“Support the underground” is the driving slogan for todays review. We will analyze the first lifesign of a promising german band which is simply named Demo 2011. The duo focuses on melodic and atmospheric black metal with thoughtful lyrics that could remind you of some bands. As if this weren’t enough, this piece of music is available for free and therefor should receive attention. Are the aforementioned features sufficient to convince the wary listener?
Runar was founded in 2007 by two acteurs: Nauðr and Reið. Although the band has existed for quite some time now, the first sign of life was just recently released, which is both reasonable and praiseworthy. While other bands simply compose something that they call “black metal” (or even any other genre) without really focusing on something, the German duo spend at least three years to find their style and therefore offering well done, conceptual black metal. They have created three songs and one intro yet, which summarize to 24 minutes of pure entertainment.
The intro starts with calm guitar sounds and some decent samples (wind, the rattling of leaves etc.) which are introducing the dreamy and dark atmosphere the first song will offer. Sadly, the guitar melody ends quite abrupt and the transition to the next song is bumpy as well, which is a bit annoying. The next song tries to propitiate with some calm guitars, really slow drum beats and quite atmospheric synthesizer sounds. These form the perfect fundament for the thoughtfully spoken vocals and it’s really easy to start dreaming to the music. Later on, a lot of pressure and fast riffing is added but you won’t feel disturbed and your dreamery can continue. The harsh vocals are nicely done and although they are so rough, you can understand every single word, which makes it easy to follow the story (at least, if you can speak german).
In terms of music, there are several similiarities to better known bands but you won’t ever feel that they have “stolen” something, as they added their own style. The style of the melodies and the sound of the vocals remind me of Dämmerfarben, while the lyrical concept – or at least the quality of it, is quite similiar to the one Helrunar offers (and they are performed like the interludes of Sól). The last band to be mentioned is Eïs which are featured in terms of atmosphere, as both bands use the same elements to create it. The fundament of the songs is really well done and of high quality but there are some little flaws, which summarize to something bothering. The transitions between the songs, or even between the different structures within a song, are a bit bumpy, abrupt or simply unnatural.
Another little flaw would be the programmed drums which is well done in terms of programming but as usual it simply lacks dynamics and therefore adds something artificial to the songs. The last two flaws that shall be mentioned would be the slightly differences in volume between the songs and that the songs are quite similiar in terms of structures, but both facts aren’t that weightful. The production is really well done, of course except the differences in volume I mentioned before, as every single instrument has enough space to breathe and even the vocals are perfectly embedded.
Except for those smaller points of criticism this demo tape offers a really harmonious, dark and dreamy record which noticeably exceeds normal demo tapes in terms of quality. The compositions are good and except for those bumpy transitions and the slight similiarities there is nothing to complain about. If you like Dämmerfarben you will like this demo tape as well, as Runar offers something similiar. The songs could need some more highlights to spice things up but the created atmosphere is nearly flawless and even the played soli are faultless. I think, the duo will improve a lot over time and you should observe these guys closely since their band is one of the most promising newcomers of 2011. Just download their record and listen to it, you won’t loose anything but 24 minutes.
Date of release: November, 1st 2011
|2. Mit Dem Duft des Waldes||9:03|
|Total Playing Time:||23:56|