SHADOW DEMON parts ways


Dec 6, 2005
Greetings all.

As the subject line suggests, I have sad news. Let me first get to the point: The members of SHADOW DEMON have decided to part ways due to musical differences. Without going into detail I will just say that not everyone was happy with the direction that others wanted the band to move in. Being that we all have a mutual respect for each other, it was decided that instead of losing any of our current members (of which we all agreed are important to the band's existence) it would be more fitting to close the grimoire and set it down upon the ashes it created.

I am very proud of the music we created. I am very thankful for those outside the band who participated and contributed in their own way. I am not going to name people because in doing so I fear I will forget some (especially over the course of seven years) but you all know who you are! And of course I am very thankful for the fans, especially those that have stuck by us, interacted with us, and did their own part to help spread the word about us. It would honor us if you continued to do so. You all rule!

We recorded one official demo and one album. I hope that those who have their hands on one or both will continue to enjoy them for some years to come. Many have told us that they continue to get something out of Grimoire of Ruin time after time and even that they often notice things they hadn't before. If you haven't listened to it in awhile, throw it on and listen to it again!

For the time being Darkhaven Records (our own label) will continue to operate in a limited capacity to provide the CDs that are still available to our current vendors. We will also entertain other distribution inquiries while supplies last. You can still currently get our album in the U.S. from or so if you haven't picked it up yet, what are you waiting for?

Lastly, know that this is not the end for the members of SHADOW DEMON. Though we are parting ways, we will all be back with future projects so keep an eye out. If you haven't added SHADOW DEMON on Myspace, please do so and we will keep you updated with any news!

On behalf of SHADOW DEMON, thanks everyone for the times,

Jeff Helm
good luck on the future projects. Though if you can throw up any live bootleg of your stuff without Blaine that would be appreciated. Just out of curiosity on my part since i don't live near Seattle.

im guessing this page won't last long but oh well.
Damn, this is so depressing. You guys put out such kick-ass music, that to think you may never play together as a group again is just so... discouraging. I run across bands all the time that just flat-out suck. Even bands that are often considered big success stories, and have been around for decades putting out albums. Sometimes I'll listen to their stuff and just wonder who on earth actually buys their albums.

But with you guys, it was top-notch, kick-ass material right out of the gate. The album came out in '06, and I still listen to it regularly two years later. That's really rare, man. I normally get bored with bands pretty quick. But you guys are something special. You've all got serious talent. And it just blows me away that you're going to call an end to this project.

Oh well, my one consolation is that I know you guys are too damn talented to just drop off the radar completely. I'm sure each one of you will be bringing down the house in different bands in the near future. So I guess all I can do is accept that change is inevitable, and perhaps even necessary, and look forward with anticipation to see what great new projects you guys take part in.

Always a fan,
That is a major bummer man. Glad it wasn't a bad break up at least...

I'll just have to console myself with the fact that my name is misspelled in the Grimoire booklet for all eternity :D
Thanks guys.

Yes it really does suck but it's one of those things that in the long run is best for those involved.

Yes, Max, I do believe that all of us will be in active projects very soon so there will still be more songs from each of us in the future, just not as SD.

Until then, I give to you two very rough song ideas I'd written for SD that will very likely appear in a future project. I apologise in advance for the rough bits and the canned drums as this would have normally been completely internal band stuff. I hope you can appreciate what's there.

Thanks, James! Those tracks should definately be included on an upcoming album of some kind. Both have a lot of good material. Thanks for giving us an early peek at some of what you're working on. Much appreciated.:kickass:
As I've already expressed on other forums, this news is not good news by any stretch, but it's good to see that there will be two new metal bands in seattle instead of just one. Wish it could have happened a different way, but those are the breaks. Looking forward to seeing where both of these projects lead!

Yes, it is possible but I'm not fixated on being a vocalist, only making great music. If the right person comes along that makes sense for the music I'll happily bring them into the project.
well like myself and any1 not in Seattle, most of us don't know what you are capable of and this curiosity is killing me.

So maybe if you get a singer, when you make an album you could pull a Jon Shaffer and do something like Stormrider is to Jon.
Darkspyre is an excellent name. Quite nice. I'll check out the page. Do you intend to create the same kind of music on this project that Shadow Demon did, or are you going in a new direction?
I think there will be some similarities but definitely some differences. We intend to employ elements from a few different genres that weren't represented much in Shadow Demon. For one I will be doing more harsh/growling vocals, but I still want a good amount of singing as well. So far as I can tell, my riffing style hasn't changed much, but there will be a different approach to the compositions. I want to implement more dual guitar parts. That's all I can really say as I've only completed one song. I am interested to see how things turn out myself. :lol:
Jeff let me in on a sample of the rough demo song and I can say that fans of Shadow Demon will not be disappointed with this stuff. I can basically just back up what Jeff said: Same style of riffs and melodies, a little bit more extreme metal influence in parts and the growls are about half and half with the clean vocals. I'm excited to see how this band sounds once the full line-up is established.

I'm also really stoked to hear what James does with his demos. He showed me those a while back and i've been excited to hear some finished songs emerge. Both of these projects will undoubtedly kick serious ass.

I'm just glad I'm in seattle and will have more true metal bands to play shows with skelator :D
I think having a mix of both clean and growling vocals can make for a very interesting sound. I've heard music from a couple of bands that employ that approach, and have always enjoyed it.

