The rerelease of lost cult classic records seems to be the new vogue these days, but when the label is Nuclear War Now and the album is US black metallers Demoncy’s vintage sophomore effort, ‘Within the Sylvan Realms of Frost’, then any idea of jumping on bandwagons can be very quickly forgotten! Released this February, this is a reinvigoration of a black metal classic.
Opener ‘Nighthood of the Moonlit Realm’ has lost nothing of its menacing, frozen buzz and, coated in a miasmic gloom, leads the charge of traditional second wave intensity. Although this is a bit of a change from their debut, the bleak cold that surrounds this record creates a purity of genre emotion. The icy blizzard of ‘Abysmal Shores of the Dark Lands Beyond the Sun’ is a relentless, skin freezing assault, while the harsh tremolo riffing of ‘Winter’s Ancient Slumber’ feels like it has been drawn from dark Scandinavian forests. Melancholic keyboards work within the riffs to really ramp up the atmosphere of abandonment and loss.
How people have ever doubted the ‘trveness’ of the American black metal scene when albums like this have lurked in the shadows I’ll never know. Conjuring up wintry riffs and howling vocals that sound like eerie voices on a frozen wind, ‘Within the Sylvan Realms of Frost’ is a record that will appeal to everyone who has ever liked black metal. Bleak, cold and utterly lonely in its chilling delivery, Demoncy are a revelation once more.