Today's installment of Masterpiece Theater....oh wait, wrong program....
All joking aside, today's review is of the band Dèigh's demo No Life Flickers. The main member of the band, who goes by Gunnerdeath sent me the link to listen to the demo via Youtube, and has promised me a copy when it's released. Yes, that's right folks, this is promo like review.
As you can probably tell from my little introduction, the demo has not been released yet. This, along with me not having knowledge of when the recording took place, means that you get no history listen this time around. So instead of just giving you all some fun facts about the band and recording, I'm just going to jump into it.
******Due to this being only available on Youtube, I'll be reviewing the album's track one by one, instead of as a whole. Also, due to this, I have no idea if I'm reviewing the album in order. So I'll be treating the order of which I listen to the songs as the track order******
The first song of the album, title "Burning Snow" is an instrumental track. It has a very ambient feel and sound to it. This is mostly due to the fact that the meat of the song is in the guitars (which sound like something from the sixties), as well as some keyboarding. The overall sound of the song is very trippy for a band that's black metal. But as I stated, it's mostly an ambient song. Towards the end, the guitars do pick up in sound, and begin to take on a more metal vibe. There's also a few vocals in the song, specifically at the beginning and at the end when the guitars pick up. However...they're inaudible for the most part. Towards the end, it's slightly easier to pick up on them then it is in the beginning. But it still is very hard to understand and pick out. One last thing to mention, there's actually a guitar solo at the end. It sounds very cool and helps add to the black metal/ dark ambient feel of the song. The song in total is very well written, and it being an instrumental only song (for the most part) really shows this off.
The second song "Frost" is a total 180 from the trippy hippy like sound of "Burning Snow." This track is very guitar heavy, and features drums while the first one didn't. Vocals also play more of an important role here on this track. The guitar riff that is shredding throughout the song is very nice, and exudes a raw like feel to it. It's a tad simple compared to a few other Black Metal guitar riffs, but it doesn't really affect the song. There's also another guitar solo for this album, and it's in this song. Like the first, it sounds fairly tight, and is well written IMO*. The vocals are very audible this time, and can be clearly heard. The vocal style of the singer is very screechy, and sounds like they'd been recorded with a Mr. Microphone. This though isn't a bad thing, as it makes the recording sound unique, and helps with that ambient feel I've been going on about. I'll be blunt, I love the vocal work on this song. It has that black cold feel to it, and it instantly has me hooked. The drumming for the track is audible for the most part, and lays out the backbone and beat for the song. It's actually nice that the drums are in the background of the song, as most Black Metal recordings tend to put them in the front with the guitars and vocals. And Hell must have frozen over, because you can hear the bass. The song is very good, and is my favorite track of the demo for sure.
The next track, titled "As the Forest Awakes," starts off with a very folk like sound. The beginning part of the song is electric in it's guitar, but is very quiet, and sounds like it was unplugged. However the guitars start to speed up in volume, and the drums become quite loud, building up to an atmosphere which paints a picture of an environment awakening or just becoming visible. However after the blasting drums, we go back to sixties land, once again making me think I'm at Woodstock or the hippie concerts Cartman is afraid of. This is kind of off putting to me, considering we just had a very raw metal sounding song. It doesn't mean I hate the song, but it slightly takes away some of my enjoyment of it. Also, at one point it sounds like some music you'd hear back in the days of the Pharaoh. Well written song, that little drum solo I talked about is awesome, but the song just isn't my flavor of candy.
And for the lost song of this demo release, we have "Today." No, I'm serious, that's the name of the song. Anyways, the track begins of all things, with the sounds of a thunderstorm. Thunder booming in the distance at a quiet pace, some guy is coughing, and the sound of rain drops keep falling on his head. Okay they don't fall on his head, they're just there. The first instrument that we are greeted with, is once again the guitar, and it produces a very depressive like feel. This is enhanced by the drums which subsequently follow. They're quite simple, and is mostly of the tophat being hit. It slowly gets a little more complex as the vocals come in. The vocals are soft, but loud, and have a growl and grit to them (quite literally, as the vocalist growls for this song).Listening to this song makes me think of The Crow due to it's slowed down sound, and very gothic and depressive quality. The vocal style still makes it come off as a Black Metal sound, but it's in my ears complete and utter Depressive Black Metal. And I actually like it. I'm usually not a fan of DBM, but I completely enjoy it on this one. Probably because of my aforementioned reference to James O'' Barr's masterpiece, but also because it's really good at setting the tone of depressiveness. It sounds trippy in one place, and it actually fits the song in which it's in, whereas with the others it felt out of place. This is the best song on the entire recoding in my humble opinion.
No Life Flickers is a very well written and produced demo. The sound quality is very high, and sounds professional through and through. You can tell that the band took their time with the recording process, as well as producing the album. And that labor that went into the recording and producing, is beyond visible in how well written these songs are. "Today" and "Frost" are the best songs on the entire recording, and make this feel like a Black Metal recording, while the other two tracks come off very much like Abruptum. "Burning Snow" and "As the Forest Awakens" are great songs, but they are way to trippy sounding for my taste.
In all, No Life Flickers is a very good demo from Dèigh. It's easily one of my favorite albums to come out this year, and probably my favorite metal demo to be released this year, as one of my favorite demos of all time (Morbid's December Moon will forever hold the title of my favorite). I highly recommend this to anybody who can get their hands on it. You can contact the band on their Facebook page (which I'll provide a link to), or you can contact Gunnerdeath on the MetalArchive forums. Until next time me creatures of the night, leve lenge og knulle falsk metall.
*IMO means In My Opinion*