Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Daemonarchia - Nocturnal Lust

Daemonarchia’s debut EP Nocturnal Lust is seriously addicting because it has that wonderfully riffy Finnish black metal sound. The Horna cover makes it obvious that the band isn’t shy with their influences, but the well structured mid-tempo songs show that Daemonarchia isn’t just a shadow of past bands. Still, the music is fairly straightforward - tremolo picked rhythm guitar, sometimes with a slightly sugary lead on top, and songs interspersed with bursts of heavier rhythmic riffing. No surprises, nothing fancy, just good old-fashioned black metal.

Cliched name aside, the band immediately shows off their talent and good sense. A tastefully quick intro track leads into the eponymous track “Nocturnal Lust,” which together with “Lycanthropic Rites” make for the EP’s high points. These songs are especially interesting because of how exceptionally dynamic they feel. Daemonarchia’s strength is being able to repeat riffs in a song by introducing an idea, developing it, and ultimately returning back to it. Although half the tracks follow this pattern and the other half aren’t far off, the fact that so many of the songs are so memorable is proof enough that the band isn’t using the structure as a crutch.

Daemonarchia are contenders, using a narrow tool set to achieve a wide range (“My Inner Realm” even channels a hint of Emperor.) This is easily a top EP for the year 2015. In keeping with the music as a whole, the drums and vocals don’t jump out at you - but both are clear in the mix and you wouldn’t call them anything less than good. They sway with musical changes like corks on waves. With only 24 minutes of original music, the EP feels complete, but you’ll still end up empathizing with the menacing figure in the artwork and lust for more.

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