keskiviikko 21. kesäkuuta 2017

Total Darkness #2


Total Darkness Magazine, issue 2 (1995)
Interviews:
Zephyrous
Behemoth
Blessed In Sin
In the Woods...
Funeral Winds
Occult
Blasphemer
Tha-Norr
Manes
Primordial
Bethlehem
Morphosis
Kane
Summoning
December Moon
Misanthropy Records
Ashen Mortality
Deprived 'zine
Adversary
Thy Serpent
Hades
Articles:
"Oderint Dum Metuant" by Wiking Herske
Bestial Summoning/Occult bio
"A Blaze in the Northern Sky" by Wiking Herske
"Diabolism/Satanism" by Bard Nocturnus
"The Truth in Thy Blood" by Taoiseach O'Malley
"Up from the Ashes" by Svarte Sirkel
Ancient
Carnun
"Black Metal Holocaust" by Bard Nocturnus
+ editorial, reviews, gig reports

Mega

Alright, as promised here's something before Nummirock to where I will be departing Thursday morning. A 'zine post, which is actually exactly the same thing I did last midsummer! Damn it, patterns woven around me ensnaring me in a devious web of my own making! No time for paranoia, or very long introductions either to be frank so let's get to business; second issue of Irish Total Darkness "magazine" which is way too grandiose a monicker for a messy fanzine xeroxed in sloppy manner. But that makes it, despite being a bit hard to read, a good 'zine. Very large scans were done by and sent to me by comrade thenecromancer, thank you for your efforts and donation!

This was an A5 sized 'zine and counting the covers features 74 pages (one spread is included twice as the other page turned out unreadable on the first try) crammed quite full of stuff by its editors Bard Nocturnus (of Carnun and Abhor ...not exactly fame but some will recognize the names, later vox for Myrkr as Vordr), Damien Looney (also of Carnun) and a fellow known as Fitzy. By the way, assuming the Abhor is the same as M-A one, I'd like to hear the "Abyss" demo listed there. The line-up does not seem to include our editor though. Oh no I'm starting to digress yet again and I was supposed to keep this short! Right, black metal 'zine, some death, doom and a random industrial unit (Kane) featured and despite including a couple of VERY common names (Behemoth being the worst offender here, followed by Sigh, Burzum and In the Woods...) they have, as if to balance out, some rare appearances like my old favourite Tha-Norr and Israeli Adversary. Excellent. Note that the lads, or more like the Carnun pair, were Varg-cronies so "all Total Darkness issues are in respectful dedication to Varg Vikernes" and feature plenty of "Cymophane" propaganda and so on. This is obviously a strike against if you're an old Euronymous-Jugend like me. But the past is gone so let's not dwell on that and just enjoy it. And I'm ready to overlook a lot when I encounter another Tha-Norr enthusiast. Props for also being one of the rare places where I spot comrade Veiko's old band! Recommended reading but mind you, the scans are enormous so it's a sizeable package to download.

sunnuntai 18. kesäkuuta 2017

Clayforge - Kult Release demo '98


Clayforge - Kult Release demo I 1998
1) Le Acteur de la Mort
2) Nightblade
3) Hell Parade
4) Blood Opera
5) The Flesh I Eat

Yandex / Sampo

Settling into a pattern here if I'm not careful, here's again a Finnish demo to follow Aussie madness and slightly similar actually to the previous one, though where Grimm's Journey was Swedish-tinged melodeath Clayforge, better(?) known as Murder In Art, plays what I guess is best described as death'n'roll. You know, groovy and rockin' sort of melodeath variation, think Entombed after "Wolverine Blues" as the probably easiest example. Well, quite a few death metal bands actually went and wimped out this way now that you think back. This is ripped from an original tape that was in the bag of cassettes brother Pörrö bestowed upon be the other year. Thanks mate and see you on Thursday!

Being made from an original, cover scans are naturally enclosed, as is a scan of the Murder In Art biosheet that was included with the demo when my comrade got it. Recorded at Kansashouse-studios, which some of you may remember from various Morningstar recordings, this has a pretty good kind of full demo sound, reasonably well balanced without being too polished. All five tracks are leaning to the compact radio-friendly pop song length, circling around the three minute running time each. I don't know if it's the summer or whatever but I seem to be enjoying this now much more than last time I checked it out, or the style in general. Perhaps I should give the MIA album a listen too. Give it a listen if you're into this kind of stuff at all. Otherwise wait for hopefully another post before this year's Nummirock.

maanantai 12. kesäkuuta 2017

Chaotic Impurity - Rehearsal Madness '94

Chaotic Impurity - Rehearsal Madness 1994
1) Dark Legion
2) Meteor Doom
3) Mount Dead
4) Infinite Black
5) 'Old Slow Punk Ending'
6) 'Old Old Song'
7) Rabid
8) If Only You Knew
9) Take a Stab

RGhost / Mega

Another of brother The Unnamed's sendings is in order and this is both the oldest and easily the rarest of the bunch; a '94 rehearsal tape by Chaotic Impurity who were more or less proto-Infinite Black, though it's really inaccurate to say that. I actually asked about it and Jesse said "Chaotic stuff was pre-IB...different band but kind of incestuous when it comes to members... long story..." so that's that. Similar actually to OfDoom and Black Feast situation, to refer something domestic and slightly more current. No covers for this and it was ripped from a CDr Jesse burned me.

Recorded on a tape deck live in bedroom (IB demo '95 was a step up, they did that one in the living room) so it's a bit on the murky side soundwise but not really worse than most other old rehearsal tapes. The nine songs making up the roughly 25 minute recording are mostly short, fast and chaotic stabs of black/death metal mayhem and I think at least partially improvised as things sound like they get a bit out of hand at times! As the tracklisting reveals, two of the songs didn't have proper names either but it also serves to testify it was not as improvisational as I might have implied there. It's making me more confused (or confusing) than usual, isn't it? The personnel are largely same as on early Infinite Black recordings so the vocals of The Abhorred are the recognizable screeches, shrieks and howls. It's a neat detail how here we have track four titled Infinite Black and on IB reh/demo '95 the sixth song is Chaotic Impurity. Enough words, if you fancy some obscure and primitive Australian uneasy listening this is for you. If you would prefer melodic keyboard-drive music you're out of luck today.

torstai 8. kesäkuuta 2017

Grimm's Journey - Promo 1999


Grimm's Journey - Promo 1999
1) Intergalactic Cadillac
2) Epsilon A
3) Subcreator's World Spin

Mediafire / Zippyshare

Let's do another CD promo though this one is ripped from a cassette dub. Grimm's Journey from Finland, have you ever heard about them? No? Well, they did at least this promo back in '99, played at Sararock in '00 and have recorded an EP titled "The Carrion Game" according to their Myspace. Some of the members also played in Sotajumala which I presume is a bit better known band. At least in Finland. I ripped this from one of the tapes brother Grev lent me back some months ago, thanks for humouring my curiosity!

Three songs, first two fairly long at almost six minutes each and last one a bit shorter, very melodic "death" metal. As the strange songtitles probably give away this is melodeath of the sort our neighbours in Sweden peddled after mid-90's, think In Flames around "The Jester Race" or so (probably, I don't really listen to 'em) and ...other similar things, maybe Dark Tranquillity of that era... no I actually listened to them every now and then and it's not like DT at all. Ugh, this is not my genre. I'll just say it's like blending In Flames, Children of Bodom and a handful of random late 90's melodeath bands together. I don't really like this. Well, it's better than the EP on Myspace which is mellowed down dull sort of stuff. Like slightly later In Flames crossed with all those Finnish bands I kept ignoring all those years, festivals and drinking sessions at poorly chosen locations. My, that was enthusiastic. Ok, so this isn't that bad, the vocalist does decently harsh voice and there are some nice moments. You know, instead of struggling to find something to say here I could be watching Urara Meirochou which is exactly what I'm going to do!

tiistai 6. kesäkuuta 2017

Infinite Black - Promo MMXIV


Infinite Black - Promo MMXIV promo 2013
1) Trance Like Void
2) Before the Gates
3) Insidious
4) Cloak and Sword
5) Outro

Yandex / 4shared

As promised on the Nefandus 'zine post the other day, here's some music sent by The Unnamed and unusually we start with a practically fresh item, the most recent promo of Infinite Black dating to 2013 and titled "Promo MMXIV" ...or as seen on the M-A entry "Promo 2013" which makes me believe there were two editions of it and this'd probably be the second. Ripped from the original CD I was sent and encouraged to share, scans of the cardboard cover thingy are included.

