to stir the imagination beyond the mere lowest denominator of the genre. The guitars rove between simple, ineffective chords behind the synths to a pretty bland melodic charge, and though it bears that same, subdued authenticity that most 90s black metal carries, it's just not memorable.

That said, The Horned Moon isn't bad, but it was unlikely to win the attention of an audience already stoked on Emperor's In the Nightside Eclipse or the first few Dimmu Borgir albums, more significant works of keyboard-fueled symphonic black metal, since there are just no riffs or sequences catchy or unique enough to bear mention. Demogorgon also doesn't seem to follow the same points as most of its Greek peers, aside from the obvious use of the synthesizer as a central instrument, so it exists only as another obscure curiosity for those seeking to swell their ranks of grim and methodical 90s black metal with substandard but inoffensive production. Wish there was more to it, but it's over in 12 minutes and forgotten in about twice that number.

Verdict: Indifference [5.25/10]

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