Demo:listen: Praecognitvm

Welcome to Demo:listen, your weekly peek into the future of underground metal. Whether it’s death, black, doom, sludge, grind, thrash, heavy, speed, progressive, stoner, retro, post-, etc. we're here to bring you the latest demos from the newest bands. On this week’s Demo:listen, we explore the remote and radiant dreamrealm evoked by Chile’s Praecognitvm.

Praecognitvm are an existential black metal duo from the spleen of Chile. Two uni students— Marcelo (or M.), who plays guitar,bass, drums, and does vocals, and Andres (or A.), who also plays guitar—jamming atmospheric black metal together as a way of grappling with the absurdity of mere existence. “The black metal itself, I mean, there’s something weird about making music, both artistic expression as what it contains, also the different kinds of music, movies, landscapes, etc. At some point all the influences melt into a simple expression,” M. says, speaking of what compels him to make black metal. He continues: “On the other hand, [Praecognitvm] try to reach what we want through introspection, the thoughts that surround us. . . .”

On their four song demo, beautifully titled Inalienable Catharsis, this young duo point their headstocks heavenward and riff the bigger questions. Each song begins with a delay-soaked guitar passage that’s often repeated throughout the rest of the track. This lends itself well to the band’s oneiric, or dream-like, atmosphere. “Our inspiration comes from the quest . . . of the human being through this plane called existence. We follow an atmospheric sound, mixed with some dissonant and melancholic vibe, especially the 90s’ aesthetic and minimalist arts,” says M.

Despite being inspired by existential themes and quieter subjects than most black metal, Inalienable Catharsis is no soporific voyage down the sluggish waters of Lethe. Largely recorded at the foot of Ñielol hill, where M. lives, Inalienable Catharsis is eerie and introspective black metal with a melancholic reverence for nature that’s neither depressive nor pseudo-Cascadian. Monochromatic riffs like some southern aurora pull the gaze toward the night sky and the scintillating stars beyond. And the vocals inhabit those stark melodies like disembodied howls emanating from the mouth of an unexplored cave.

Praecognitvm excel in setting the mood before blasting it apart with relentless black metal assaults. But even those moments are typically short-lived, at least comparatively. It’s almost as if Praecognitvm deliberately mean to keep the listener always moving forward, always guessing, and never certain, or secure with what may come next. Kind of like life itself. Unlike life, however, you can experience the Praecognitvm demo over and over again.

Inalienable Catharsis is now available on pro-tape Iron Bonehead. If you’re not into tapes, download the demo from the band directly. Whichever you choose, don’t let Praecognitvm’s debut pass by unheeded.

You heard it here first on Demo:listen. Check this space next and every Friday for promising new metal.

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