Shadar Logoth - _Demo 2006_
by: Jeremy Ulrey (4.5 out of 5)
For a group that vies for the title of most incomprehensible band logo, Shadar Logoth spring for surprisingly accessible material, albeit not so much of a radio-friendly variety. Expertly melding the fertile cross currents of proggy black metal, acoustic death folk and blast-driven death metal, the four songs on this recent demo are a mere qualified producer away from ready-for-prime-time action.

Demo closer "Phantom Destination" is as good an indication of Shadar Logoth's multi-talents as anything. Building from a droning funereal hymn featuring some tasty underlying bass work, the track segues briefly into an old-school power metal / thrash-lite riff before exploding into blast beats and then subsiding back to a mid-tempo epic black feel. "Of the Lanterns" also navigates seamlessly between the death and black genres, layering in some baritone folk vocals for the chorus. The transitioning between these disparate elements is well crafted and far from desultory -- and the riffs themselves, if at least vaguely familiar, are tastefully chosen. Really the only fault that can be leveled against these four tracks at all is the razor thin production typical of demos, but I've always considered it bad sport to deduct even half a point for a struggling band's financial limitations. Shadar Logoth make it easier to justify that decision by demonstrating a clear grasp of proper spatial arrangements, even if the overall sonics are not as beefy as they'd no doubt prefer.

Not a great deal of new ground is being broken on this demo, but keeping in mind that true innovation rarely springs out of thin air and, to the contrary, is typically a result of expertly fusing existing, complementary ideas into a new framework, there is a great deal of hope for a band of Shadar Logoth's caliber. If they can muster up a full album's worth of material this good, we may have ourselves a contender.


(article published 4/2/2007)

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