Although they’d probably hate the sentiment, there’s something quite quiant about “Shadows From the Cemetery”, the third demo tape release from Finnish trio Cemetery Fog, as it tries – and succeeds in many ways – to evoke the spirit of the underground tape-trading scene of the 1980s. From the hand-drawn artwork of the cover – the dimensions of a cassette case and not a square CD box – to the raw, underproduced din that the band manage to pull together, there’s something very evocative about Cemetery Fog‘s approach to their art and that is to be commended.
But packaging is one thing, content is something else and the music perfectly fits the image of what the band are trying to sell. From the opening doom riff of ‘Into the Beyond’ and for the next 23 minutes the band play a brutal mix of harsh black metal with death metal muscle and some good old fashioned Scandinavian doom atmosphere to wrap it all up in. It’s not the most original sounding mix but it works and the band give it their all through the five tracks on here, their sheer enthusiasm overcoming any technical shortcomings they may have.
Sometimes you hear a demo from a new band and there’s something there; it may not be clear at first but after a few listens something seems to come through and grab you. With Cemetery Fog that certain something is there and, with a little bit of guidance and some good fortune, hopefully they’ll get to put their raw energies into something more polished and complete. As it is, “Shadows From the Cemetery” is atmospheric, fairly tight for a demo and a good calling card for the band – hopefully somebody in the right place will take notice.