Daemonlord - _Godless Prayers_
(Ketzer Records, 2011)
by: Johnathan A. Carbon (7.5 out of 10)
A rawer form of black metal is an acquired taste. The flavor lies somewhere between cold espresso and iron ore. Its style places emphasis on low fidelity, furious speed, harsh dissonance and a vocal style similar to a corpse moldering in a dungeon. Black metal usually shrieks where death metal growls. Raw black metal, however, croaks like one, very evil, frog. Raw black proposes a purer form, stripped of all its excesses and needless additives. It could be considered farm fresh black metal sold in glass bottles from duct taped coolers. Raw black is not ashamed of its upbringing in the house of unfurnished speed metal and hardcore punk. The developed taste for raw black metal could have only been created against the backdrop of more symphonic, melodic and experimental developments. Raw black is nostalgia -- opting to swim in the primordial soup responsible for its birth.

Despite the band's wishes, Daemonlord is usually grouped in with other rawer, more unrefined black metal bands. Daemonlord is a duo who have been operating in Northern Spain since the early 2000s. The band's version of black metal gravitates towards the conventional themes of hatred, evil and eternal darkness. Combine this with a searing gravel croak from Egnar and one can see how the band lands in the raw crate, which rests on the ground, of the heavy metal market. Daemonlord has traveled the darkness trail before with, _Of War and Hate_. _Godless Prayers_ enters another chapter in the band's declaration of atheistic opposition. Riding in a sleigh pulled by the first wave black metal elite, Daemonlord requests your soul for obliteration.

The cover illustrates a hooded ferryman entering an lightless tunnel amid possible devastation. The illustration is most likely Charon, but I will not rule out a gloomy gondola operator. Despite the hellfire and brimstone being stoked once again, Daemonlord manages to make their albums pleasing to new listeners and longtime raw black connoisseurs. The band seems to thrive in lo-fidelity, making the aesthetic an atmosphere rather than hindrance. The vocals grate and guitars buzz, but never with any loss of clarity. This is Daemonlord's dungeon. Please come in and hang your coat on the shackles.

Musically, _Godless Prayers_ has a slowed melodic presence which differs from earlier records. The fantastic "Antarctica" manages to present a galloping black metal pace with looming despair. This same template works for the album's closer, "The Decline", leading me to conclude sustained cries over blurred guitars work more times than not. Daemonlord triumphs at black metal's traditions and seems to clumsily grope their way through experimentation. "Cut the Withered Flower" is an attempt at some form of gothic ballad complete with proto-metal riff and synth atmosphere. The pace leading up to this song went without incident, thus it is like running off a cliff with legs still pumping. Despite the mid album crash, _Godless Prayers_ continues in spectacular tradition.

The band, from various interviews and biography, either seems unable to gain a large audience or doesn't care either way. The general underground nature of Daemonlord and the fact they concentrate mostly on splits has made them perfect for black metal elitists who like their music dark, cold and uncured. This is of course if anyone is taking notice. Daemonlord could be too underground for any significant attention -- a poetic irony which plagues the majority of black metal artists. Regardless, _Godless Prayers_ certainly won't win over a larger audience, but it is another cold addition to Daemonlord's subterranean dungeon.

Contact: http://www.myspace.com/daemonlord1

(article published 28/3/2011)

3/28/2011 J Carbon Daemonlord: Lords of Benevolent Things
6/23/2004 J Smit 8 Daemonlord - Of War & Hate
4/11/2003 Q Kalis 6 Daemonlord - Aarstrand
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