Demetrius Grave – The City Is So Big
12 Tracks (tape) —– Around 61 minutes
Stagnation. Stagnation can be found in the black metal scene on a broad scale. Apparent changes in the
style are often merely cosmetic, while the deeper underlying surface re…mains untouched. Ambient influences
are added to support the atmosphere, depressive facets are often not more than everything repeated excessively
on a slower tempo and noise is often barely touched and avoided like plague. So, while a bit of polishing
here and there is practiced, the overall performance of the bands is in some respect wanting. Even bands
whose ‘instruments’ are all electronic and performed by a computer, stick to the concepts that are generally created by their fellow
musicians with the ‘real equipment’.
When it comes to music, then Demetrius Grave is different and the band set the frame for some fucked up art right from the
beginning. Black Metal plus a good deal of electronic influences might sum up the oeuvre of the Italian artist. The latter aspect
of the two can be recognized throughout the entire release and provides the music some interesting rhythms and arrangements.
Aside from straight-forward black metal compositions, others come with some techno-influenced motives and also these two in a
unity create an interesting and fascinating impression.
Generally, the guitars create a drone-like texture in the background, while pounding drums – electronic ones – create the beat of
the music. Intense is the proper phrase to describe the The City Is So Big and the switches between very fast and slow tempo
do their share to complete this impression. Moreover, the music is chaotic, violent, it is noisy and aggressive… it is not
something the listener will find on a daily basis; well, as this tape is
limited to 50 copies only, not many will have the chance to get a copy of
it. Somehow this is a bad thing, because the use of a sax, the string
parts and also the dense atmosphere of some of the compositions make
this tape really interesting. The music is not generic, bland or
predictable. Rather the contrary is the case. Despite the overarching
complexity now and then, despite the emphasis of electronic elements in the process of creating this album it is possible to enjoy this The City Is So Big. Venice, the well renowned Italian town, one
of the centers of carnival in Europe, would also be the origin of Demetrius Grave and it is only appropriate to see and hear the
music on this tape reflecting the facets of the cultural environment appropriately. On the other hand is the aggressive and harsh
nature a contrast, a dirty and sinister face, of what a foreigner would associate with Venice. The music is not nice or friendly or
calm. Au contraire! It unleashes a furious thunderstorm unto the ears of the listener, which lasts for nearly the entire releases.
This is not typical black metal, but it is interesting to find here and example to what extreme levels music of this genre can
brought to, once the boundaries have been eradicated and the ideas freed.
A Dead Spot of Light #1 January 2010
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