‘Demo MMXXIII’ is not only the first demo of this Richmond, Virginia, USA based Black Metal band, but also for its label, Cryptic Shield Vault. Of both entities there is practically no information available, so we should instead focus on the music on this demo cassette tape.
On this first demo the band clearly shows us what Dawn’s Reflection is capable of, blending in quite a few different styles into something that seemingly works just fine. The Lo-Fi sort of Punkish Raw Black Metal fits just seamlessly into a more synth-driven kind of Black Metal. I am not sure whether these synths in the background fully justifies the Dungeon Synth label, but it creeps up to it quite close. At least it does what they were set out to do: add a bit of a moody atmosphere that kind of clashes with the harsh vocals and the rather simple single guitar riffs (that is where the Punk attitude kicks in). Still, the 22 minutes of ‘Demo MMXXIII’, which is divided into six tracks, sounds like an organic whole that brings its primitive and back-to-basics approach to the Black Metal genre to an enjoyable listen.