I’ve listened to my share of demos, but this is the first I’ve reviewed, and it makes it tricky to give a fair opinion because frankly, the recording quality distracted me from really taking in the music. Albeit it sounded better through my computer speakers, but through headphones it was jarring to my ears at some points. (Note: I do not have cheap-ass headphones.)
That being said, this demo containing four songs left me with some less than happy thoughts – in part because of the recording quality, and in part because some of the context deals with death, and has a hopeless vibe throughout. I reckon the latter is what this depressive black metal outfit meant to achieve, and they certainly did.
This duo hailing from Montréal are M.S. LeCri on vocals and a man who simply calls himself 21 on guitar, bass, and programming. I’m guessing they used a drum machine for the demo, since that’s not specified. That’s something that has never irked me – work with what you’ve got, and it beats having to listen to potentially bad drumming if it can be programmed better until a sufficient human can come in.
Opening track “Frette” had me intrigued; I liked the ambient calm sound, and it was a nice way to open up. There were some samples thrown in of what sounded to me like a child having a tantrum, but I’m not sure. At any rate, this was a nicely done track, simple as it may be.
When “Espoir” hit next, I had to turn my volume down – the recording quality made it so that the guitar felt almost intrusive to my inner ears. (“It’s just a demo…it’s just a demo…”) M.S. LeCri’s vocals come in with a growl and the feeling of despair in his voice set the tone. The drums were lost on me, programmed or not sufficiently overtaken by the guitar and vocals.
The final two tracks, “Le Manqué” and “Enfin” were the longest, at around eight minutes each. I was able to hear the drums a bit better in these, but at many points the vocals took away from the guitar, so it was harder to appreciate the licks produced. The tempo was relentless vocal-wise, so I do have to give props to Mr.LeCri on that – this dude has stamina and can SCREAM! The only irk I have is that at some points in both tracks, he literally started screaming during breaks, and I couldn’t tell if he was in terror or having a weird orgasm. At any rate, it made me uncomfortable and felt awkward to listen to, so if that was the goal, mission accomplished, I guess. I’d certainly want to cast him as a victim if I ever get around to making a horror movie, I know that much. From what I could hear while not being distracted by the vocals, the guitar was just as relentless and droning, which is something I could appreciate as a doom genre fan. They did open me up to the depressive black metal genre though, I’ll give ‘em that.
Overall, it’s hard to say what I think given the sub-par recording. I’m curious to hear a mastered version in order to form a more solid opinion (which may happen if the demand is met, according to this interview they gave). So I can’t hit the nail in the coffin just yet, but I certainly hope they try to record with higher quality.
Written by Angie Radczenko
*edited by Kate Erickson