I actually feel kind of stupid for posting the latest release now but it's too late for regrets. Compared to for example the oldest material ('95 reh/demo) this is of course much better production-, musicianship- and songwriting-wise but still identifiable as same band. While the debut recording was characterized by high banshee-like shrieks supported by grunts this is mainly lead by hoarse half-yell half-roar voice with very variable support vocals and the thin-yet-sort-of-submerged rehearsal sound is replaced by a strong but not overpolished studio production. And while the old songs had a plenty of variation within they had certain clumsiness to it while here similarily complex structures stand firm. Experience shows I suppose. Then again this is naturally not as wild as young lads' playing is but I still think I enjoy (for change!) the more recent Infinite Black material best. The music moves mainly in moderate speeds, with the first song being most aggressive of the bunch. Generally it's very atmospheric and keeps slowing down towards the end of the recording. More of a menacing aura than violent warlike ruckus one might expect from Aussie metal. These four songs plus outro last just under twenty minutes and could easily be released as a minialbum as it is. Good stuff, hopefully there will eventually be an album out!

sunnuntai 4. kesäkuuta 2017

Svantevith - The Return of the Ancient Slav promo '96


Svantevith - The Return of the Ancient Slav promo 1996
1) Intro
2) Te Svantevith Laudeamus
3) Te Svantevith... /Reprise/
4) 966
5) Smutek i rozpacz
6) Outro

Sendspace / Sampo

...or "Thr Return of the Ancient Slav" as our Slavonic heroes manage to misspell the title in not one but two places. That aside, I know there were rips of this floating in the bleak cybervoid before but at least the one I had saved was not of very stellar master elite quality so when I came across my copy of the tape I decided to rip it and post the result as it turned out ok. "It" being the sole promo tape of the Polish project Svantevith featuring Lord Smrtan of Nirnaeth fame, also responsible for keyboards, programming and similar pursuits in Themgoroth and Eblis. Cover scans included.

Yes, this is a synth project like you probably guessed, and in the particular vein Poles were fond of: bombastic Slavonic pagan ambient with touches of both neoclassical and pagan black metal. Latter mainly represented by the surprisingly savage raw vocals and scarcely deployed guitar. There are certainly some elements of dungeon synth present as well but I think this is quite differently oriented. Adding the tag still as the music may appeal to fans of that category. Side A could be considered the main or title part and consists of a lengthy intro, ten minute plus epos Te Svantevith Laudeamus and a short instrumental reprise piece. Side B opens with the aggressive 966 which is the most metal song of the bunch with constant fervent vocals, martial percussion, abundant background shrieks and occasional electric guitar support. This is a long track, almost seven minutes, but has a lot going on. Smutek i rozpacz which follows has music credited to Azhubham Haani (well, spelled Aazhubham... here). The band? Is this a cover? It's a bleak affair led by the shriekier voice, guitar strumming and quite mellow synth. I don't recognize this as any of the A.H. songs right now, let's leave that to experts. A lonely piano opens the almost five minute outro track that soon adds more elements in and developes epic character. Interesting thing, not quite metal nor purely ambient either. Reminds me a bit of the December's Fire album, though I seem to like this more. Could be due my strong preference of D.F. demos over the full length. I recommend you take a listen if you like dramatic synth stuff and don't mind a Slavonic pagan metal flair to it.

lauantai 3. kesäkuuta 2017

Nefandus #2


Nefandus 'zine, issue 2 (1996)
Interviews:
Liar of Golgotha
Countess
Infinite Black
Armageddon Holocaust
Drowned
Vorak
Vorphalack
Lord Kaos
Oracle of the Void
Gothi-Gydja A'A'I
Uncle Underground Distro
Svartsyn
Baalberith
+reviews, illustrations and all sorts of weirdness

Depositfiles

Time for another 'zine post. Remember the first Nefandus issue I posted in January '14? Of course you do, I even gave you a link to it. Anyways, I wrote there about how I'd wanted to read that second issue for years and years, not really expecting to run into it. Imagine my surprise then when The Unnamed contacted me and offered to send a copy! I took up his generous offer (extremely so, he sent it for free and included some music too), scanned the 'zine when it arrived and then kind of sat on it for a little while. Must let the contributions stew a while for maximum flavour, y'know?

Anyways, here it finally is and Jesse also informed me this was indeed the last issue; some stuff was ready for a third strike but it was not finished. The second issue was printed in very limited quantity, 40 copies, and the specimen he donated to the Coven once belonged to his comrade The Abhorred, former vocalist of Infinte Black and Chaotic Impurity, also known as ADY hence the name on the cover. Once again thanks for the contribution, very much appreciated!

If you enjoyed the first issue like I did, you will dig this one too. Similar feeling, slightly more refined and cleaner lay-out (which actually reminds me a bit of older Key of Alocer issues) but still not commercial glossy fancy pansy magazine bullshit! One of the things that makes this especially interesting is the strong domestic focus, it's good to see Australian bands who appear seldom in the 'zines we've featured so far get some spotlight. The other bands are less common names as well so what can I say but heartily recommend this. No Mortiis or Behemoth here! Please note that some of the content may be considered offensive (another selling point). I will post some of the music he sent in near future so stay tuned for more Aussie madness.

tiistai 30. toukokuuta 2017

Waldschrat - Reh'I 1998


Waldschrat - Rehearsal I 1998
1) Werwolf
2) Pesttanz
3) The Gates of Heaven
4) Deathcrush

Sampo / Mediafire

This is an item I was actually planning to post before I came up with the Storm demo before Steelfest '17 (which I as usual attended and it was good times, majestic hails). Another German black metal curio contributed by comrade LKS last year, this is Waldschrat who later ('99) changed name to Irmingot and put out a bunch of mostly cassette releases through Vargulf Productions which was run by the vocalist Astanoth. The final release was a vinyl EP with an amazing cover and I guess they called it a day after that. Thanks to LKS for the rip, he sent also a cover scan but it was for the rehearsal 2 so I used another smallish M-A image. If he ever does send a proper scan I'll update the post.

One look at the tracklisting above should make it obvious this is a rehearsal of cover songs, three out of four being Absurd's best known, most covered tracks and last and least Mayhem's frustratingly overrated and -covered death/black era "hit". Yeah, yeah I admit it's a catchy, memorable song (they all were) but the stupid lyrics give me a severe headache! "De Mysteriis..." > everything else. Focus, you're not in the middle of another drunken debate. Being a rehearsal tape and consisting solely of covers this of course does not tell too much about the band itself. Well, you might suspect they dig Absurd and raw & primitive black metal in general. Which, by the way, is confirmed on the second tape, cover of choice there Burzum's War and their own material, carried over to Irmingot, being quite crude and simple sort. They manage the Absurd tracks somehow though the drummer struggles, but a bit of fumbling should be mandatory when covering these songs don't you think? They have some problems getting Deathcrush started, unsurprisingly, and it gets messy real soon. Perhaps another Absurd song might've been a better choice? Like on Grausamkeit's "Bischmisheiman Pagan Madness" tape which could be seen as some sort of companion piece for this, see sister Borderline's blog here if you need a rip of that one. The sound is kind of weak, with guitars being a bit in the background while drum and voice dominates. The vocalist actually sounds convincing on the Absurd tracks, moreso than B.S.o.D. on his interpretations, but the overall performance has that same fascination to it like observing drunken people trying to cross a frozen town square in winter time. Not for everyone certainly but the right people will be entertained.

maanantai 29. toukokuuta 2017

Mörkö - Paluu demo II '00


Mörkö - Paluu demo II 2000
1) Mörköperkele
2) Musta surma
3) Totuuden henki

Zippy / Mega

I am late and so decided to further change my schedule. Of which no-one but me knows so it is really irrelevant to you, isn't it? Anyways, here is as promised the Return of the Groke or in case you don't get it the second Mörkö demo discussed back in March. Thank you, once again, to brother Grev for sharing the rip of unknown source (BERC?) he has kept for years. This naturally means we have no cover except for the small Metal Archives image. A proper scan would be neat.

