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Nemorensis : I (Demo re-release)

The re-release of Nemorensis' demo shows more of their Black/Ambient roots than their later Black/Doom approach.

Although this is the first release Nemorensis sent out in into the world, it’s actually the second one of theirs that I have listened to. I enjoyed listening to 'The Fae Queen' because the Black/Doom crossover appealed to me so I was curious to see if 'I' actually laid down the foundations for that album or if it was simply an experimental release at the time.

The first thing that struck me about this release, even before listening to it, was the unnecessarily long song titles. I can only assume that Nemorensis has known the pain of trying to learn German at some stage because the structure of the phrasing reminds me an awful lot of the painstaking way in which a lot of German words describe precisely what is being said! Joking aside, the song titles are more reminiscent of what you’d find on Black Metal releases so my initial thoughts were that this demo would lean more toward it than Doom metal.

Indeed, once past the meaty mouthfuls, 'I' established itself as a stone cold Black Metal/Ambient release. 'The Fae Queen' may have walked a tightrope in terms of categorisation; I’m happy for each individual to make up their own minds on that one. 'I' is Black Metal/Ambient, though - no doubts about it. The opening track is pure Dark Ambient, the penultimate track is Black Metal at its most raw with further brief forays into Dark Ambient, and the final song is another hypnotic Dark Ambient track although this time with spoken vocals.

Even by Black Metal ‘standards’, though, the production on this release is atrocious. I suppose little more should be expected from a demo, really, but if the band has gone to the trouble of re-releasing the demo then you’d have thought they’d have touched it up! I loved the tortured vocals and Ambient interludes on this release but as far as the Black Metal goes, there’s not a lot that I’d be able to recommend, predominantly because I can barely differentiate between instruments thanks to the production! The Black Metal segments don’t seem to be too repetitive (I recall that being something that bugged me a little on 'The Fae Queen'), but with everything so low in the mix, it’s difficult to say for sure. Even for a long-standing Black Metal fan like myself, this production is seriously raw!

Yet again, I’m a fan of the artwork and layout of this release from a physical perspective. The text side of things annoys me because it fades into the background too easily - either that or my eyes are on the blink! The artwork itself is very solemn and intriguing, though. Nemorensis certainly know how to add an air of mystique to everything that they do.

To summarise, I’d call this release "curious". There are good elements; it’s now easy to see what ultimately led to 'The Fae Queen', which I enjoyed. 'I' is very much a typical demo production, though, with plenty of bad to counter the good (e.g. one of the tracks had 1-2 minutes of silence until the next kicked in). I can’t really recommend the release to anybody because there’s nothing that stands out on it. Having said that, I’ve definitely heard worse so this is a middle-of-the-road job, best suited for avid collectors.

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Reviewer's rating: 6/10


Tracklist :
1. Prayer Of Initiation (Abandon The Self In Rivers Of Forgetfulness And Take Up The Mantle Of Purifying Fire)
2. Sacrifice (Give Of The Flesh To The Eternal Circle And Embrace What Lies Beyond)
3. Rise Once More (The Ashes Of The Slain Harbor Life Anew)

Duration : Approx. 70 minutes

Visit the Nemorensis bandpage.

Reviewed on 2019-03-11 by Ian Morrissey
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