Review Summary: Aspect of the forest
Demos are usually raw, underproduced and lacking any studio polishing; showcasing the earliest beginnings of an artist's planned trajectory. At the extreme end, black metal demos follow that vein and are at their best revered in the underground for their lack of conformity and at their worst lampooned as attempting to cultivate certain linchpins of the genre while foregoing the most important element… the music itself. Toronto based one man artist E.V. who records music under the moniker, Sinding has released his first demo Fog Reach which is a nine minute exercise proving to be more success than failure. The song includes many hallmarks of the genre; lo-fi production, anguished vocals, blast beats, hazy and distant tremolo riffs, however, Sinding manages to captivate the listener with better than average songwriting and a penchant for dynamics, separating and lifting this demo above the countless others.
The vocals are restrained and often languished, mimicking the lamentations of other depressive black metal vocalists. Used sparingly they add to the sense of flow and purpose of the song creating moments of blissful discord as they clash against the tumultuous moments of the track. "Fog Reach" begins with a slow muddled key driven intro as E.V. breathes breadth and melody into the apt cover of the demo, as the forestal features seemingly come to life. Sinding does an incredible job at bringing about this hauntingly magical woodland realm. The use of synths provides creepy cathartic energy to the tracks more subdued moments eventually leading and overflowing into black metal chaos. Of course, the instruments all suffer (depending on opinion) from that plugged directly into a computer sound and the synths can be a bit offsetting when heard through headphones as they often clip and pop due to their high frequency. Nonetheless when heard through a stereo, the gentle and even serene atmosphere takes on the spirit of the forest as noted by the beautiful melodies playing off each other at the 5:30 mark eventually culminating into black metal elation. Although a bit cliched to say, this song takes the menacing ethos of black metal and channels it into a favorable listening experience despite its disruptive nature. Fog Reach mimics other Canadian based metal act Gris, especially Il Était Une Forêt…, in feeling and in the way the music becomes much more than the sum of its parts exceeding its productional limitations. The demo besides being only one song, is an excellent attempt at atmospheric black metal and could prove to be the launching point towards a fruitful career.