How fares the second coming of Mörkö compared to the quirky first demo? It's a bit more "normal" but by no means polished and nice music. Just not as unhinged and barbaric as its predecessor. The drumming, sadly, isn't as wild either... it sounds a lot like a rehearsal demo so I suppose they recorded everything together this time. First song has riffs that are annoyingly familiar but not quite directly stolen. Second thing you notice is the dual vocal approach, main voice for this being a low bellowing sort of grunt, supported by the high-pitched shrieks in a few places. The second song, which is a slower, ponderous affair, has more of the screamy voice and kind of heralds the change in style to come in later years. Generally this sounds heavier than the grim coldness of the first demo; if that one brought visions of a bleak, wintry landscape this reminds me of trudging through perilous marshlands. Last song, the longest of the bunch, is also on the slow side and features an atmospheric acoustic break. Despite its roughness the first demo did have more such elements and even synths.

I used to favour the debut tape over this on initial listens but it seems to be a grower now that I have it play on repeat and focus better. Well, in the end of the day the debut still wins but by a much smaller margin than before. I assume fans of album-era Mörkö will find this more to their liking than "Mörön maa".

keskiviikko 17. toukokuuta 2017

Storm - Wintermoon demo '93


Storm - Wintermoon demo I 1993
1) Underworld
2) Desecrator
3) Encomium

Sendspace / 4shared

I was going to post something utterly different but then a comment left yesterday caught my attention; it simply said "Happy Syttende Mai!" and I thought to myself: "Damn it you old fool, had you noticed this before it would've been a great time to post Norwegian... something". That kept nagging in the back of my skull which is really exasperating so I gave in and decided to upload this. Yeah, it's pretty old hat and most of you have probably encountered this debut and only demo by Stavanger's Storm while looking for the better-known but equally short-lived Oslo Storm (Fenriz, Kari & Satyr if you manage not to know). Done from a dubbed tape, no surprise there, so it's also rather poor quality soundwise but at least I got it to slightly more listenable levels than the extremely muffled rips I've encountered online before. Can't help but wonder how all copies, both dub and rip I've encountered managed to have such a terrible sound seeing how it was recorded in Soundsuite studio with Terje Refnes. Did they lose the master and dubbed everything from a copy accidentally made to a cheap, worn old tape?

Alright, in the rare case you might not actually be familiar with this demo I'll start by saying it's short. Slightly less than eight minutes and last, short instrumental song probably qualifies as outro. For such a brief demonstation, however, it manages to be remarkably all over the place. First track, which is also the longest, plods away at slow midtempo at first before sweeping synths speed it up to a temporary flight. Some of the riffs sound like they were borrowed directly from (old) Thorns and the vocals remind me of old Ancient and Gehenna, hoarse, growly sort instead of screams, shrieks or screeches. It's later, but the Kvist album actually comes to mind as well. Nice and atmospheric, curious piece. Then the second track kics in and what the hell, it's full HD old school black metal worship, first album Bathord meets Venom sort of thing that every other band would start to do a few years later when the mid-90's retro boom hit. So I guess they were really ahead of their peers and time. And last song is an instrumental, calling back the first proper track. Would have been interesting to hear another recording by these fellows but they split up and went to various other bands. So, happy, late syttende mai I suppose!

maanantai 15. toukokuuta 2017

Orion Nightfall - Eye of the Snowstorm demo '07


Orion Nightfall - Eye of the Snowstorm demo V 2007
1) Mankindslayer
2) Hail the Old Hate
3) Wolf of the Wrathmoon
4) Spiritual War
5) Eye of the Snowstorm

Yandex / Zippyshare

I decided to post more Finnish material but cut the re-runs to the previous post for now. This is an unusually fresh cadaver to examine, mere decade old. Fifth demo of the Finnish band Orion Nightfall, released as a CD-R and recorded in August '07. I was handed a copy at the Mayhem gig in Kuopio, same year November I think? They did a little tour of three shows back then, which I recall was a bit challenging experience to the fellow organizing it. Odd venue at Kuopio too, very unusual but sort of nice if you don't mind it being kind of far away from the centre. Our adventuring party fortunately included a driver so it was ok. It was an enjoyable evening though I spent most of it outside smoking and chatting with more or less random people. And didn't really see shit when Mayhem played, barely the top of Attila's head. I'm digressing like crazy. Anyways, ripped from an original copy, covers scanned and included within.

Five tracks for seventeen minutes here, moderately melodic "black" metal (well, I suppose the themes and lyrics are vaguely black metalesque enough if you're lenient but I'd say it falls in dark metal region - then again it's not too dissimilar to various popular Poles who still get counted as black metal) with hints to the bands roots as dark melodeath unit still audible. Quite heavy and dominant guitar sound, though it all blends into an aggressive wall if walls could steamroll all over you - wait, they can and will do that, Final Fantasy VII Demons Gate (Demon Wall) never forget! Back to this, it's not all just in your face aggression, they can slow down a bit too. Vocals are hoarse screams and yells and quite good, at least when set snugly within the fluffy grim dogpile of other instrumentation. I kind of like this now, second time playing through while typing and again wonder how I keep forgetting to dig up their other demos to check out. I noticed some of them have really, really long songs and wonder how they pull those off. That's it for now, next something older again and probably a contribution.

keskiviikko 10. toukokuuta 2017

Perkele - Saatanalliset himot reh/demo '94


Perkele - Saatanalliset himot rehearsal demo I 1994
1) Kalevala (Morningstar cover)
2) Pagan Fire
3) Nainen pimeydestä
4) Seductive Eyes of a Wolf
5) It Will End...
6) Eternal Moonfog
7) Witchcraft (Morningstar cover)

"raw" version: Mediafire / RGhost
"edited" version: Depositfiles / Sendspace

Ok, I said I'd do some reposts of old stuff I've ripped again with hopefully better results than the first time around. This time we return to December 2008 and the first demo by Finland's Perkele. The old write-up actually does decent job giving background so I'm not repeating that. Instead let's move to what's different this time: generally a superior rip (original was in mono) and just in case new scans as well. Except that I just could not make it that simple so there are two rips. Or rather the other one is a slightly more "produced" version while the first is the raw rip with minimal meddling.

The edited version is basically tidied up, I cut out the various clicks, snaps and pops in between the songs and... did something else I already forgot! Maybe I adjusted the levels a little? It's very marginal whatever it was. The end result is 15:11 while the so-called raw version has all the tape recorded noises and such in place for the hopeless romantics to gush about and lasts a whopping 15:15 so I guess you get four seconds more for your money. Except that it costs nothing.

