Gates of Dis - _notammargarteT_
by: James Montague (1 out of 5)
The band member who sent me this demo proudly proclaimed it as "the worst demo ever -- a bunch of stoned daemons playing Beherit and Countess songs". The latter part of this description is apt -- they do sound like devotees of the two underground legends -- but apparently not everyone agrees on the former, as they actually managed to find a Danish label to release this demo on CD-R. God only knows how: I guess these days it's easy to market any old noise as cult black metal, just as it's easy to take some warbling cow, team her up with a failed jazz pianist, and market the result as "contemporary adult pop" for those who want to follow the trends but are worried that their investment banker friends might laugh at them if they listen to Christina Aguilera. But I digress... the point I have just veered from is that Gates of Dis are woefully inadequate at their instruments / vocal chords, and although technical proficiency has never been a requirement for black metal, it helps if you are at least capable of expressing whatever the hell it is you're trying to say. And when covering a Beherit song ("Gate of Nanna"), it helps if the vocalist knows at which point to come in; clearly the cannabinoids were having more than enough of the desired effect by this point in the recording. Don't even get me started on the drummer, who makes Capricornus look like Flo Mounier; he clearly hasn't a clue, or has been getting the best shit in his spliff.

Now, this vehement criticism does not mean I agree with the assessment of "worst demo ever". I've managed to write more than two sentences about _notammargarteT_, which immediately makes it more interesting than 80% of the demos I listen to. It is certainly the most incompetent recording I've received, but dammit, it is quite a laugh. Just listen to "Invocation", a Satanic version of the Lord's Prayer -- you gotta admire anyone who does that after pressing the REC button. And hell, at least they're fucking up in an appealing manner. I always say: if you're going to butcher something, make sure you butcher the classics.


(article published 29/2/2004)

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