Partakrist (which should be read as part-a-krist, "tear christ apart") is a fairly unknown name in the Finnish Black Metal scene, despite the fact that they've existed since 1998. The group has made three demos before the "Et Facta Est Nox"-demo, and the second and third one of them were released as a tape entitled "Me Tahdomme Barabbaan" ("We Want Barabbas") through Wolfsvuur Records.

The demo opens up with a really stylish three-minute instrumental summon for darkness, which creates a dark and intriquing atmosphere with its raw sound and somewhat melancholic melodies. It builds up with no rush whatsoever, until some accompanying screams of agony help it reach its climax - the follow-up "Alttari" literally opens up with a blast. A traditional fast-paced black metal-riff a'la old Darkthrone and the like kicks the song into movement, but it soon becomes clear that the band has a lot more to offer than just some remake of old classics; the faster parts are balanced with some slower moments with a minor hint of death metal-groove, and the sturdy but lively bass guitar pounding really lifts the song's value up. The drums deliver traditional and simplistic but at the same time really skillful beats and fills, and thus help further underline the band's own approach to what they perceive as True Black Metal - and the same could be said about the song's guitar-only mid-part. It was a really daring choice and could've easily rendered the song to utter dysfunction, but the band employs such a strong sense of style that the song seems to reach a whole new level of wrath, darkness and disgust after the build-up.

The following three-minute song is quite a bit more brisk and simplistic one when compared with its five-minute predecessor; it doesn't aim for a climax, but moreso focuses on the basic compositional elements and the flow of raw darkness. The vocals really nail this tune, and I'd suspect that it sounds quite a bit less intriquing unless you understand its lyrics; the low, guttural growling and shouting deliver satanism, murder and apocalypse, and a song with a this simple structure brings best ouf of the lyrics and the vocalist's taut and wrathful voice. The fourth track "Polte" opens up with some acoustic guitar as a build-up, but when the song gets into movement it cannot be stopped; the varying balance between the even beautiful atmosphere of darkness and the raw guitar riffs, as well as the surprisingly catchy and appealing vocal sections topping them create a force not to kid around with. The song features a shout-along in its end as well, which sounds even surprisingly powerful as the song's climax.

"Revendicationis" slows down a bit as the listener was being beaten down by its predecessor, and despite employing a faster pace at times it moreso focuses on creating a strong feel of darkness and a constant flow of raw power instead of a mere quick beatdown. Especially the track's lighter and slower part after its halfway enchances the feel of embracing darkness, and the powerful "choral growl"-section takes the feel even further. The last tune is an instrumental two-minute outro, which gives the demo a stylish ending. I often complain about how demo- and other bands don't seem to know how to end their releases, and if you're looking for ways to do it with style, this is a good release to pick up and learn from.

This one demo reminded me that there is still actually meaningful and dedicated Black Metal being released. From the forceful and thought-provoking cover image to the deep, dedicated and powerful lyrics, to the spot-on execution and soundscape that combine raw power with audibility, skill and effort, all the way down to the detailed post-production, the demo leaves little room for complaint. One could say that the drums should have a slight bit more power, but I think their tad soft sound enchances the raw guitars and gives the demo a good dose of authentic oldschool-feeling - and their thought-out mixing and few panning fills erases the need to complain. Same goes for the few riffs that sound a bit too traditional; they don't try to be new and innovative, but moreso do what they're meant to do, and this meaningfulness makes them just right. Bonus points are awarded for giving the bass guitar an actual purpose and room in the mix, instead of making it a mindless, powerless drone to follow the guitar lines.

I initially thought that "Et Facta Est Nox" should've contained one more song, especially due to the long-ish intro, and it's still a standing fact when viewing the demo as a record that you'd want to listen to frequently. On the other hand, in this lenght it left me eagerly waiting for more, which is pretty much the main thing a demo-release should do. There's still room for the band to grow, but their skill and dedication make them a very considerable force.

5- / 5