Other observations: listening to the improved rip I noticed that this actually has quite a decent rehearsal sound, sure it's a little on the messy and raw side but at least it has certain amount of balls to it. Vocals are a little buried and to be honest you really have to know the songs to be able to make out the lyrics. I don't even want to start guessing how many times I've heard the songs Pagan Fire and Nainen pimeydestä that reappeared on the second demo "Pohjola" so obviously I've no problem following them. I'm starting to get a feeling I'm just typing now for the sake of it so better stop here

sunnuntai 7. toukokuuta 2017

Endoki Forest - Demo '95 + Rehearsal '96


Endoki Forest - An Evil of Nordic Frost demo 1995
1) I
2) II
3) III
4) IV
5) V
6) VI
7) VI
Rehearsal for Upcoming Album '96
1) Advance I
2) Advance II

Mediafire / Depositfiles

More non metal, this is a contribution I actually received quite long ago but it has been a bit troublesome, delaying its time to appear on the altar. This is Endoki Forest from the United States and the (only) demo from 1995 plus a bonus of two rehearsal/advance tracks that were planned to appear on a full length album scheduled for 1996. As far as I know, it was not completed after all. Endoki Forest remains active to this day, or possibly more accurately re-activated a few years ago releasing a compilation also named "An Evil of Nordic Frost" in digital format (only, I think) which was not this demo redone but rather a compilation of material from different years and more recently a full length album "Black Sorcerers Fortress" on Darker Than Black. Unfortunately I can't check the details on the compilation anymore since it appears Bandcamp has either purged Faunus Amadeus Loki out or he has chosen to diminish his online presence. Whatever the case, his former email is not working either so I could not get hold of him to check facts. I could've probably pestered DTB with it but decided against that and just went with what I got.

Why would Bandcamp give master Loki the boot you wonder? Well, he was and is somewhat notorious for his NS associated projects like Berzerker and label of old Black Sorcerers which released tapes around mid-90s... I should actually have a flyer or maybe two somewhere but I didn't find them on my admittedly hasty and careless search. I probably find them the next time I look for something else. DTB has released also a CD from his other, more recent project Herrenvolk which I believe is slightly better known and from what I've heard more in the martial industrial/ambient vein while Endoki Forest falls, in my humble opinion, into the dungeon synth category on the old material and more in dark ambient vein on the new album.

Cover image from Discogs entry!

So much text and quite little on this actual item so far! Right, to the issues I mentioned right in the beginning: first off, no cover or tracklisting. Apparently my contributor had gotten this tape dubbed by F.A.L. and instead of a cover he had sent the pic seen cropped way up there decorating the post and slightly reduced down below in its whole while Discogs entry gives a different sort of cover which you may see above this paragraph but fails to deliver a tracklisting either. So I went with good old Roman numerals, as usual, and divided the rip into what I believe to be seven tracks. Most have easy to spot breaks between them but the last one was a little tricky. Secondly, the rip was unfortunately not very good, being done slightly too loud and then converted to low bitrate as coup de grâce. This leads to a major thing to point out in the download; there are two folders within, one labeled "Scott" and one "Velkaarn" which contain two versions of the demo. Mine is practically unedited, just chopped up into tracks and slightly adjusted the volume while "Scott" is more heavily reworked, courtesy of master Scott, formerly known from December Wolves, later Serpent Eclipse and nowadays an audio editor and a fine sportsman. Thanks for taking time to fiddle with this and the other thing! Scott's version... well, I'll just quote him: "I cleaned up some of the noise where it was distracting from the music, balanced the L/R channels, restored some of the low frequencies, and most importantly I added back some of the dynamics so that the synth has room to breathe." So yes, it has notably less of the brickwall effect of a too loud rip, less hiss and generally sounds more "airy" while retaining the necesssary desolation. Unfortunately the tradeoff is the usual issue with noise reduction causing certain "fraying" of the sound especially on the high end, most audible on the storm sound effects on track... was it 4? You'll notice. But it can't be helped, it's the best we could manage with the material for now.
The full picture scaled down, original scan is huge.

To the music itself, half an hour of somewhat cold and grim dungeon synth with that slightly crude sound that fits the music perfectly. It's not fully instrumental, II features some appropriately sinister hisses, whispers and shrieks that actually fit very well so for once I'm not complaining. V has more vocals, this time odd echoing, almost moany "singing" that again sounds surprisingly suitable before metamorphosing to the form familiar from second part. Among top 3 dungeon synth vocals! Aside from that there's the storm and rain samples and if you listen to the unpurified version you can think of the hiss as additional sound effect? The moods the tracks paint vary from witnessing clandestine rituals under the cold full moon to carefully navigating old dungeonscapes of stone, cobwebs and dust to picnic in the Carpathians with the Lamentation crew. Think whatever you will of master Loki's other works, politics, belief systems, orientation and favourite foods, I don't care, this is a good demo and I'd really like to find an original copy of it! Or a good dub would do. I forgot to talk about the bonus tracks! Well, they're similar to the demo material. Recommended for all into old school dungeon synth sounds.

lauantai 6. toukokuuta 2017

The Shadow Dance - Stormy Visions demo '95


The Shadow Dance - Stormy Visions demo I 1995
1) Temple
2) Sea-Horse
3) Hologram Song

Sendspace / Yandex

Ok, time to do something non-metal for change and it's an accidental discovery, sort of, found among the tapes I borrowed from brother Grev some months ago. This is The Shadow Dance from Finland, Helsinki to be more precise. Check out their old school late 90s/early 00s webpage! No, really, you have to see it! Takes one back, that does. And yes children, back in the day pretty much all webpages looked like that. Or worse. Now that's been taken care off let's return to music. This is their first demo recorded in the fall '95. No cover I'm afraid, their site didn't have an image either. But it did have the band photo seen above which I decided to use to decorate the post. That's about as goth as you can get!

Three songs in roughly thirteen minutes, the first one "Temple" was also featured on a few compilations and a 1998 MCD of the same title. It's a slow building, moody and atmospheric piece with slightly ethereal quality and a bit more intense middle part. Main voice is clearly amateurish female singer who comes across borderline awkward but pleasant enough to swing the performance more to "innocent" side rather than "annoying" - that really sounds (reads, you old fool) vague, doesn't it? Second song is more upbeat, almost busy even. It almost brings some new wave song I've long forgotten to mind, almost but not quite! The final song, shortest of the lot, resembles the first one more but generally sticks to the same vein. Maybe a bit catchier, in the end. Reminds me a little of the Finnish Neverwood, less trippy and polished though. But simple is good sometimes and I actually enjoy this on occasion. Check it out, but bear in mind it is neither dark nor grim. Next one will be. Unless I decide to do another re-run, which I actually thought would've been a hilarious post after a hiatus but then wimped out.

tiistai 25. huhtikuuta 2017

Bathagor - Die Spuren des Krieges demo '02


Bathagor - Die Spuren des Krieges demo 2002
1) Leidenträger
2) Schattenzorn
3) Blutsturm
4) Die Spuren des Krieges
5) Nachtgedanken
6) Wege die Misanthropie
7) Rosetränen
8) Bathagor (Kaltes Licht)

Mega / RGhost

I decided to stick to black metal contributions for now. Sort of, for this tape by Germany's Bathagor is quite unusual after all. Rip and scans sent by LKS, thanks as always, and further processed (I think I just separated it into tracks) by me. What is so special about this then? Is it the cool sword-stuck-in-snow cover? No, though I like the neat simplicity of it, it's the line-up of the band. Or more like what they do, as this consists of a fellow doing vocals and lyrics who calls himself Daron and another guy called Dima who does guitar. And that's it. They're not using any other instrumentation besides the aforementioned guitar and (mainly harsh) vocals. And this tape runs for more than 45 minutes! It's pretty much since this is essentially stripped down raw black metal. Of course you can imagine a steady lifeless cold ticking of a cheap drum machine to back this up but it's just not the same thing as actually having it there!

