***First EVER vinyl release by this legendary US funeral doom band. Also Shades of Night Descending is the first demo of EVOKEN, released in 1994, and for a debut demo, it is a surprisingly mature creation. Perhaps the music is of the same funeral doom-death variety as found on the later albums, all the way to the excellent Antithesis of Light and A Caress of the Void, but the unrefined production on Shades of Night Descending, with its barren character and heavy echoing sound scape, brings out the nihilism of funeral doom more effectively than the more professional production jobs of the later albums. The atmosphere on the demo is bleaker, even less forgiving, and perhaps even more desperate and repulsive in a positive sense than what can be found on A Caress of the Void. Even the considerably melodic guitar part in "Towers of Frozen Dusk" and other sweeter spots on the demo have a taste of ash and feel of pumice in them; Evoken walks on a musical lava field here, and manages to paint the true meaning of funeral doom in slow death metal colors on the canvas. In comparison to their later works, this is perhaps the essence of the whole band in the original, pure form. It would be silly to say that some fundamental rule of Evoken's music had changed since then, but for those who wish to have a certain rawness and honesty in what they hear, Shades of Night Descending is a good choice. Limited edition of 400 copies, packaged in gatefold sleeves.
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