Throwback Thursday: Demoncy – “Faustian Dawn”

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Demoncy are a band that I’ve always felt have never gotten their fair share of credit. Despite forming only a few years after their Norwegian contemporaries and being one of the first bands to bring black metal to North America with their 1993 demo Faustian Dawn, the band never seems to be mentioned in the same breath as many other greats, both from the US and abroad. While the band’s sound may have shifted in a different direction over the years, Faustian Dawn is nevertheless an important part of Demoncy’s legacy as well as that of black metal as a whole; it represents a snapshot in time to the beginnings of US black metal and helped pioneer the style in this country. With both the vinyl reissue of Faustian Dawn and the band’sĀ appearance at California Death Fest happening this weekend, now is the perfect time to get acquainted (or re-acquainted as the case may be) with this classic work. Continue reading

The Nine Circles Ov… USBM

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The metal scenes in Europe and the United States have always had a symbiotic relationship. When one scene moves in a particular direction, the other one begins by emulating and then transcending that direction. The New Wave of British Heavy Metal was a profound influence on the American thrash metal scene, a scene which would greatly influence musicians all over Europe (e.g. Swedish death metal), and so on. To make a (very) broad generalization: Europe tends to bring the mythology and romantic mystique; America tends to bring a more self-oriented, personal touch.

This is true of the American black metal scene as well. A good introduction to United States Black Metal (USBM) requires an appreciation for the bands that began by directly emulating the stylistic giants of Scandinavia, Switzerland and elsewhere. True, the American scene has gone in all sorts of directions since its development in the mid-to-late 1990s. But listeners should have a sense of context before moving into the specialized realms occupied by death-laden heroes like Goatwhore and Hod, along with the indie/alternative influenced sounds made famous by Wolves in the Throne Room. So with that in mind, enter the Nine Circles ov USBM. Continue reading