Sound is decent for what it is, the guitar tone is pretty strong and rough, not thin razor sharp or cold and wispy like some forms of raw black metal prefer it. The primary black metal voice is a hoarse croak, not too dissimilar from Abbath's actually. There are attempts at melody so it's not just monotonous raspy gargling. Only mostly. The riffing is varied enough to not bore listener to tears but album length is still too much. I can't help missing a bit more ingredients, but it works better than I remembered and does not lead to scurvy, merely slight malnourishment. Pack something more well-rounded for your ocean voyages but feel free to sample this while on port. Minimalists and eccentrics rejoice, as well as gatherers of German obscurities.

lauantai 22. huhtikuuta 2017

Maniac Butcher - Live in Annaberg '97


Maniac Butcher - Live in Annaberg 22nd March 1997
1) Zrada / Treachery
2) Půlnočni říše / Midnight Empire
3) Lučané / Lučans
4) Žatecký hrad / Castle of Saaz
5) Poslední bitva / The Last Battle
6) Soudný den / The Judgement Day
7) Jáma pekel (cover from Master's Hammer)

Depositfiles / Zippyshare

A black metal sending this time, courtesy of our reader PaganiusI, thanks for the rip and cover scan! This is the venerable Maniac Butcher from Czech Republic and their performance from Annaberg one month (and twenty years) ago which was released as official live cassette on Barbarüd's Pussy God Records. It's not at all hard to acquire, as at least recently B. was selling copies of the covers with a master CDr to underground distros so you should be able to get a copy cheaply should you feel like wanting one after listening.

The sound on this live is quite violent and in your face, the rather loud rip further enforcing the fact. Then again, Maniac Butcher isn't exactly subtle and gentle kind of music to start with so it's appropriate enough. The recording, which I assume to be the full show, runs for a bit under 40 minutes which is above average for Maniac Butcher albums and features all the songs from "Lučan - antikrist" album, the most recent release that time, including a cover version of Master's Hammer classic Jáma pekel. Not much more to say here, it's raw no frills, bells whistles keyboards or female vocals black metal, but by no means mindless dull warlike pounding like too many "stripped down" raw war hordes tend to be. Next might be about time to do some non-metal music again, what do you think?

perjantai 21. huhtikuuta 2017

In My Veins - Demo & Rehearsal '95


In My Veins - The Red Sky at Dawn demo 1995
1) Shrouded in Darkness and Despair
2) Black Vault of Heaven
3) The Red Sky at Dawn
4) Snow in My Hand

In My Veins - Rehearsal Track 1995
1) Black Vault of Heaven

In My Veins - Rehearsal 1995
1) Flaring Ground
2) Enwrapped in Thought

Sampo / Sendspace

Another repost?!? Yes, but this was also somewhat justified, seeing that I originally managed to mistitle the first track and the rips themselves were a little lackluster. So once again here's In My Veins, hailing from Pirkkala and they played melodic death metal, ripped anew in... '15 summer already? What have I been doing? For consistency's sake I kept the dark metal tag I had assigned them back in '09 when these were originally posted but I'm not quite sure it's really that relevant as it's essentially very basic Finnish melodeath of the era. The old cover scan included, it's a very simple affair anyways.

I crammed all the material into one folder and added one previously unreleased item, the rehearsal track which wasn't a new one at all, it was the second song off the demo as you may see. There was no date for it but obviously the rehearsal version is rawer and noisier than the studio take, sounds more aggressive too. I'm thinking it was recorded later but cannot really say that for certain. The rehearsal with the two new songs is the roughest and most in-your-face of the selection. A little unfair, the subdued sound of the demo makes it seem more lethargic than it really is when compared to the rehearsal songs. Nothing groundbreaking here but pretty good, melodic dark/death metal so if you're into that and missed this before grab it now and if you picked it up earlier I still advice to check the new rips out.

keskiviikko 19. huhtikuuta 2017

Blood Chalice - Journey Through Shadowlands demo '00


Blood Chalice - Journey Through Shadowlands demo 2000
1) I Am... The Adversarial One
2) In Hunt for the Blood of Jesus (Christ Hunting)
3) Mesmerizing Zephyr, Tantalising Death
4) The Dagger and the Chalice of Blood

Mediafire / 4shared

Here's something more from the exotic side of the globe and probably one of the worst sounding demos/rips featured on the blog. Blood Chalice of Singapore, who seem to be obscure enough to not be on Metal Archives (though I trust they soon will be) with their 2000 demo which may or may not be also their only one, sent by comrade Nefarious back with other items already long ago. Thanks again for contributing! A cover scan is enclosed.

Four songs but they are quite long so the playing time is a challenging 25+ minutes. Challenge mostly due the unpleasant sound I already mentioned on the first paragraph. How bad can it be then, to irk me? Well, you see the main issue is the weird bass drum sound much of the time burying almost everything else underneath. Like suffocating someone with a pillow while they try to recite The Oath, you can make out what it's supposed to be but it's kinda hard to enjoy it. Or like poor Shouta-kun sleeping in the 8th episode of Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon ...now I'm starting to digress so far I won't be able to find my way back if I'm not careful. Let's see, it's worst in the very beginning (of course, the all-important first impression!) but gets less drastic eventually and with enough exposure I guess one would get used to it. A pity since the music isn't that bad by itself, kind of raw and old schoolish black metal. I'm not really associating it with their own slogan of cold nihilistic ultra black metal, the warm, asphyxiating mass of wobbly bass marshmallow hell contradicts coldness pretty severely. If anyone can provide me with a better rip (assuming the problem is with that) I'd be very happy to receive it, no matter the bitrate. For sound extremists, seekers of endless obscurity and the purely perverted. Feel free to enjoy if you can, I won't judge!

sunnuntai 16. huhtikuuta 2017

Key of Alocer #7


Key of Alocer 'zine, issue 7 (1996)
Features:
Queen of Zamagard
Helish Magick and Race
Martial Arts, Ethos and the West
Survival of the Fittest
Diamanda Galás (interview taken from The Greenwich Village Press)
...Memor...
Delusion and Homophobia
Gtum-Mo: A Dharmic Heresy
Into the Final Frontier
Transcendence
Spider
Prince of Darkness - A Heretical Topography
Music and the Satanic Aesthetic
In the Shadows of the Talmud
New Science, Old Soul
Hitler as Avatar
The Black Order - of Pan-Europa -
The Political and Racial Views of H.P. Lovecraft
The Metaphysics of the Discworld
+ reviews divided to literature & music

Mega

A 'zine contribution today, sent by a reader of ours whom we'll call here simply A. Thank you for supporting the cause! This is the seventh issue of the notorious Key of Alocer, you may remember I posted the fourth one roughly five years ago.

I mentioned the older issues on the write up there, to recapitulate they were essentially traditional metal fanzines with articles on occult and such themes on the side while the fourth one was the turning point; music (especially metal) was put to sidelines in favour of the other sorts of stuff. Master Fenrirsson discussed the later issues briefly in the comments section, writing: "...I have all 9 issues of Key of Alocer (last one was called "Koaxial"). They steadily went downhill in terms of content (eg more tedious and self indulgent on behalf of the editor), and became more of a mouthpiece for homosexuality and transgenderism... I knew the editor for quite a while, because he lived not far from me, but I moved away and severed contact..." F was also planning to scan the missing issues to me before handing them forward, but things happened and that did not come to pass. I can't say I'd be really heartbroken, I've since read scans of older issues (I have at least #2 at hand and am pretty sure I should have either #1 or #3 as well) and while they are clearly more interesting to me as well as quite entertaining they can't be called top-notch classics or anything. Which leads us finally to this, the seventh incarnation.

