Full Moon Productions – 2006
Finally, after long delays, Kafan’s demo is released in CD format, although not as a split with Weapon from Bangladesh as was originally intended. But what remains is still quite impressive. Kafan’s approach to Black Metal is extremely crude, raw, primitive and ritualistic. The sound is definitely crude and so far from “polished” that even unpolished is inappropriate, with buzzing, thin guitars, hollowly echoing drums that sound highly untight and vocals that sound inhuman to the extreme. And it works very well. Especially the crude drumming manages to create atmosphere extremely well despite, or perhaps because of being so untight.
This CD consists of six tracks, with the three first tracks being the original demo and the three latter tracks being a re-mix/alternate mix of the demo, featuring somewhat slower versions of the songs (slowed down afterwards, not played with a slower tempo) that are rawer, more chaotic and cacophonous in nature. I prefer the original versions by far, even though the alternate mixes serve their purpose as well.
I do have a few points of criticism, though. First of all, the music is a wee bit monotonous, and I can imagine that in the longer run it would become counterproductive. Three tracks (or, six tracks with each song in two versions) isn’t too much, but I can imagine that it would be so on a full-length. Secondly, the high vocals on the title track sound just abhorrent. They don’t really ruin the track, but they are abhorrent. In a bad way. Hurts my balls just to hear them. But, in spite of these points of criticism, this CD is one of the best Black Metal releases I have heard in a long time. I heard this demo for the first time in 2004, and it has stood the passing of a few years admirably, losing very little of its strength or punch; always a tell-tale sign of something being genuinely good.
As an interesting side note I might mention that out of all of Xardas’ projects, I think Kafan is clearly inferior to the others. And this tells more about the high quality of his other projects, not of the lack of quality in Kafan.