Demo

Band/Artist: Konvent
Album: Demo
Best song: “Chernobyl Child”
Worst song: None. The demo is four excellent songs.

I usually try to write these posts with something of a hook other than “check out this band I like,” but I really just wanted to highlight how much I like the Konvent demo.

I came to extreme music pretty late in life. Like most teens in the 1990s, I dabbled in the metal of my youth – hair bands, mostly, in that they were the pop music entree for most of us – and loved Metallica’s more popular stuff. Grunge hit and hard rock masquerading as grunge (Soundgarden, specifically) was a big part of my musical fandom development. I eventually fell into progressive rock, but never went for the growl-y death metal stuff that defines the most aggressive music.

I don’t know what changed, but Mastodon was my gateway drug to that world. I fell in love with Leviathan, an album I cherish so much that I don’t know if I’ll ever write about it. That led me to another album I cherish, ISIS’ Panopticon, which I have written about, poorly.

This is a roundabout way to say that I somehow found Konvent on Bandcamp a couple of years ago and was taken aback by the beauty of the form of it. Doom metal, but its nature, is not the kind of thing employed lightly, but the all-woman Danish band’s funereal thump is heavier than most. The demo is four tight-as-hell notions of the form, sludging with the best of any band in the genre.

The album begins with a sample from the film adaption of A Christmas Carol, with the Ghost of Christmas Present yelling the following:

They are your children! They are the children of all who walk the earth unseen! Their names are Ignorance and Want! Beware of them, for upon their brow is written the word “doom”!

In comes the guitar and vocals and we’re off.

Rikke Emilie List’s death growl is the superstar instrument on the record. Her vocals are the tie that binds the four-track release together, as it sounds as aggressive as a tiger’s roar and as melodic as a bird’s song. Doom often has more traditional vocals, while List’s dynamics make the record just brilliant. I cannot wait for the band to release a full-length album.

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