I think I've tried navigating through this three or four times by now, unsuccessfully. It really is quite tedious as Fenrirsson put it and I always seem to think of better uses for my time and stop reading. As you may notice from above, this issue does not feature a single interview made by Abaaner (or A°A°I apparently at that time) - the sole interview (Diamanda Galás) is taken from elsewhere. Originally I was going to list the contributors after the articles but skipped the idea as not all were credited and it would've been a pain anyways. Let's just settle with a mention there is a lot of contributed material on this issue and at least two of the articles were responses to another from a previous issue. Touchy one I suppose. The reviews which I eyed through were actually quite entertaining and pretty interesting. Right, if you liked/were intrigued (or offended) by KoA#4 be sure to check this out too. Even more so if the subjects of the articles and featurettes interest you.

keskiviikko 12. huhtikuuta 2017

Acheron - Rehearsal '89


Acheron - Rehearsal 1989
1) Jaws of Satan (Sathanas cover)
2) Dethroned Emperor (Celtic Frost cover)
3) Raise the Dead (Bathory cover)

Sampo / Depositfiles

Here's an early Acheron rehearsal, featuring three tracks which are all in essence covers, though the first one is Jaws of Satan by Sathanas, which split into Acheron and Bathym back in '88 (and reformed around '91/'92 again), so it's essentially their own song performed by their new band. In case you don't know, Acheron was and/or is a well-known and quite influential US Satanic death metal band. Or black/death, depending on the era. Ripped from a tape I traded back in the 90's, I don't think it ever had a cover as it was most likely just dubbed to some contacts.

At slightly over ten minutes this is a compact package of vintage black/death/thrash metal. The two "proper" covers are of course classic picks and they play them with vigor and enthusiasm. Quite a poor release to get to know Acheron, admittedly, as their own material does not resemble this recording much. It's still a fun listen, the sound is okay for rehearsal and packs even a bit of punch. Not much to add really, except that I actually wish it was longer, maybe add a few Death, Venom, 'Fate, Slayer etc. numbers. Now I feel like listening to old 'Frost or maybe Hellhammer.

tiistai 11. huhtikuuta 2017

Throes of Dawn - With the Northern Wind demo '94 [new rip]


Throes of Dawn - With the Northern Wind demo I 1994
1) Autumn Winds
2) Outburning Sun
3) Silent Throes

Zippyshare / Sendspace

Looks like I really did a repost today. Let's go back to December 2008 when I first posted a rip of the debut demo of Throes of Dawn, "With the Northern Wind" released in 1994. Or let's not really since that rip was not very good. The bitrate was so-and-so, the rip was a bit too loud and brickwalled and worst of all I managed to do it in mono unintentionally. Well, that is the price of self-taught things. Especially with people who don't bother to read instructions.

I've made the rip from the same tape as last time and yeah, it is little worn but nothing drastic. To elaborate a bit from the old entry, the three tracks presented here are quite long and pretty ambitious for such a young band they were back then. Melodic, at best moments very catchy stuff with fairly complex song structures. You know, plenty of tempo changes and different parts that just barely connect to each other. Like a Lego structure built by an ambitious child, it just narrowly stays together and does not collapse into a mess of caltrops. Well, the clean vocals are still very, very cringeworthy, especially in the last song which altogether feels like least fluent of the constructions with its I'm-gonna-fall-I-can't-stop-now-oh-jesus-why-am-I-going-this-fast-I'm-gonna-die sort of fast, death metally parts and other clunky bits. The first song, which they re-recorded for the debut album "Pakkasherra" is the best of the crop while the rest follow conveniently in descending order.

Throes of Dawn are still active and have released albums in slow and steady pace while changing to a more mellow, atmospheric and somewhat progressive direction, with the most recent one out last August. To my surprise I found myself enjoying the more recent works better than the late 90's/millennium period where I stopped following them. I'm listening to the 2010 album as I type this and it's more like (new) Tiamat than any sort of meloblack or dark metal of their past and at least initially much better than I recall "Binding of the Spirit" was. The clean singing sounding finally good helps a lot I guess. This really had nothing to do with the demo here. If you liked this before, this is a bit better rip so get it. If you haven't heard them before this is a natural starting point. Let's see if next post would be more death/black or something totally different. It won't be a repost. Probably.

maanantai 10. huhtikuuta 2017

Curse - Rehearsal 14/05/94


Curse (fin) - Rehearsal 14th May 1994
1) Infant Jesus Dead
2) Blasphemous Incantation
3) Demons Appear
4) Blasphemy
5) Ferocia Animi

4shared / Yandex

Aaaand here's the rest of the botched Curse entry, the last five tracks which actually date to 1994. This way the tracklisting starts to make sense, there are now three "new" (for the time) tracks and two familiar from the "Satanic Dominion" demo. But I've already discussed these too in the old entry so I don't feel like repeating myself all over again. Took the opportunity to adjust/update the white-on-black alternative cover I did for the '93 rehearsal to serve as placeholder for this one.

Next post should probably be something different. Or more black/death... then again I could make a few more reposts with better rips of old things?

Curse - Rehearsal 09/08/93


Curse (fin) - Rehearsal 9th August 1993
1) Infant Jesus Dead
2) Satanic Dominion
3) Disciples of Mockery

RGhost / Mediafire

Let's do this again. See the previous entry for a long description of the music, source and all that crap.

Now this makes much more sense. Three tracks, two of which appear on the debut demo recorded two months later the same year and the last one apparently only here. Oh yeah, I checked and could not find a song of that name at least on the M-A so I guess it's not a cover. Still sounds a lot like Deicide. That is all, please either download again or adjust your tags thank you~

perjantai 7. huhtikuuta 2017

Curse - Rehearsal 09/08/93 [incorrect!]


Curse (fin) - Rehearsal 9th August 1993
1) Infant Jesus Dead
2) Satanic Dominion
3) Disciples of Mockery
4) Infant Jesus Dead
5) Blasphemous Incantation
6) Demons Appear
7) Blasphemy
8) Ferocia Animi

Links removed as entry is incorrect.

More vintage Finnish black/death metal, or brutal black metal if you prefer, this is Curse of Finland and a rehearsal recording predating the first demo "Satanic Dominion" sent by brother Baldemar years ago, finally laid on the altar as black candles glow and the shadows crawl. I suppose he got it via trading back in the day and it has probably travelled through several decks and dwelt on multiple cassettes before ending up in B's hands. Yeah, there is tape wear and other associated flaws, but it's not too bad. There was no proper cover, or I so I think, yet I felt like whipping up a placeholder in the vein of the first demo. And then I could not decide if I should have it black on white or reversed. Went with first option to follow the look of the demos.

At first I wanted to go with this so it'd look better on the blog.

As I mentioned earlier there is wear and tear here, most notably present on the first track. It gets a bit better and generally it's a pretty good rehearsal sound. I can't help thinking this is actually two separate sessions instead of one as the sound changes quite a bit at the fourth track. Would explain why they do Infant Jesus Dead twice. Though it was something of a signature song. Maybe they took a break and adjusted the stuff to make the sound heavier and decided to re-do that song and then proceed? Anyways, this contains all three songs from "Satanic Dominion", Blasphemous Incantation which would appear on the split tape and two songs out of four from "The Black Horde" cassette EP. Disciples of Mockery would seem to be unreleased, maybe they dropped it because it sounds so much like Deicide? I think I've written enough about Curse here over the years so I'll cut this here. Recommended for fans of Curse (obviously) and old Finnish deathly black metal in general.

UPDATE: Well, brother Grev informed me that this is actually two separate rehearsals, which I kind of suspected already. First three tracks are the '93 session and the rest are from May '94. I'll make a repost with the corrected information. Yay.

maanantai 3. huhtikuuta 2017

Nocturnal Feast - Hymn to Darkness demo '92


Nocturnal Feast - Hymn to Darkness demo I 1992
1) Intro: Live Eva
2) Ave Satanas
3) Enter the Eternal Night
4) Ancient Gods
5) Gates of Wisdom
6) The Gathering
7) Outro: The Waves of Acheron

Mega / Sampo

I'm behind schedule due unexpected "sick leave" but let's not dwell on that and rather push onward, to more old and moldy Finnish metal. This is Nocturnal Feast's only demo from '92, the band would gain much more notoriety under the banner of Black Dawn and survives today calling themselves (The) True Black Dawn with an album out on World Terror Committee. I know rips of this demo have been circulating around before but after having read their entry on Pirunkehto and recalling seeing this tape among the cassettes donated by Jukka from Curse ...wow, over six years ago?! Shit, I've even kept them in the same plastic bag all this time. Where was I? Yeah, so, remembered had the tape and decided to rip it. Here we go. I think his copy is original, sure the cover is somewhat sloppily xeroxed, but that hardly was uncommon at the time and the tape is a blackened-with-marker-pen type of affair with program repeating on both sides and something else dubbed after the demo as people were wont to do. I've discovered many a strange thing that way. More relevant than the authenticity is the content which we discuss next.

