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Dryden Sagoth - "Long Dark Corridors" (Demo)

Dryden Sagoth - "Long Dark Corridors" Demo cover image

"Long Dark Corridors" track listing:

1. The First Tear (1:32)
2. Prelude to Darkness (3:01)
3. Sick of This (2:46)
4. Damned and Dead (3:38)
5. You Must Be Dead (4:26)
6. Dreamer (8:57)

Reviewed by on May 16, 2009

"While the music does have a few rough spots inevitable to a low budget home brewed act the overall product is something that should pique the interest of anyone who likes heavy ambience in their metal."

While plenty of bands thrive on the ability to bounce ideas off each other and spur one another on to greater heights, there are some bands that need to go the solo direction for the creativity to flow freely. When the restraints of competing egos and differing musical tastes are let go there is always going to be more room for innovation and more focused music. Dryden Sagoth is a one man black metal band hailing from Spain who has decided to share his musical vision with the world through the demo “Long Dark Corridors.” While the music does have a few rough spots inevitable to a low budget, home-brewed act, the overall product is something that should pique the interest of anyone who likes heavy ambience in their metal.

The creepy opening track is done better than most, with multiple discordant sounds played together at the same pace for a seriously unsettling effect. Barely heard whispers break out of the music on occasion and sound like they may be played backwards, or at least out of their natural order. After a minute of lulling the listener down into the rhythm a grating screech from another world suddenly breaks forcefully through the wall of sound as a reminder that “Long Dark Corridors” is a black metal album out to destroy. The intro ends with a sound like a clock, counting down to annihilation and extinction.

Rather than shifting immediately into the heavy guitars and screams, the second track instead tries to keep the audience on their toes by starting with a down beat guitar line rife with heavy feedback. More whispers and croaked clean vocals come out of the fog from multiple directions at once, but they frequently morph from a spoken word to a laugh or a growl without warning. The guitar work keeping the song moving along lacks some of the polish of bigger name bands, but it definitely gets the general idea across well.

Actual growled vocals don’t finally work their way into the music until the third song “Sick of This,” which has much less of a horror vibe and more of a straightforward head banging feel. The track has a strong beat but the tone and pace of the guitar and drums don’t quite match the vocals as they stick to the mid-paced area. “Damned and Dead” also sticks to the middle of the road pacing but the execution comes off much better as the sounds of the instruments mesh together with more finesse. The horror elements are also more toned down on this track, which is a shame, as they are best element of the demo.

“Dreamer” sees the music returning to the atmospheric and dreary feel of the early tracks. Halfway through the song, the instruments and vocals gradually fade out to lead into a sound somewhere between static and rainfall. As the sound continues on an even more depressing guitar riff starts up and a few keyboard sounds get thrown into the mix. The keyboard parts towards the end sound quite a bit like something that Per Wiberg would add into an Opeth track for backing atmosphere, which immediately makes the song more interesting.

For a demo from a one man band “Long Dark Corridors” is a great start that shows a good deal of promise for future releases. The elements don’t always come together perfectly, but there’s still enough draw to make it a worthwhile destination for a metal fan who wants to float on a sea of ambience with a harsh black metal background.

Highs: Creepy ambience and interesting keyboard effects

Lows: The mid-pacing is occasionally boring and not all of the elements mesh together perfectly

Bottom line: A promising demo with heavy ambience from a one man black metal band.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)