25 May 2012

Skjaersild - Skjaersild / Damned Roots [Demo] (2005 / 2007, Xaphan Records)

When it comes to black metal it's easy for an outsider to think all the bands sound alike, and the veritable hordes of so-called bedroom black metal bands aren't exactly helping.
I this review I will be taking a look at the Spanish black metal band Skjaersild and their first two demos, Skjaersild from 2005 and Damned Roots from 2007.

Skjaersild, the band who's name I keep misspelling, offer some fairly mediocre, slow-moving atmospheric/depressive black metal on the first demo. The two tracks, "Blinded to See the Most Inhuman Pain" and "Rotten Nature", feature little more than heavily distorted and rather simple guitars playing some moderately enjoyable riffs thick with melancholia.
The lack of drums and, well, any other instrument actually, on the first track makes the music sound depth-less and doesn't really leave much to the imagination or so to speak.
When drums are finally intruduced on the second track, the 10-minute opus "Rotten Nature", it is in companionship with the same bland guitars we heard on the previous track, only to occasionally be interrupted by what kinda sounds like the clean guitar MIDI-sounds from Guitar Pro with a ton of reverb.
When it comes to the structure of Rotten Sound the parts of the track are simply too incoherent and seemingly unrelated to each other to justify throwing them together into one long torturous track.
The fact that the cover is nothing more than the name written in capital, white gothic letters and a Mitsubishi-logo on a black background doesn't really make the demo feel more worked through or serious.

The 2007 demo "Damned Roots" pretty much features the same unexciting guitar work and, most notably, even more of those harrowing MIDI sounds that plagued the first demo. Little has changed in the two years that it apparently took to complete this 3-track demo, and pinpointing differences is almost completely impossible, one exception being the fact that the last song, "Looking at the Emptiness" actually has a couple of layers instead of just being guitar and drums. But as with Rotten Nature from 2005, Looking at the Emptiness suffers from the same problem: A total lack of coherency and continuity. It's basically just a bunch of completely unrelated bits put after one another. And these parts are everything from what sounds like stuff ripped from the Diablo II soundtrack to Burzum-inspired ambient-ish stuff, which by the way is more or less completely ripped off of Burzum's Gebrechlichkeit.

All in all both demos are very lacklustre and none of the tracks feel like they're particularly cared for or worked through, and it makes the final outcome seem unfinished and unpolished like a work in progress. It simply isn't a very wholesome listening experience. 4/10 guitars.

Tracklist (Skjaersild):
1. Blinded to See the Most Inhuman Pain
2. Rotten Nature

Tracklist (Damned Roots):
1. Looking at the Emptiness
2. Is Not a Voice Anymore
3. Go Away

SKJAERSILD official site
Xaphan Records official site

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