So if you're not familiar with old Black Dawn stuff, it was black/death metal hybrid, or Satanic death metal or evil milk metal as their old flyer described it (true story). Now that I checked, I've posted that flyer earlier. How convenient! Actually, seeing that I've posted pretty much all of old Black Dawn material you'd sort of had to either consciously avoid it or have jumped on board recently in which case welcome and please start from here and then proceed to other items in proper order.

The sound of the demo is very good, which is not really surprising if you consider this was recorded in a proper grown ups' studio and not one of those 4-tracker-in-rehearsal-room/garage-hey-lets-call-this-necrocatacomb-studio-awesome-idea-you-guys -things. Music leans more heavily on death metal here so the ratio might be like 75% death 25% black... or perhaps even more? Voice varies between deeper death growls and hoarse, raspy half-shriek half-yells with the growling being slightly more dominant of the two elements. Ever so slightly. There's also some whispers and generally good variation on the main forms. All five actual songs are quite short and simple affairs though tempos do alternate between faster, intense bursts of aggression and heavier, slower, bludgeoning passages. Enter the Eternal Night is the shortest of the lot at just over 1½ minutes while Ave Satanas almost makes it to three minutes. I also like the intro and outro bits. Ok, I think that's enough text for this time, coming up next even more black/death metal. Let's make this a black/death month!

torstai 30. maaliskuuta 2017

Svartsyn - Aandens melankoli MLP '96 (2015 Remaster)


Svartsyn (nor) - Aandens melankoli mini-album 1996, "unreleased" CD remaster 2015
1) Forhekset av nordlyset
2) Den monumentale horde
3) Mektigens herskere
4) Døden...jeg våkner!

Sendspace / Depositfiles

Gnarled Records

Third post on this mini-album?!? Surely you jest? - must be what many of you are thinking even while this certainly isn't the first time the Coven emulates TV broadcasting with reruns. Now it is, however, perhaps more justified than ever as what we have here is both the best sounding version of the material in question as well as an officially endorsed upload. You see, as I (finally) updated to the write up of the previous version of "Aandens melakoli" here, Gnarled Records hailing from Germany did a very faithfully remastered vinyl re-release in 2015 which I urge you to order if you have a preference for the format and/or a player. There was also an unofficial CD release on Burznazg which I've been told is no good at all. Anyways, I was recently approached by Steffen of Gnarled Rex via email and he informed me that a CD remaster had been made as well but it was decided against releasing it in that format. However he decided to make it available for people with no vinyl player or preference for the digital and sent me the files which I've now uploaded. He has also put up a link at the Gnarled site, see link above. Thank you for sharing, Steffen!

The music has been discussed already here and here, so I'll just repeat it is slow and gloomy material, quite unfit for sunny spring days perhaps but recommended. And the remastering is excellent work, by Patrik W. Engel at Temple of Disharmony. It really brings out details and nuances buried in earlier versions. Yeah, so if you still haven't heard this but like black/doom metal, or just slow and dreary material in general it is about time to give this a try. Next post will be in the more usual vein and most likely old Finnish material. Unless I change my mind again or heavy protests arise.

tiistai 28. maaliskuuta 2017

Kraina Wiecznego Mrozu - Ziemia ojców demo I '98

Kraina Wiecznego Mrozu - Ziemia ojców demo I 1998
1) Pruskie leśne królestwo
2) Nigdy mu się nie poddam
3) Wojna
4) Ziemia ojców

RGhost / Yandex

I think I owe you folks some black metal and this item is a bit overdue, I was supposed to post it pretty much right after me and sister Borderline finished the discussion over at her blog. If you actually took time to skim through the conversation in the comments and the update note on the write up, excellent - you know what's going on and why! If not, I suppose I'll tl;dr even though I really don't want to: this is an early version/first edition of Polish pagan black metal band Kraina Wiecznego Mrozu's demo "Ziemia ojców" which was re-released, possibly remastered or mixed or something but at least expanded (sound effects, acoustics et all added) by Reakcjonista Magazine in 1999. That is the version you see on M-A and has also been ripped and posted on Dorosłe Dzieci blog. The split by Werewolf Promotion was also based on this version of the recording but he messed the tracklisting up as told by sis B. I've not added a cover image for this since I do not have it and I'm not sure if it had one different from the '99 version. Would obviously appreciate a scan. Interestingly the title of the second track comes in two variations: Nigdy mu się nie poddam and Nigdy mu się nie poddać and both can be correct as first one translates "I will never give up" and second flavour "Never give up" so one is more of a statement while second one would be advice. I went with the version on the tracklisting I got.

Ok, so if you're already familiar with the other version it's the same four tracks but in different order and slightly more stripped down, the interludes and special effects are missing as well as some acoustics. This is roughly two minutes shorter in all. If you are new to the band, good since it's probably better to first hear this rougher take and then the extended one. Generally the sound here is rawer and somewhat more clear and audible than on the split. Music is Polish pagan black metal, of the slightly crude and almost primitive sort with patriotic flair. It's quite METAL too, just check out the very heavy metal break on the second song, halfway through or a little later. It's one of those things that on certain days you dislike and on others adore. Today is strongly the latter. I like the honest enthusiasm you can clearly feel (especially on this version) complimenting the earnest and frantic playing style. Recommended for folks into Polish black metal, pagan black metal and raw screaming coupled with youthfully eager musicianship. Next time again something Finnish. Unless you absolutely want something else, then it will probably be old US stuff. Or a 'zine.

torstai 23. maaliskuuta 2017

Nattvindens Gråt - Där svanar flyger MLP '95


Nattvindens Gråt - Där svanar flyger cassette mini-album 1995
1) En avlägsen stjärna
2) I tysthetens kalla rike
3) Fjälldalen
4) Där svanar flyger
5) 66,5° N

Depositfiles / Mediafire

The Fennoscandian tour returns to Finland and here's a post somewhat similar to other recent ones in spirit; it's an item I originally didn't think I'd post as rips exist online already, but having ripped it for my own use in early '15 I decided to upload it here as well. In the end Nattvindens Gråt isn't as well known as I thought and especially not their earlier style of... of... uh, let's call it atmospheric Nordic metal? Our good old fallback term "dark metal" fails today as this isn't really that dark. Not at least in my opinion... then again some of the things people do call dark metal aren't so dark at all. Oh leave it already and move on! We could vote on it? No, I'm not setting up a poll for that. Cover scans included and they ended up a bit larger than I meant, sorry!

Right, as you see from the title line there this is a (a horrible term follows brace yourselves) 'cassette mini-album', which is something you don't really encounter that often. I guess it's a bit long to be called an EP and too short for a full album, plus it was never intended to be one. Sound is much, much more refined than on the promo track I posted earlier. Waaaay earlier. Wow, that's almost eight years ago! Then again this was recorded in the well-known Astia Studio and features a full line-up instead of a solitary Teemu like on that promo. Including a certain Tuomas on keyboards. Other familiar names to pop up are Nattfursth of Sorhin who helped with the lyrics (they're in Swedish if you did not notice) and the logo artist whom we know by a different name herein the Coven.

