Rating:
6.0
1349 - Demonoir
26 April 2010


Disc I
01. Tunnel Of Set I
02. Atomic Chapel
03. Tunnel Of Set II
04. When I Was Flesh
05. Tunnel Of Set III
06. Psalm 7:77
07. Tunnel Of Set IV
08. Pandemonium War Bells
09. Tunnel Of Set V
10. The Devil Of The Deserts
11. Tunnel Of Set VI
12. Demonoir
13. Tunnel Of Set VII

Disc II [Limited edition bonus]
01. Rapture [Morbid Angel cover]
02. Strike Of The Beast [Exodus cover]
03. Nerves [Bauhaus cover]
04. The Heretic [Possessed cover]
05. Pandemonium War Bells [live]
06. When I Was Flesh [live]
07. Atomic Chapel [live]


1349 - The dark year that marked the outbreak of the Black Death all over Europe wiping out half of its population - betokens also the 14-year old struggle of a Norwegian black metal quartet in the big league. 1349 were never of Immortal or Dimmu Borgir's caliber, in fact, they probably stand at the waistline of the Norwegian black metal hierarchy. Nonetheless, two of their five full-lengths, Beyond The Apocalypse and Hellfire, sired a worldwide recognition and made 1349 not just a scorned date in human history but also the name of a highly rated Norwegian black metal outfit.

It was only two years ago following the release of their fourth and ill-received Revelations of the Black Flame that the band hurtled the ground stumbling over the edge of mediocrity and since then, the fans have been uttering prayers that their beloved band would stage a comeback. Well, keep praying, for Demonoir is not quite the "comeback" you were longing for.

Demonoir bears 13 tracks, seven of which are known as the "Tunnel of Set" series. Basically, they are very short pointless non-haunting interludes ranging from 0:39 to 03:53 and adding absolutely nothing to the album, except nerve soreness and perpetual boredom. The barely acoustic and briefly eldritch "Tunnel of Set XIII" is probably the best and least annoying of the ambient series, it could actually serve as a steering rudder to wind up the rainy ending of Agathodaimon's "Yesterday's Reprise"

I'd rather think that the album encloses six tracks only because that's where the cardinal part of Demonoir is and it begins with Ravn heaving a portending sigh before "Atomic Chapel" blasts off: trenchant and significantly fast riffs plodding along with Frost's staunch drumming with Olav's usual combination between hostile, throaty and uproarious rasp in one hand and storytelling rustles in the other before the whole atmosphere settles on a pedestrian pace, paving the way to really out-of-place pianistic bridges to intervene, connecting Demonoir to older albums.

"Psalm 777" and "Pandemonium War Bells" are, dare I say it, the rawest and sound astonishingly similar to the early Graveland sound, something that is maintained through "The Devil of the Desert" and "Demonoir". Although, after few overhauling listens, it becomes clear that the rawness that swarms the past good deliveries from Liberation to Hellfire can be found in this album, the only difference is that with Demonoir, the rawness isn't deep-rooted and it's just a matter of time before it gets substantially evaporated.

Demonoir is clearly better than Revelations of the Black Flame and I'm sure some fans will be thrilled with this record. It's also clear that 1349 haven't found their sound of the past yet, and even though this is definitely an improvement from their previous record, it remains, nonetheless, slightly above average.


Band profile: 1349
Album: Demonoir


 


written by Mindheist | 22.07.2011


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



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Mr. Doctor - 20.11.2011 at 03:09  
Heh, if you said that this is better than Revelations I might be interested since I actually enjoyed that album and I'm not that interested in their previous sound tbh.
Troy Killjoy - 20.11.2011 at 03:34  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 20.11.2011 at 03:09
Heh, if you said that this is better than Revelations I might be interested since I actually enjoyed that album and I'm not that interested in their previous sound tbh.

It is. While Demonoir isn't anything special, it destroys Revelations.
Mr. Doctor - 20.11.2011 at 03:39  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 20.11.2011 at 03:34

Written by Mr. Doctor on 20.11.2011 at 03:09
Heh, if you said that this is better than Revelations I might be interested since I actually enjoyed that album and I'm not that interested in their previous sound tbh.

It is. While Demonoir isn't anything special, it destroys Revelations.


It surprises me how much hate Revelation gets from the fans (from MA reviews anyway). They make it seem like it's far worse just because of a sudden change of style. I admit that it has been a while since I've ehard their previous work but I do remember them having far less personality that Revelations. Oh well, my comments about that album will go to that it's review thread in just a matter of minutes (I was writing it and I got your notification in the middle of it ).
Troy Killjoy - 20.11.2011 at 03:41  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 20.11.2011 at 03:39
It surprises me how much hate Revelation gets from the fans (from MA reviews anyway).

I don't hate it, I guess. I dunno, I'm not a big fan of their sound to begin with but Revelations just took them in this weird direction where they really had no business being. Demonoir is a step in the right direction (for people like me who like their more traditional black metal sound) but it's still not anything to get your panties wet over.
Mindheist - 20.11.2011 at 20:26  
I was going to reply but Troy beat me to it. I think you should definitely check it out Doc. It blows Revelations out of the water, but there's nothing special about it.
Mr. Doctor - 20.11.2011 at 23:50  
Written by Mindheist on 20.11.2011 at 20:26
I was going to reply but Troy beat me to it. I think you should definitely check it out Doc. It blows Revelations out of the water, but there's nothing special about it.


I guess the reasons for me liking that album were more about the circunstances: After reading so much hate, I had my expectations super low... and I listened to an album that was actually kinda good because I feared for the worst. Most of the people who bashed the album had on the other hand huge expectations.
Not a masterpiece, I'm perfectly aware of that (since I love ambient BM) but not the disaster that people make it out to be. Decent 7-material and I'm sure this album will be the same.

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