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Druid - Dark Winter Solstice (6,5/10) - Ireland - 2006

Genre: Black Metal
Label: Self-production
Playing time: 31:39
Band e-mail: Druid

Tracklist:

  1. Intro
  2. For We Are Many
  3. Dorcha Saiocht Dagda
  4. Dark Winter Solstice
  5. All That Lieth Dead
Druid - Dark Winter Solstice

It’s always good to hear young talent, particularly of the Black Metal variety when it comes from these, Black Metal deprived, shores. Immediately I heard a similar mid-paced catchy tinge that dominated the early SATYRICON releases, though this is free of the folk embellishment. Moreover, the “Wrath Of The Tyrant” fuzz is here along with the various riffing styles that characterized the developing EMPEROR. As such, the demo, while being rife with inexperience and minor faults, retains a purity of spirit heard in only the earliest demos and albums.

 

The production is poor, even by Black Metal standards and it’s only at higher volumes, with attentive listening to the better subtleties become audible. The problem is similar to that of the aforementioned EMPEROR release in that the bad production is merely circumstantial, without adding to the atmospheric character of the recording. However, when you do manage to pierce the layer of uncertainty, the rewards are there. DRUID have managed to create an interesting vocal, not as sound as Vikernes, but more frail and very effective. In the title track this is used to tremendous effect with the sedate and hypnotic opening arpeggio.

 

Alongside the poor and ineffective production, the demo’s running time is far too excessive. Being over half an hour long, many of the weaker sections could have been omitted in favour of a shorter, better demonstration of their ideas. The band are better when they are slower, with the melodic yet dejected sections towards the end of the demo being enjoyable and more their own. The problem with the faster sections is just that with the idea sounding so similar to “Wrath Of The Tyrant”, it is simply no match for EMPEROR.

 

I list faults not so much to criticise, but to point out how the band could improve. Still, the fact remains that, despite its flaws, there is something wholly alluring about the purity of the demo. (Online June 21, 2006)

Niall Kennedy



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