Pneuma Hagion, from San Antonio, Texas, is yet another musical project of Ryan from Intestinal Disgorge (yes, he has about 20 billion different bands; and yes, I’m an unapologetic fanboy), formed in early 2015. Trinity I, released in late January of this year, is the band’s (well, solo project’s) first demo, and what a demo it is! The band plays a form of relentless, lo-fi, blackened death metal sometimes called “war metal” which has gained a fair amount of attention in the extreme metal underground in recent years. The demo’s three songs add up to just under seven and a half minutes of music, with no one track longer than three minutes – and the shortest, “Nous”, is less than two. The production is quite murky, but not brickwalled to hell and back like many modern death metal releases – every instrument can still be heard without too much trouble. The mostly mid-paced guitar riffs seem fairly primitive at first glance, but there is actually a good deal of detail and nuance which may not become apparent until after several listens. As far as I can tell, the bass mainly follows along with the guitars, not really getting too adventurous but rather adding some extra low end to the already crushingly heavy riffs. The drums follow fairly simplistic blast beat and double bass patterns for the most part, without getting boring or repetitive – with the songs being so short, nothing on this demo really overstays its welcome. Additionally, a few parts of the demo are accented by keyboards, though these just provide a few notes or chords to support the riffs, without ever really taking the lead. The vocals are extremely guttural, distant-sounding growls, occasionally veering into harsh whispers; and, par for the course, what Ryan is actually saying is completely indecipherable, especially since the lyrics remain unpublished. However, Ryan has expanded on the band’s concept a bit – and between the song titles and the band’s name (which is Greek for “Holy Spirit”), one may be able to figure out the generally Gnostic/Neoplatonic inspiration behind this project (more on that can be found in this interview). Overall, I definitely recommend this demo for fans of both war metal specifically, and underground black/death metal in general. Stream it for free, or download it for just a dollar, at Pneuma Hagion’s Bandcamp page. In addition, for the physical media fiends, war metal label Nuclear War Now! Productions will be releasing a cassette version sometime this year.