By Gruesome Greg
I gotta say, the first black metal album I ever bought was Venom’s Black Metal, and I haven’t purchased many others since. Alas, to call Toronto trio Demontage a black metal band would be applying the word in its traditional sense, the way it was once used to describe Venom and Mercyful Fate. You even get the odd King Diamond falsetto nterspersed throughout the six tracks on this one.
But there’s a lot more to The Principal Extinction than simple old-school worship. The tasty clean tones mesh with rough, dirty production to produce a sound that’s pleasingly authentic. The title track opens slowly with organ accompaniment, before picking up the pace into a grinding mid-tempo stomp, then dies down into a hauntingly minimalistic passage around the three-minute mark, on which the vocals of Spatilomantis feature prominently. Just one of several occasions on which the band uses tempo changes to draw you in as a listener.
“Satan of Self (The Warrior)… & Seer of Truths (The Conjurer)” is a two-part epic tune with a bit of Bathory and some shades of German power-doomsters Atlantean Kodex, which, along with ten-minute album-closer “A Thousand Dooms,” brings more diverse sounds to the table. Venom never created anything this complex, that’s for damn sure!
(Shadow Kingdom Records)