By all accounts, Dublin’s Sodb’s demo was destined for greatness. One look at its roll call of members would say so, namely drummer Johnny King from Altar of Plagues alongside members of defunct crustcore band The Dagda and the still inactive Fuck You Written In Shit. The various membership though hasn’t meant that Sodb’s output is a careless hotchpot of styles. No, this is black metal unabatedly but it’s black metal riddled with an unnerving melody, but also a chaotic undercurrent contributed by their punk backgrounds, that makes for one of the more impressive demo releases of 2012.
Encased in imposing artwork, a great deal of care was clearly put into releasing this demo tape, the first release from Into The Void Records. “Don Seantalamh a Chuid Féin” comprises of just four, but lengthy, tracks and the band clearly understand the purpose of a demo and that is to lay down the gauntlet for the future, and Sodb do just that. Typically lo-fi in production, the demo opens first with murky voices wretching in the darkness that gives way to the searing delivery of the title track that sees thunderous blastbeats and blistering duelling vocals come to the fore. Followed by “Aigre Re”, Sodb have made it abundantly clear at this point what their modus operandi is – crafting harrowing, but totally captivating pieces of black metal.
“Tethered” marks an absolutely visceral standout moment for “Don Seantalamh a Chuid Féin”, but it’s “Old and Withered Form”, the song that the band enticed us with online, that makes for one of the demo’s most striking highlights as searing tremolo picked guitars, a regular feature of this demo, shear through the din with haunting vocals bellowing from the murky depths, where all the band’s strengths have been concentrated into one punishing, but equally enthralling, barrage of foul black metal.
This is a demo of grand proportions but despite all its wonder, “Don Seantalamh a Chuid Féin” is still only a demo and it leaves behind a painful yearning for more. Sodb sound like they’re a little restricted within the confines of this tape, aching to break free, and the band could execute something incomparably grand with an LP, hopefully sooner rather later.
“Don Seantalamh a Chuid Féin” is available from Into The Void Records.