Not sure, if you’re a fan of depressive, melancholic, maybe slightly doomy black metal, but if you are then here I have really cool band to recommend to you. It’s Polish Cień (Polish for “Shadow”) and damn, they’re really awesome in my opinion. Not so well known, “Time of Desolation” is only their second demo, but I suppose it’s good time for introducing and recommending you all to Cień music, as they’re just about to release their debut album “Ecce Homo” for Old Temple Records. And damn, if the music will be as good as on this demo, then it will be a very good effort. And I am sure that it will be as good, if not even better!
I must admit that I was quite surprised, when I’ve listened to “Time of Desolation”, because I didn’t expect to hear such good music from completely unknown band. In fact I thought it will be something completely useless, so the more astonished I was after listening to Cień. “Time of Desolation” caught my attention right with their first song, which opens with quite untypical (for black metal) riff. Maybe this is why „Despair, Tears and Blood” reminds me bands like Khold or Tulus… because of this main riff, rhythm, but also harsh vocals and the overall atmosphere within this song. This track is based on this black’n’roll riff – if I can it this way, but it doesn’t avoid also some more melodic fragments, which are present in the further part of the song. It already catches that melancholic, sorrowful mood, which later Cień captures even more in such “The Clock”, which reminds me the depressive, mournful atmospheres from Shining records. One of the greatest characteristics for the whole “Time of Desolation” is its diversity though. There is slow, doomy “The Clock”, but there’s also “Dead or Alive”, which is way faster and more aggressive and angry black metal song. Finally I must mention also “Where Is Your God?”, a superb song, which has a slight post black metal feeling, which I like a lot and also the strongest melodic background. Yes, each track on this demo offers something brilliant, each is quite memorable and catchy, but the final result is simply brilliant.
I must also mention really great production of “Time of Desolation”, as well as great musicianship, composition skills and arrangements (with some acoustic guitars, etc)… simply awesome performance of the whole band, including the vocalist. Luckily Cień didn’t even try to copy Furia or other Polish bands from similar musical style and went for something different. The result on this demo is great. Now I really have strong hopes for “Ecce Homo”!
Standout tracks: “Where Is Your God?”, “The Clock”
Final rate: 80/100