Part of every metal lover’s obsession with the underground is the seemingly infinite secrets it contains. No matter how involved you are in a particular scene or style, there may always be some unknown project lurking in the shadows, undiscovered by even diehard sound hunters. Such is the case with Edmonton’s Demonicvlt, whose progenitor Vvordt (Barry) Beck, has been involved in black metal for over a decade. Demonicvlt, a creation from last year, is completely removed from the thriving Edmonton metal scene.
“I prefer to be unknown…” begins Vvordt via email. “I enjoy the comfort of the darkness and I dislike the public eye as well as people for the most part.”
This solitary mentality is further fuelled by the ever-present elitism found in black metal, to which Vvordt is no exception. His contempt for the local scene is palpable.
“I don’t want to be associated with any of it. I feel that my projects don’t belong with these people…”
Instead, Vvordt chooses to collaborate with musicians from Mexico and Iraq. Each Demonicvlt release features different musicians. The most recent, Conjuring Ancient Evil, was partially created by Bel Erregal (Erregal/Amelnakru) from Iraq.
“Yes, it is true that Demonicvlt is a one-man band (in a way) but there are a handful of musicians behind the blackened curtain that offer their allegiance to me. Their participation and hatred form up Demonicvlt and without them things would be very different.”
The involvement of different instrumentalists for each sub-project is one of the factors that make each release stylistically unique. The next to be released, entitled Possession, will continue in the vein of raw early ‘90s Norwegian black metal (think early works from Gorgoroth, Satyricon and Darkthrone): cold, aggressive guitar tremolos, blasted drum patterns and the tortured crying of occult/misanthropic themes.
“This release is in the style of raw black metal but Demonicvlt doesn’t play that exclusively. In the future, you will see many different types of music from this band (Les Légions Noires inspired release and even symphonic black metal!)… I dabble in anything black metal.”
The idea of combining such drastically different and often opposing sub-styles is itself very non-black metal, as the culture commands purity in all forms, its most polarizing attribute. This causes no conflict for Vvordt, who is inspired by this paradox.
“This is one of the many reasons I decided to form this project in the first place, to bridge the gap between all of these different styles. I have a passion for black metal, it doesn’t matter if it is raw, melodic, symphonic, true, nihilistic, etc, there are great bands in each genre.” He continues, “I create the music that I wish to hear from a musician and fan perspective. I don’t give a shit about who plays what just that I am true to my master, myself and to the black metal.”
While Demonicvlt’s status as a one-man project enables Vvordt to stay true to his vision, it is yet another factor in his isolation from the metal community, which centres around live gigs.
“Demonicvlt hasn’t played live and there are no plans of doing such things at this time. However, after a few more releases and if I find the right people that can do justice to the songs, exceeding my expectations, I would consider the possibility of this… A live satanic black metal sacrifice ritual.”
Such an occurrence would propel the music and its maker to become part of Edmonton’s diverse metal soundscape, but until then Demonicvlt shall remain where Vvordt thrives: in the blackened abyss of obscurity.
Conjuring Ancient Evil is available on CD from Exalted Woe Records.
By Ian Lemke