Demo:listen: Moenen Of Xezbeth

Welcome to Demo:listen, your weekly peek into the future of underground metal. Whether it’s death, black, doom, sludge, grind, thrash, heavy, speed, progressive, stoner, retro, post-, punk-, -core, etc. we’re here to bring you the latest demos from the newest bands. On this week’s Demo:listen we praise the unholy birth of Belgium’s Moenen Of Xezbeth.

Moenen Of Xezbeth first made their presence known in February. Calling themselves unclean spirits, they hail from Belgium and play what they describe as “old mid-tempo/slow black metal.” Their sound, indeed, resembles something which dates back to the early Tape Ape, but as you listen to Dawn of Morbid Sorcery, their five track demo, you find yourself inescapably drawn back to listening to it again and again. Time falls away, replaced by evil and entrancing grooves and the spectral lament of a Roland keyboard. And you begin to understand that Moenen Of Xezbeth’s drive to sound like a band from 1991 stems largely from necessity. The spell would be incomplete otherwise.

“It’s not our purpose to be ‘retro,’ we just try to make music we love listening to . . . Music is the escape from the mundane routine,” one of the unclean spirits writes. “The main inspiration are the old filthy dirges like Asaradel’s ‘Perpetuating The Law’ tape, although our sound is more melodic and ‘European’ of course!”

Dawn of Morbid Sorcery earns its atavistic sound with riffs immortal and more evil than the laws of time. A throat given up to the darkness chants lyrics which need not be discerned by your conscious mind for their influence to infiltrate and usurp your ego.

“The lyrics deal with the dark side of nature and man, strange rituals,” reveals one of the unclean spirits. “The words to ‘Obscured by lunar rites’ were inspired by the full moon . . . [W]hen the moon illuminates everything around you, when you have almost perfect vision at night and all other thoughts are blocked/obscured.”

Moenen of Xezbeth, which means the devil of deceit, according to one of the unclean spirits “represents the rotten sound of the band, slow and ancient. Our music is supposed to invoke cold darkness. Going back to the old tradition . . . Lots of bands from the early period of black/doom: Samael ‘Medieval Prophecy,’ Behemoth ‘Endless Damnation’ and ‘Return Of …,’ Taranis ‘Obscurity,’ Christ Agony ‘Sacronocturn,’ Pandemonium ‘Promo 1991,’ Athothep ‘Badb…,’ Necro Schizma ‘Erupted Evil,’ Holy Hell ‘Kill Jesus,’ Carpathian Forest ‘Bloodlust…,’ Rotting Christ ‘Satanas Tedeum …,’”

As if aspiring to the ranks of those demos which these unclean Belgian spirits so unabashedly worship, the 66 band-dubbed copies of Dawn of Morbid Sorcery sold out exceedingly quickly from the few European distros which carried it. Fortunately several stateside distros still have copies for sale, including Darkness Attack Records, who released the pro-manufactured US version of Dawn of Morbid Sorcery. Get yours before you start hunting down all those above-mentioned demos on Discogs. For Dawn of Morbid Sorcery is one of those forever demos. 

Check this space next and every Friday for another killer demo.