Iapethos (named after Iapetus, a titan in Greek mythology) is a one-man industrial black metal band from Finland. This is its first demo-release, and, aside of the mastering duties, it was wholly recorded and crafted by the sole member - and that includes creating the artwork. The demo is available as a black CD-R in a slimcase, with lyrics to two of the songs.
It's easy to be reminded of Black Funeral's Ordog-album due to the cold, raw and lifeless guitar sound. The bass is audible in the background, but doesn't really add a lot to the demo's overall sound. To serve as more industrial-sounding bass-frequencies and to add some depth to the harsh riffing, a haunting and vast synth-sound and its somewhat melodic patterns gain more volume here and there. Other than that, the raw guitar-sound and the sharp and simple programmed drums are responsible for the demo's feel. Vocals are served as traditional black metal-screams and shouts with additional backing shouts here and there, and their distorted sound fits the instruments' lifeless sound more than well.
The demo's overall sound is very pleasing. The industrial coldness with the haunting bass-tones and the fittingly primitive drum-programming give the songs a lot of honesty and charisma, the riffs are simplistic but varying and interesting enough, and the vocals bring just the needed amount of living undead breath to the desolation. Yet, after a few songs have passed, one's bound to notice that the songs lack the boldest and most outrageous variances that would give their freezing sound a meaning. The songs are good, but too stable and constant; with a sound and drum-work like this, there would be room to take the traditional compositions further than just resorting to using some slower and sharper high notes and synth-bass-rumbling. The soundscape plain needs more content, moving and varying elements, and a dose of additional dynamics. The demo's current state can't fully keep the sparse amount of different sounds and instruments from melting into one mass, which makes them lose a quantity of their textures and depth. The resulting blend lacks character.
The one-man Iapethos is onto a good start here. He certainly has the boldness needed to operate with such a minimalistic set and sound, and the dark, cold and even artistic lyrics sign that the lyrical side is both fitting to the sound and of overall good quality, too. The demo is just too long, which brings out the lack of depth and textures, and that the artist hasn't yet found bold enough ideas to make Iapethos stand out from the mass. For the next demo, the band might want to give more focus on making the individual tracks as impressive as they can be, and on creating a bolder and more unique sound either through adding more mass or sharp edges to some instruments. It might also be a good idea to aim for an ensemble of shorter length. A thirty-minute demo was just too much too soon for Iapethos; the end result is decent, but not impressive nor striking enough.