'Through Emptiness' - Wall of the Eyeless (5/10)
As is the case with most demos, Wall of the Eyeless presents a fairly primordial soup of musical concepts that hints at their potential as a band, without ever actually reaching it. This two-piece from Sweden came together under some interesting circumstances; the driving force behind this band- known for our purposes as SL- is actually Russian, but came to Sweden to study. Meeting up with a drummer, "Through Emptiness" was born, a rough collage of ideas rooted somewhere in between melodic death and atmospheric doom metal. Even as demos nowadays go, "Through Emptiness" feels unpolished in most regards. However, there's a hint of great things to come in this band's music- in spite of the messy production and wandering compositions, "Through Emptiness" leaves an impression that we will be hearing bigger, better things from this band in no time at all.
Wall of the Eyeless have received some pretty enthusiastic responses for this demo, and I think this success lies in the variety of sounds and styles they are able to bring into the mix. Although the central ingredients are not dissimilar from anything you might find in a death metal record, there are plenty of surprises to keep an ear out for. Acoustic instrumentation and symphonic ambiance are both staples of "Through Emptiness". Although SL's chugging metal riffs take a bigger piece of the cake, the most positive impression I'm left with here points to Wall of the Eyeless' atmospheric inclination. Although it's very evident that Wall of the Eyeless have worked within a tight budget here, the mellow aspect of the band shines irregardless.
Ironically, it's the actual 'metal' element of Wall of the Eyeless that comes up short. SL is a decent growler and capable guitarist, but too often, the mid-paced riffs feel too simplistic, and the shred solos too unorganized to leave as marked an impression as does the atmospheric portion. Simon's drumming is much the same way; it is functional, if not impressive, keeping up a steady rhythm without going past the call of duty. Granted, like the production- which is weak and amateurish- these things are to be expected of a demo. Where I think Wall of the Eyeless disappoints most are the compositions. Although the demo is chock full of a surprising number of interesting ideas, none of the demo's four tracks feel particularly well put together. Ideas come and go, without doing much to advance the song as a whole. A possible exception to this rule is the closer and highlight, "The Rain Song". It shows the songwriting achieving a greater level of focus, following an atmospheric doom idea throughout the eight minutes. However, it too doesn't do a fair justice to some of its better ideas.
"Through Emptiness" has some great ideas, but they're not presented in the greatest light. Most of this can be attributed to the standard garble and roughness that comes with demo territory, but it would have been great to hear this band consolidate their ideas and push for something a little more focused. Wall of the Eyeless is a band with some great potential, but there is work yet to be done.