DesDemon is a new female fronted band from the states that published their first EP „The Awakening“ as a self released debut in 2009. The band describe their sound as blackened symphonic metal. This means the sound is influenced by power metal, symphonic metal, thrash metal, progressive metal, doom metal and black metal. Hm….is there any subgenre that is not listed here? Anyway, seems like an interesting mixture of sound and here comes the result.
“The Aquiescence of illusion“ start this from the band self titled monolithic album. A fast guitar line and some keys open the track. The vocals of Mistress Tina appear and the opera touch makes it near to bands like Nightwish or Epica. The song stay fast over the whole length of five minutes only interrupted by a synthie part and guitar solo. Lord Metadox, the guitarist, knows how to play and brings that song out of the masses. The vocals could be a bit more powerful. Positive is that the keyboard is more in the background and is not overpainting the guitarwork. That is the main difference to other symphonic bands that play that kind of music. Not bad for an opener and the songwriting and music arrangements fit together so that is not difficult to listen.
„A soul in exile“ starts with acoustic guitars and piano. A little medievil touch. Tina appears with warm vocals but a power riff breaks the silence. And so the song continues with the change of ballad elements and power riffs. On top there is another great guitar solo of Metadox. Melodic and elegian. Again the keyboards are more in the back. In the end there is a nice sequence with Tina and a crying guitar before the song runs out with a power line.
The first doom elements can be found in „Iago“. With its 8 minutes one of two longer tracks. A little strange and high vocals of Tina in the beginning before the song is getting faster. Sometimes it sounds that the guitars cannot hold the speed. We definetely had better guitar work before. But the band points with different breaks and sound elements. And…yes…there are some black metal screams in the middle of the song. The whole arrangement of the song is exciting but the guitars are the problem here. With other guitar sounds this song would become a classic. And the voice of Tina has its best times in mid level. On the heights they sound a little bit too thin. Here the lady has to learn to bring more power behind her voice. Sorry…the arrangements are well done but this song could be much better with a more powerful sound.
Cool guitar riff opens „The burning martyr“. Tina performs in a way that she should do it all the time. This song is based on power metal ground and for the first time we can hear a real refrain. The guitar solo is again good handmade work. The symphonic touch has completely gone. This is metal old school with non-opera female vocals. A complete different element in the sound of DesDemon.
„In the absence of light“ is the last song and the second long track of this EP. Acoustic start with whispering vocals. Soon the power comes back and the song speeds up. Tina is mixing opera vocals with female shouting. Harmonies and cool guitar riffing share always in a way that underlines the bands symphonic main base. Lord Metadox is a real guitar wizard and that is also shown in different guitar solos and breaks in this 11-minute epos. This song is very heavy played. In the middle there is a doom break with organ and bells together with Tina in high spheres. Metadox spreads a following elegian guitar part. Here the drums appear more in the front and drummer Dan Rhodus leans this part the power that it needs. The church organs and bells end this song and so this EP.
In case that this is the bands first release there are some very good arrangements and songwriting on high level. The guitars sound could be better when the songs are getting faster. But maybe that is a reason of the production and I think this can be solved in upcoming releases of the band.
If you like female fronted symphonic metal that is not copying the well known acts like Nightwish and Epica you should give „The Awakening“ a listen. Ok…I couldn’t find black metal or thrash metal elements in the bands sound like they described, but there is enough other mixing of styles that have to be explored.
Points 6 / 10
Review by Kerb