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Synth EP Review: "Neon Demon" by Neon Demon

Karl is a longtime freelancer who's passionate about music, art, and writing.

Neon Demon, "Neon Demon" EP (2022)

Neon Demon, "Neon Demon" EP (2022)

Neon Demon’s self-titled EP combines ever present shadow, dynamic synth layers and undeniable energy into a seething musical exploration. Gentler moments leaven the darkness and well-written melodies unfold through the music.

"Under The Neon Lights”

"Under The Neon Lights” begins as a vocal sample comes in along with the sound of a cassette tape playing. Slightly distorted, gruff but warming synth chords move through the music. Bass undulates and huge, wide-sounding percussion creates an even heartbeat along with clapping sounds.

Elevated, piano-like synth with a sharp quality carries a wistful melody, combining yearning and a sense of progress. Strong, smoothly flowing drums and bass move to support the resonant melody. After a drum and bass only segment, medium-low synth chords add aching emotion as the drums slip and pulse below them. Raised, gleaming synth notes fall through the music, drifting past.

After a drum fill, the main melody imbues the music with a hopeful feeling and a tinge of nostalgic dreaminess. The drums move alone and a contented vocal sample moves in, as bass glides and gruff chords keep shifting. The “A” section melody returns to carry the song to an end.

“Nightbound”

Threatening, gigantic bass and slowly moving, rough-edged synth chords open “Nightbound.” Clear chimes ring out in a dynamic pattern that glows with life. Nasal-sounding, medium-high synth takes up the melodic pattern which flies above rapidly guiding snare drum and upwelling bass.

Medium-low, intertwining synth adds another layer to the forceful melodic pattern along with ringing chimes. A constantly undulating synth pulses before broad-sounding, medium-low sonic pattern is doubled by glittering chimes and the bursting drums.

Craggy, slowly shifting bass drifts as shining chimes ring out. Medium-low, energetic synth gives the music an added boost of life as it charges to a conclusion. The track ends as slow moving synth blocks fall silent.

"Summoner”

"Summoner” starts off as rebounding, threatening synth forms a surging pulse and portentous, clashing notes ring out. Bursting, thudding drums increase the feeling of growing evil power in the track.

Massive, dangerous synth chords flare and heavy drums strike hard while resonating chimes add a contrasting glow. Doom and triumph mingle in the melody as the mechanistic drums propel the track forward. Dense bass darkness roils below a metallic sparkle that accents swelling chords.

Dominating power and victorious energy spill out from the melodic pattern. Now there’s a void-deep bass surge and buzzing, medium-high synth lurks in the distance. The tremendous bass weight and bursting drums add tenebrous energy while raised, worried sounds flow through.

“Pharaoh”

A lurking sense of threat kicks off “Pharaoh” before pure evil erupts from the seething, rapidly churning bass and thundering drums. The low end relentlessly pulsates as a clapping sound comes in. A minor key synth melody, full of danger and wicked power, moves on broad-sounding, medium-high synth.

Battering drum weight and crushing bass create a sense of malevolent energy in the track. Now the surging rush moves with nothing but the gargantuan drum pulse before the evilly energetic melodic pattern speaks of an ancient danger awakening into the world. The huge shadowy mass of the drums and bass keeps smashing in until we fade on twisting sounds.

“Hellforge”

“Hellforge” starts as bursting drums with a slightly uneven beat join jagged bass that rises in a guttural wave. Nasal-sounding synth tumbles in a despairing, trembling line above hard-hitting drums and lugubrious, massive bass.

The drumbeat stutters while the bass pulses with eldritch strength. This is a track driven by percussive motion and towering darkness as minor key synth blocks undulate, exuding a hellish miasma as bass keeps churning and buzzing in the background.

“Goodbye”

Pipe organ moves above slowly growling bass before extended, distorted synth carries a gentle, pained melodic pattern to bring “Goodbye” to life. Elevated sounds shiver and bass rumbles with intense depth as a heavy drum begins to form a steady motion over that dense bass flow. Thick synth flows mournfully, creating feelings of loss and pain over the bass chasm as choral synths add a worshipful feeling.

Medium-low, rounded synth expresses hurting and a tiny hopeful spark, while all-encompassing drums and bass shape the music. There’s reverence in the melodic pattern, carried on sweeping synth and the choral sounds supporting it. The music evokes “goodbye’ with a certain noble quality while the organ moves along with bright, elevated notes and the ever-present bass power.

© 2022 Karl Magi