Album Title: Black War
This is the second demo from Artep, a Canadian band playing black metal.
The production on this record is rather clear; the sound is dominated by the lush, floating keys, beneath which the drums and guitars are just audible enough to be made out. This band's vocals are rather unique -- vomited snarls and growls with lots of microphone distortion on top -- and were definitely the highlight of the album for me.
The bombastic, larger-than-life riffs and keyboard lines give this demo a huge presence, as do the sick vocals. The synths tend to overwhelm everything else whenever they're playing, but this is synth-driven music to begin with, so it's not too much of a problem. The synths are broken by occasional lead guitar lines and vocal sections, and the band puts these to good use to prevent total keyboard overload. The slower sections on "Black War" are particularly great, and really clear the air before the blasting parts. The dual-vocal parts on "Eye Of The Serpent/Oko Hada" are also great, and the atmospheric spoken-word-and-crashing-cymbals part in the middle is probably the best thing on the entire record.
This style has been done to death already, but I have to admit that these guys do it to death pretty damn well. Those who are looking for more Emperor or Dimmu Borgir styled stuff should consider checking this out. Recommended.
Standout Tracks: "Black War"