Most of the bands I listen to stick to clean vocals, as I generally just don't find growling to be very interesting. I like to hear the lyrics of a song. I enjoy taking deeper meanings from my music than just what can be gleaned from the instruments themselves. And frequently, growling is done in a manner that prevents the understanding of what's being sung. Exceptions to this rule are out there, but pretty rare and hard to find.

However, I've found that while I don't generally enjoy bands that do nothing but growl, I actually do get into some music that uses growling as an accent, or accompaniment, in collaboration with clean vocals. In that sort of context, which is what it sounds like you're aiming for, I find the approach is much more pleasing to the ear. Plus, it allows the listener to gain a much better grasp of a song's lyrics and underlying meaning than pure growling generally allows.

Jeff, I know from your list of favorite bands that a lot of them feature growling vocalists. What's your opinion and stance on that style of singing? Are you able to understand the lyrics of the songs being sung, and take deeper meaning from them, or do you just take it in as a sonic experience and not worry about the actual words?
Well, I think growling vocals is something that has become an aquired taste for me over many years. The fact that some of the bands I listen to don't even sing in English just goes to show that it is indeed the "sonic experience" that appeals to me. However, I still often wish those bands did sing in English because lyrics are important to me as well, and I want to sing along, damnit! It's true that most bands that use that style are hard to understand. Some bands enunciate very well while others I can't understand most of what they say. Once I have read the lyrics it usually becomes quite apparent that that is indeed what they are saying! So appreciating the actual writing of the song isn't a problem at that point. Where I fall in that spectrum I can't say. Just like clean vocalists, there are some I like and some I don't just depending on the voice or how they choose to compose their parts.

As a general rule, I tend to like a mix of aggression and melody (in metal). If the singing is clean and melodic and the music is wimpy I'm not going to like it. If it is all out brutal and monotone sounding with growling vocals, I'm probably not going to like it either. Most of the bands I like that use growling vocals make up for that lack of melody through the instruments.

And I know it's not for everyone and I am fully expecting some people be turned off by it just on principle. They are understandably free to do so.

Edit just to clarify: With Darkspyre there will be growling parts and there will be clean parts (not just growls that accent clean parts). I will have a better idea of the percentages when more songs are written but for now I'd say 60% growling, 40% clean vocals as a guess (half of me is saying that just to drive the point to expect some growling!). :)
I guess in the end, good music is good music, regardless of the methods or means used to create it. Anything can be taken to an extreme. Including melodic vocals. Case in point: Falconer. Have any of you guys heard their album "Northwind?"

It's the only album of their's that I've listened to, so I have no idea what they've sounded like in the past. But trust me, their approach on this one is pretty unique. From what I understand, they actually recruited their vocalist from the theatre. You know, broadway-type stuff. Not the popcorn variety. I don't think the guy even listens to metal music. He's just pulling a paycheck.

The instrumentation on their albums sounds great. Definately the kind of metal that would pull some ears. But when their "born-to-star-on-stage" singer lets loose, all I can think of is, "How the hell did they get Julie Andrew's brother for this album?"

Yes, that's a "Sound of Music" reference.

His vocals are so squeeky clean he'd bleed syrup if you cut his throat. So you've got guys like him on one end of an extreme spectrum, and then monotone, grinding, toneless growlers on the other. I suppose so many of the bands I've heard that employ growling tend to fall close to that far end of complete indecipherability that I've started to associate growling in general with their poor implementation of it. Which really isn't fair, because there are some great bands out there that use growling to incredible effect.

Case in point: Einherjer. I freakin' love these guys. They only have one album that features clean vocals throughout, an experimental/concept work called "Odin Owns Ye All." The rest of their albums feature a style of growling which is actually done quite well. At times it's difficult to understand what they're saying, but overall, one can figure out what's going on. They implement the technique excellently. And it also doesn't hurt that each song has a genuinely unique sound, with excellent musicianship displayed throughout. They're not just some talentless group of teenagers banging on trashcan lids and growling incoherently to hide the fact that they forgot to actually write a song.

In effect, from your work on Shadow Demon, I know you guys are excellent musicians and song writers. So I have faith that you're going to rip loose some killer tracks no matter what means or methods you decide to employ in the making of them. Growling vocals, clean vocals, harps, kazoos, baseball bats hitting aluminum siding... whatever. In the hands of people who know what they're doing, any tool can create wonders, regardless of what other people do with it.

I'll definately be keeping my ear to the ground on this new project.

P.S. Any banners or logos in the works for Darkspyre? Let me know when you've got one and I'll toss it up on my homepage.
That is funny about the Falconer vocalist. I almost imagine that when he records, he's actually recording to different music other than Falconer. I actually kind of like his vocal approach though and in an odd way it fits the music. My only problem is that I can't listen to them for a long stretch without starting to become bored. Einherjer might be an example of the other end of that spectrum but I can't say I'm as familiar with them (I've heard a few songs).

What I hope to do is to break it up a bit between the different approaches and hopefully that will create more dynamics to the songs. That is hard to pull off...there are some bands I've listened to that I liked the harsh vocals but not the clean vocals or vice versa. I think bands like Ensiferum, Wintersun and Suidakra pull it off nicely. Though the harsh vocals are used more often, when they hit the singing parts it's like, fuck yeah!

As far as logos, we have nothing yet. We probably won't for awhile. I haven't even thought much about how I would want it to look. I should probably just write more music first. :lol: