These days a new genre pops up almost every week. Each new band has its own self-named style and each one of those styles contributes to the growing confusion within the metal culture. What am I supposed to envisage when confronted with Empirialistic Moon Metal, Diabolical Gothcore or Technofused Industrial Rock, except for a bunch of teenagers masturbating whilst randomly browsing a thesaurus?
Rant aside, I like it when the style freaks take a break. Demonic Empire plays Black Metal. Full stop. Good, unclean and grim Black, with standard instrumentation, a very decent vocalist and the usual assortment of monotonous sound-pieces layered with malicious solos. This is, in my humble opinion, what Core Black Metal is all about: the dismissal of so-called hit songs with memorable refrains and catchy lyrics – the antithesis of pop music. Instead the music inspires occult dreamscapes of darkness, pain and primordial powers, not unlike the literature of certain early horror fictionists or obscure religious texts.
This album does not define a change in Black Metal. It is in no way inventive or progressive. Rather it builds on a traditional foundation. We need releases like Bloed en As (Blood and Ashes) to keep the Core genre relatively clean, while other releases spike up the mother styles with countless pre- and postfixes.
If you are as much of a sucker for really old school Black Metal, go buy Bloed en As!