Grey Demo

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Band Name While Sad Spirits Around Me Stroll
Album Name Grey Demo
Type Demo
Released date 2008
Music StyleBlack Metal
Members owning this album1


1. Air 07:53
2. Grey of Light 07:50
3. Garden of Life 05:41
Total playing time 21:24

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While Sad Spirits Around Me Stroll

Review @ Satanicarchangel

15 June 2014

A Surprisingly Original Listen

I love blackgaze but let’s not kid ourselves here, how many black metal bands actually have a sizeable shoegaze element, let alone mix it perfectly within their sound? Much of the genre lends itself far more towards instrumental post rock than shoegaze and it shows. The distortion on the guitars is never a warm, shoegazing dissonance, but usually a cold, black metal distortion. The melodies lack the hypnotic, dreamlike effect of shoegaze and overall the genre has only trace elements of the genre, remaining securely within the realms of post rock and atmospheric black metal.

While Sad Spirits Around Me Stroll embody many mandatory aspects of the post black metal genre. Melodies that have more in common with This Will Destroy You than My Bloody Valentine, highly distorted guitars and an overall minimalistic feel. The music isn’t exactly complex, songs usually have two or three riffs at most but the actual content of the music is interesting enough to ensure the music remains endearing.

Although their band page here calls them a black metal band, there is far more going on than what such a label infers. There’s a very strong sense of melody here, heck it’s probably one of the most melodic black metal albums I’ve heard. The melodies are never cold or negative, but warm and hypnotic; they’re incredibly catchy and work well with the atmosphere established. The opening riff to Air might be one of the best riffs I’ve heard in a black metal song for a long while.

Sure the music is incredibly melodic and hypnotic, but I’d be lying if I said there was much going on here. Songs don’t really alter much between each other, whilst there is enough variation to tell them apart the formula and playing styles remains consistent throughout the demo. Songs usually follow the contemporary post rock formula of loud section followed by quiet section, rinse and repeat. Thankfully though, every element of While Sad Spirits Around Me Stroll is good enough that I can ignore the highly formulaic and predictable nature of the songs.

The previous reviewer criticized the sound for being too muddy and I wholeheartedly disagree with this statement, I find the contrast between the lo-fi sound and the highly melodic music to work exceptionally well. Sure, it might be a bit rough on the ears for some people, but as an example of really pretty, lo-fi music, I can’t imagine anyone doing it better,

Overall, I really liked this demo. There’s certainly a few flaws that need to be worked out; the music can get quite repetitive, especially during the middle section of Air, but the music is interesting enough to warrant this frequent listens. It’s certainly a unique listen, I don’t think I’ve heard anything like this in the black metal scene, and probably won’t until I listen to the rest of the bands catalogue. Worth listening for those who are looking for forward thinking black metal, just keep in mind it's not the most diverse listen ever.

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