- Asfalt (Demo)
- Motala, Sweden
- January 1, 2018
Welcome to the first Noob Underground submission. The point of these articles is to provide promotion, feedback and general advice that anyone can use.
This is a bloody good demo for general listening purposes. Not only is it the size of an LP but it sounds like the beginning of a very promising band. I enjoy the Neurosis style vocals belting out some Swedish lyrics I wish I understood. Self described as “Heavy music for sad people”, I’m immediately on board, that’s my personal aesthetic.
There’s some elements or tracks that don’t press that hard enough, it would be good if more melancholy could be presented where there’s a lot of deep toned space. What’s here is often more The Road (book/film) style misery, long songs with dirging riffs, bleak as fuck. It’s great as it is but I think it could really benefit from the rhythm guitar and bass being responsible for the post/doom aspect and let the lead guitars bring a bit of melody into it, the lead feels a little restrained in it’s expression.
Basically, if you have a thematic premise, try and find ways to make that the consistent core of the music, lyrics, art and social presentation. You might feel tempted to throw in some other ideas you have when making a demo but it can just be a better idea to remain focused. Strip back the improvisational style droning a bit and focus on the punching. This demo tries to build up to huge emotional moments and for the most part it does that well, but sometimes there’s just too much space where it loosens its grip on you. The vocal fading done on some of the tracks is an interesting touch and I’m excited to see that refined in its approach.
I don’t typically translate lyrics but I took a line at random from the second track, “Asfalt”, and it translates roughly to “I can almost understand why people jump off the roof”. It’s heavy stuff both sonically and in terms of themes with the third track, an Instrumental, simply offering “(God, I Love Smoking, Even If It Kills Me)” as a subtext. There’s certainly a cohesive concept going on here that’s very relatable. The track “The Couch” is in English and has very potent lyrics. As they develop their style and set up to release their new 7″ this Spring (Sweden) I’m sure they’re going to bring something fantastic to the world of posty sludge metal.
The most effective use of a demo:
This is a long demo. A lot of effort went into this and it hasn’t made it out to too many ears unfortunately. This is the length of an LP, so for a free release there’s a lot of value. It’s length however may prevent people from entering your ideas and signiture. If you took the highlights of this album and put it into two 10-minute tracks, then not only is it less work given away for free but it makes it more accessible to the industry as a demonstration of your work.
Demo your sounds and ideas first, promote it as much as possible, then throw everything you have in the next release. Your formal LP or EP. Even if you have an albums worth of tracks for a demo, just keep some to yourself for a bit and put the best couple up as the demo. Then when you’ve gotten some attention for that demo and refined the other tracks more for the EP or LP, there will be some momentum behind the second release. Holding back some songs also means you won’t have to restart the writing process entirely. A demo is always a setup for following releases and doesn’t have to try to copy the industry standard of an album in any way.
There’s nothing wrong with this cover for a demo. There is a next step required in going beyond a demo however. The demo is never going to look perfect, almost every tape I have of a band where I’ve gotten their demo and LP, there’s a change of logo design. Set yourself up with a logo from the many artists online (heaps will give you a decent one for like 50 – 100 bucks). IG is a breeding ground of hungry metal visual artists. I have some on this page I desperately need to update of commissioning artists.
So there it is, check this demo out and give it a share, it’s severely under-supported for how much effort went into it.