#1
To be honest, I am not sure whether any of you folks will enjoy this, but I have found value in it so I thought that I would share. I have linked to a download of the demo in the last paragraph below.

Once I dreamt that I died
And that I dreamt that I was still living
When I woke up I didn't know
Was I alive or was I dead?

Ethereal, dreamlike, and contemplative, this demo features two solo projects of Stefan Traunmüller of Austria: the black(-ish) metal Golden Dawn, and the ambient Apeiron.

The Golden Dawn material shows inspiration from Burzum, Viking-era Bathory, and perhaps others, but the style and the atmosphere are unique. There is a mixture of faster parts and mid-paced, almost rock-ish sections that somehow works very well and creates an aura of introspection. The vocals are varied, and keyboards are used extensively - I have never heard keyboards employed in quite this manner. The tone of the music is sometimes pensive, but overall this is not particularly dark music. Some of the songs have wandering structures and conclude by diffusing into the same ether from which they initially took form, whereas others move toward clear climaxes and satisfying resolutions. The Apeiron tracks are quite beautiful and evoke the feeling of wandering through a dream world, witnessing different scenes.

Mr. Traunmüller had a superlative, subtle sense of composition and structure; he understood how to begin, develop, and conclude songs. One effective compositional technique is featured in "The Spirit Lives On" and "Leben in Nebel," both of which resolve by introducing a new simple keyboard melody over an otherwise restated idea. This demo also flows excellently. The songs function well individually, but they interact and connect to form a single larger vision. The two halves of the demo even flow smoothly into each other such that the first resolves properly but also leads logically into the second. This serves a functional purpose for the listener, creating an optional stopping point in the middle of the ninety minutes of music.

The production is lo-fi and the playing of the instruments is a bit amateur in a couple of instances, but these aspects of the music do not detract from the result, instead adding an element of authenticity, honesty, and charm. My only complaint about this demo is that the Apeiron tracks lose focus at times and have a couple of jarring moments (though it could be argued that the lack of focus is justified, given the sense of wandering that the music conveys).

I have listened to the Golden Dawn half of this demo many times since I discovered it four or five months ago, and the Apeiron half a fair amount as well, and it has not grown old yet. Listening to this music is like inhaling fresh mountain air. The ambitious creation of an intensely inspired young man, this highly spiritual music provides vast worlds to explore for listeners who have an affinity for the light.

The demo can be downloaded from the Asmodian Coven blog here. If you want a taste, listen to the first song on YouTube. It's not shiny, immediate satisfaction kind of music, but maybe you will find some reward in it like I have.
Last edited by P1ayingW1thF1re at Apr 13, 2016,
#2
I know this demo very well. Genuine demo sound. You laid it out rather well and I may agree/disagree only the tiniest of bits here and there. Have nothing much to say that has not been said here already. Any thoughts on The Art of Dreaming? I think every subsequent release here after was an unwelcome departure from this demo.
A heathen, conceivably
but not,

I hope,
I’m not ashamed to be white
Vi doede ikke... vi har aldri levd
Barbarism is the natural state of mankind
Civilization is unnatural

It is a whim of circumstance
an unenlightened one
#3
I am glad to hear that someone else is familiar with this demo May I ask how you discovered it? My impression is that it is rather rare and unknown.

Regarding The Art of Dreaming, Mr. Traunmüller was clearly overflowing with inspiration and good ideas, and I do not disapprove of his willingness to experiment, but I think that he failed to sculpt strong compositions. Most of the songs are rather unfocused. Furthermore, the atmosphere lacks the depth and spirit of the demo, and the black metal sections all sound similar, partially due to the over-reliance on blast beats. An interesting album, but not really recommended. The other Golden Dawn demos have some quality material, but the split is by far the best.
Last edited by P1ayingW1thF1re at Apr 13, 2016,
#4
I learned of it earlier this year to be honest. It was an article on Summoning and it was included in the background as insight into the Austrian scene.
A heathen, conceivably
but not,

I hope,
I’m not ashamed to be white
Vi doede ikke... vi har aldri levd
Barbarism is the natural state of mankind
Civilization is unnatural

It is a whim of circumstance
an unenlightened one