Raw black metal is one of the few styles of music in which you might get more excited about a live demo than for a proper studio album. This is because the style’s power comes from its ability to capture a uniquely dark and evil atmosphere, which (in most cases) tends to be diminished by tricks like compression, noise gating and proper EQ controls. There’s something so sweet about an unpolished, ruthless burst of riffs and screams, which makes the newest release from Nocturnal Departure so endlessly satisfying.
Don’t get me wrong, the band’s debut full-length, Cathartic Black Rituals, was excellent. But the new demo, Worm Moon Offerings, summons a very different beast. And the howls from this creature are much more crude, and yet also more melodic, giving it that infectious balance that so many Bandcamp-bedroom acts are reaching for nowadays.
What I love about this demo especially is that it so perfectly represents what the genre’s detractors hate about it. The rawness-on-purpose approach can be an acquired taste, but as long as a band doesn’t take it too far, it’s hard not to get hooked on it.