DEMO:LITION: Humanity Defiled, Dawn of a Dark Age, Nonsun

Every week, DEMO:LITION< will premiere a new demo (or demos) by an unsigned band of heavy nature. There's no boundaries here: death, black, doom, sludge, progressive, stoner, retro, whatever! It's all fair game. For this week's premiere, we explore Belgium's Humanity Defiled, Italy's Dawn of a Dark Age, and the Ukraine's Nonsun.

Photo by Lore Basyn
Photo by Lore Basyn

This first look is a special DEMO:LITION extra for a good cause. Humanity Defiled wowed us with both 2013’s Circling the Drain and last year’s Demise of the Sane, a pair of DIY death metal powerhouses that got us all amped up about unsigned bands again. This month, HD’s sole perpetrator Iwein Denayer decided to use his project to help out his cousin Bert, who also carried the banner for underground music but recently suffered a “complex hernia.”

Denayer says, “All his nerves were ‘choked.’ He’s paralysed from the waist down. The past eight years, Bert ran a music cafe where a lot of (underground) bands from very different genres came to play. He also works in construction. He was forced to stop both activities. Needless to say, this causes a lot of financial troubles.”

Denayer recorded The Storm & the Calm, a pair of tracks that represent the first time he’s asked money for his music. This money will be dedicated to helping his cousin recover. We wish him the best.

Update: While you can still donate money if you would like, the fundraiser is effectively over and the single is now available for FREE.

Vittorio Sabelli tore open 2014 with a far better New Year’s Resolution than yours: start Dawn of a Dark Age, then write and record six new tracks every six months for three years, resulting in six installments that would focus on six elements (the classical four, plus two more). We’ll admit, we were skeptical. But first volume, Earth, was a solid effort, and follow-up Water saw release right on schedule. Then Fire fucked with expectations and was seriously awesome, and now we’ve got Volume 4, Air, which is also amazing. The trick here (which befuddled the first two volumes but has become extraordinary in the most recent pair) is the inclusion of very non-metal instruments (clarinet, anyone?) in these blackened arrangements. It works, crazily.

Sabelli says: “Dawn Of To Dark Age was born from trying to insert unusual instruments in black metal, such as clarinet, saxophone and flute. The compositions are strongly influenced by my background of jazz and classical music. My music is strongly inspired by nature and every album has one particular characteristic that puts the listener in symbiosis with the element in matter.

“[With] each of the discs, I look for some locations that inspire me with the element for my record. The next step is shutting myself in the BVNKER Recording studio and wait for the ideas to come that will help me compose the album. The fourth chapter of the saga, AIR, is different from the previous releases due to the inclusion of a new line-up featuring drummer Diego Tasciotti (Handful of Hate) and and Lys on vocals from Italian band Enisum. Unlike the previous albums, Air will features wind instruments giving the sound and feel of the element Air.”

Listen and understand.

If death metal and black metal take your heart rate to uncomfortable speeds, you might need a little Nonsun to bring your Friday back down to manageable levels. These Ukrainians deal out the drone/doom like it’s the last music left on Earth and it needs to be rationed. This shit is slow, gummy, dark and enveloping. The duo, Goattooth on guitars and Alpha on drums, have been wallowing in darkness for several years, but they have just released their first stab and a complete album with Black Snow Desert. Goattooth explains:

“It’s not an ordinary album. It’s a journey. A long and hard trip, with a heavy heart and longing spirit. But those patient and open-minded will eventually be rewarded. It’s the music from behind the wall of sleep. And it doesn’t matter on which side you are while listening to it.”

May your day be dejected and barren.

… and some video … kind of …

Hit this space next week for the next installment of DEMO:LITION!