Ξ February 4th, 2010 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Demos |
Spaniards Vitreus have waited a mere five years to release their debut demo, ‘No Shadows Without Light’, a slice of gothic doom akin to Opeth, Paradise Lost and Sentenced. How these sunny countries can through up depressed stuff such as this always astounds me…
Opening track ‘Benighted Existence’ sounds like HIM. A lot like HIM in fact, with the simple arrangement and clean, crooning vocals. Unfortunately, opening with your weakest track is not the best idea, and this one certainly isn’t fantastic. Second track ‘Metaphorically Forgotten’ is much better, with a thick guitar sound overladen with soft, echoing keyboard lines and a much more palatable deathly growl. It also slows to a more melancholic dirge halfway through, and is torn apart by a mournful guitar solo that adds to the atmosphere. There’s something about that I really enjoy; its evocative yet not forcefully sad.
Tracks like ‘Nombres Perdidos’ and closer ‘Dark Walls’ remind me of a rawer Sentenced, or a much stripped back Opeth or Paradise Lost; a winding piano line in ‘Nombres…’ breaking up the guitar led stuff to nice effect. Vitreus are also not opposed to moving into death metal territory as well, witness the heavier ‘Double Trick’ and ‘Metaphorically Forgotten’’s growling roar. There is also shades of black metal seeping into some of the keyboard lines in the title track.
The tough thing to swallow about ‘No Shadows Without Light’ however is the fact that the band have taken a full 6 years to compile this 6 track demo, rerecording and redefining the sound until it was perfect for them. Six tracks in six years isn’t exactly a great output, especially when the quality of this demo ebbs and flows. Quality tracks like ‘Metaphorically Forgotten’ and ‘No Shadows Without Light’ are hindered by poorer material such as the opening track. The band also seem to struggle with identity; at one point being doomy gothic metal, the next a more typical death metal band without being able to excel in either.
There’s definitely enough potential in this demo to suggest that Vitreus are a good band with the ability to excel. What they need to do now is cut away the poorer material and build themselves an identity that they can stick with and that works. Experimentation is fine at such an early stage in a band’s career, but the forging of a strong identity and vision is key to success. Find yourselves Vitreus, then the people will find you.