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Medieval Demon – Black Coven

Medieval Demon
Black Coven
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 28 September 2022, 3:33 PM

From Bandcamp, “As founding drummer/keyboardist/composer Lord Apollyon explains, for the composition of “Black Coven,” there were used methods and practices of the ancient Greek theory of music, which were also used to the Middle Ages - in the name of Satan. Composition in black metal presupposes to live in real time the process that includes all the elements involved in this kind of black art. We moved into an isolated village inside the forest, a place where ancient Greek sorcery and death magic was born. Ritualism and ancient black metal are parts of our eternally black souls." The album contains seven songs.

“Where Witches Dwell and Labyrinths Confuse” is the first. This isn’t typical Black Metal, if you consider the origins of the genre. The band lets the riffs and music develop with harrowing background elements, rather than filling the void with sound with noise for the sake of the fill. The vocals are still quite nasty. The title track is a beastly eight-minutes, beginning with organ notes and a purposeful riff. For just a moment, you can see the sun in the sky, but it is swallowed swiftly. Following a pretty steady pace from there, it picks up for a bit, then returns. Their prolific use of keyboards and even saxophone throughout the song helps diversify the sound.

“Nocturnal Sacrilege” is a shorter song with an increase in intensity at first. Again, unlike a lot of Back Metal however, the band are more than capable at their instruments. The way the guitars climb while keyboards hold that harrowing sound, and the varied vocals bring an edge to the music, and they keep you on your toes though key and meter shifts. “Sylvestris Deus (Protector of the Forests)” is a four-minute train ride through the nine planes of hell. Intense and burning, all you can hear are the screams of the tortured souls and the fire melts off your skin. The guitars are the wheels of the train wailing across the tracks.

“Baptismal Blood” begins with sultry saxophone notes before it takes a turn to the dark side. The pacing is mid-tempo which allows the evil to develop. Too much packed into a tight space can hinder this progress. “Katavythisis” begins with a slow grind of evil and wicked deeds. The bishops of hell have chosen to torture souls in front of everyone. Sinister piano notes and keyboards accompany the audible depiction of the torture. “The Grave Dwellers” closes the album, with much haste. It might sound like chaos to the untrained listener, but each note has its place. Cold winds pick up, and stoke the flames, along with circling wolf howls.

As I mentioned, this isn’t your run-of-the-mill Black Metal album. The songs are crafted carefully, with a lot of backing elements. Keyboards keep a steady presence, an instrument that is often not used properly in the genre, but it is here, and the piano notes are also a supportive bonus. These guys can play, and play well, and the sound they build is very convincing.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Where Witches Dwell and Labyrinths Confuse
2. Black Coven
3. Nocturnal Sacrilege
4. Sylvestris Deus (Protector of the Forests)
5. Baptismal Blood
6. Katavythisis
7. The Grave Dwellers
Lord Apollyon – Drums, Keyboards
Sirokous – Vocals
Mutilator – Bass
Record Label: Hells Headbanger's Records


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