While North Dakota is known for a lot of things, like cold weather and wood chippers, black metal isn’t high on the list. There are a few bands out there aiming to change that, and Fargo’s Demifiend are in the top echelon of them. Donning corpse paint and boasting the stage names Agony, Vothraad and Sorrow, this three-piece take the true black metal element of old and paint the entire picture with bleakness of their own extreme on Shield Your Eyes in Horror.
The album opens with “Deathbound” which, after a brief intro, blasts into full on melodic black metal mode. Agony’s vocals are brutal and have a razor-to-throat feel to them. “Treatise by Way of Tooth and Claw” picks the pace up a bit. Vothraad’s drum skills are highlighted here, and he flexes them well. The song builds to a brutal explosion of bloody proportions. “The Cavernous Recesses of Solitudinous Victory” injects a bit more melody, and the breaks slow down a bit, but this song is fucking heavy! “An Eternal Curse of Unwieldy Swords” continues the pummeling and actually intensifies it, as if you blended Behemoth and Goatwhore into a frenzied combo.
“This Ghost Will Not Linger” is a beautiful acoustic interlude separating the album. It’s haunting and mysterious, but it’s also very cool. “Of Deceit and Devilry” is my favorite here. It paints the picture of who Demifiend are and the heavy darkness that surrounds them. It starts heavy, builds to a wall of black metal awesomeness, and never relinquishes it’s brutal hold on your jugular. “A Deafening Preamble to a Sermon in the Name of Murder” is a bit slower and more melodic. “Inscribing the Virtues of Malice” takes you out of the album in grand fashion. It’s dark and heavy and boasts a bit of a tribal aura.
Demifiend have one hell of a dark and black album here. The production and energy have an old school black metal feel to them. I can’t quit listening to this 35 minutes of excellence!
Shield Your Eyes in Horror is out now on Exalted Woe Records. Buy it here!