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Demonia : Promo 2003

While I don't know how many copies of this promo were made, it's pretty obvious that this is a rarity. After releasing this promo the band changed their name to Altherea, and turned to a more extreme gothic metal direction. Hence, this and their self-released EP 'Divine Tragedy' is all that is available from their period as a doom band. A real shame, because this particular release really stands out as one of the very best in the genre.

The music can best be described as slow, melodic and atmospheric gothic/doom. There is a male growler as well as a female clean vocalist. Luckily it is Silvia Tavascia, the female vocalist, who dominates the music. She has a unique voice that, although a tad deeper than most in the genre, has an incredible ability to sing in such a soothing way. The closest voice that I can think of would be ABBA vocalist Anni-Frid Reuss-Lyngstad. Add a beautiful piano, a faint church organ, choir, relaxed guitars that don't over-dominate the serenity, and you have a fairly good idea of how it sounds.

The band has managed to balance all the important elements very well. While the music is sad, it is still very comfortable. They have also managed to make it both relaxing and epic at the same time. The occasional mid-tempo sections and growled vocals are placed very strategically to make things sound as good as can be. When listening to it, I find that everything kicks in at the perfect moment.

The chances are slim of ever getting hold of an original copy of this. Still, I would recommend anyone who is into beautiful doom metal with clean female vocals, like that made by The 3rd and the Mortal, Chalice and Skumring, to do whatever it takes to get hold of it. The number of bands which can make a demo, and much less a promo, into a masterpiece is next to none. In the end, the boring title of this release simply disguises one of the most unique musical accomplishments ever.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Stakes
2. Infernal garden
3. Mortal poetry

Duration : Approx. 19 minutes

Visit the Demonia bandpage.

Reviewed on 08-02-2007 by Arnstein Petersen
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