The recording runs for roughly 31 minutes and is divided into four longer "proper" tracks and one slightly shorter instrumental that ends it. The longest of the bunch is the already familiar En avlägsen stjärna (remember, small letters apart from the first for Swedish titles!) which kicks the album off and shares the A-side with I tysthetens kalla rike, a somewhat similar song moodwise. Both are mostly in slower midtempo, with slight variations, feature a plenty of synth (well everything does) and are led by Teemu's croaky main vocals. They have a certain epic feel to them. B-side starter Fjälldalen is slightly different as it feels somewhat more aggressive and also the voice is different here, sounds a bit more forced, barky and violent even. Many traditional heavy metal riffs. I think it's been equally audible all the way through, but here I paid extra attention to the very clearly distinguishable bass. Title track is slower again and more melancholic and features an extremely unprofessional male angel choir which I somehow don't find extremely disruptive today?! I recall cringing and fearing I grind away all the precious enamel in most earlier listens but now it's sort of endearing. I must be growing soft. If we don't count the hit-and-miss nature of the clean vocals I think this might be my second favourite from the songs here. The final song is a synth instrumental and very nice. Winter synth. Ok, so if you like melodic, moody, not-exactly-dark-but-almost... dim? wan? obtuse? metal with that certain northern feeling this might be for you. And listening to the advance tape for the first album now directly after this I must say the music does not change that much between them, main thing must be the vocals which on the album are... let's leave that for another time, I was so close to end this write up, dammit! And I do end here, just try and stop me!

sunnuntai 19. maaliskuuta 2017

Lamented Souls - Demo '95

Lamented Souls - Demo 1995
1) Var
2) Eternal Existence
3) Nemesis
4) Hybris

Yandex / Sendspace

Bandcamp (compilation)

Did you think it would be something non-metal today? Too bad, it's more doom as we traverse from one land of Vikings to another. And it's also another item that's been sitting idle for five years. This is Lamented Souls fra Norge and to be honest kind of pointless entry as this demo '95 was released as part of the compilation CD 2004 "The Origins of Misery" on Duplicate Records, a label run by Einar Sjursjø whom you may remember from Beyond Dawn, a few other bands and his Dawnrazor 'zine. Hmm, now I kind of want to see issues of that, I don't think I've ever read one? I was thinking about ordering a copy back in the dark ages but didn't as I recall it was pretty expensive like Norwegian 'zines tended to be. I guess they printed those on baby seal skin with oil or something like that. Anyways, the CD version at least has this too, not sure about the digital version on Bandcamp as it looks like it's missing 4 tracks? You may consider this a preview, the CD can be ordered via the Bandcamp page. /commercial messages

Ok back to topic, Lamented Souls is probably mostly known as the former band of Simen Hestnæs aka ICS Vortex whom you might recognize from a bunch of Norwegian bands like Penthouse Petz (I'd really like to hear that) and Artisan as well as being married to the cartoonist Lise Myhre whom I presume to be the "Lise" credited for the cover art on this demo. The line-up also included Ole Jørgen Moe aka Apollyon of Aura Noir and Dødheimsgard fame, among others, and finally Olav Knutsen aka Bestial Tormentor of Infernö who shared the bass duties with Hestnæs here. As an aside, Sjursjø joined later to play drums while Apollyon switched to guitar which has really nothing to do with this demo. Or sort of does, as that line-up re-recorded two of the songs here on their 1997 session which was finally released as the first half of the compilation.

Good demo sound, recorded in some sort of studio in two days, usual doomy slow tempo that speeds up a little but never goes beyond careful mid pace. Well, maybe a little on the groovy ending track Hybris. Their doom is of very traditional sort, even moreso than Tristitia featured recently. Closer to Black Sabbath, Godsend and say Saint Vitus than anything deathly. I must say due to vocals it brings flashbacks of certain grungy stuff to mind like Alice in Chains. Poorly qualified to discuss that so let's not go further. I think that's enough for now, I strongly suggest getting the compilation if you enjoyed this and if you were here for dungeon synth or black metal I guess you were dissappointed. Next time, probably.

lauantai 18. maaliskuuta 2017

Blazing Eternity - Over sorte heder demo '96


Blazing Eternity - Over sorte heder demo I 1996
1) Over sorte heder
2) Towards the Thorns of Melancholy
3) Da håbet blev borte for altid...
4) Enthralled by Sorrow
5) The Romantic Forest Is Darker Than Sadness

Sampo / Zippyshare

Sometimes it really takes me ridiculously long to do things. Like today's item; I ripped the tape this was on five years ago. I wasn't actually going to post it but somehow the previous entry inspired me so here we are. It's been a while since our last visit to Denmark so about time we return to those shores with Blazing Eternity's first demo. Called black metal by some careless individuals this is probably as close as they got to that, doing a few years later a full-Katatonia wimp out. Or so I've been told, I actually never heard the second album but the development certainly seemed to lead to that path. Anyways, on this debut they play dark metal with harsh main vocals (primary reason people labeled this black metal I suppose), plenty of atmospheric breaks and generally quite mellow mood.

The title track is actually the most aggressive of the songs and gives a bit misleading idea of the release. Personally, I think it's the best of the bunch as well. It does have a slow part in the middle too so perhaps not as misleading as I implied. Interestingly, the other song with Danish lyrics, the short middle track When Hope Was Gone Forever is quite aggressive too while the English tracks tend towards slower, even doomy tempos and generally more... oh hell, look at the damned titles! Melancholy thorns, enthrally sorrow, romantic forest sadness!!! Need I really elaborate? I'm for some reason starting to get really annoyed, this demo has an odd habit of being "oh nice, why don't I listen to this more often" on every other listen and "isn't this girly crap going to ever end" on those less favourable moods. I don't really like the clean vocals, he sounds more like a kid trying his hardest which I suppose will appeal to some folks with strong parental instincts but it's not at all having the effect I'm sure he was striving for. Curiously, years ago I liked this demo better than their second one.

Right, enough of content, I'll just mention this is made from a dub and has generally decent quality but it really could be better. And there are no scans, unfortunately, just a cover image I think I picked up from Discogs. It's a pretty nice cover. That font though. This is all for now, if you like romantic sort of dark metal by cute *I don't know if they're really cute, they do wear corpsepaint on the pic!* young Danes pick this up. If you want manly, harsh war black metal stay at least 10' (~3 meters) away from this!


keskiviikko 15. maaliskuuta 2017

Tristitia - Reminiscences of a Mourner demo '94


Tristitia - Reminiscences of the Mourner demo II January 1994
1) Envy the Dead
2) Reminiscences of the Mourner
3) Ashes of the Witch
4) Mark My Words

4shared / Mediafire

I was going to post another Finnish item but ran into a minor problem which I need to tackle first. So instead let's do some Swedish doom and a contribution that had also waited a while to be finished - not that there was much to do than slightly adjust volume and convert it to mp3. This is Tristitia and the second demo from the very beginning of '94. If you're acquainted with the earlier releases of the French label Holy Records you've probably encountered Tristitia, the '95 debut got a fair bit of attention back then for the blend of Candlemass-style classic doom, gothic elements and (very slight) black metal influence. To be honest, the black metal influence was really just some vocals used here and there in addition to the deeper, traditional doom singing. But I'd label this more directly under traditional or possibly gothic doom. Not an expert, feel free to argue if necessary. A large cover scan was also sent, thanks again to the contributor!

Four songs that run for almost 25 minutes, the two middle ones re-recorded for the debut album and the other two appeared on the second so nothing new really if you're familiar with both albums. If not, this is not a bad place to start. Very good sound, pretty covers and melancholic, in places sinister even, doom metal performed at appropriatele speeds. I'm not really sure what to say about the vocals, I'm notoriously picky with clean voices but on the other hand I've gotten accustomed to this fellow's voice in the last twenty years so I'm hard pressed to say how good a singer he actually might be. The Swedish accent still occasionally jars in my ears but otherwise he does fine I suppose. Can't really come up with anything sensible to write, if you dig doom metal in the classic vein try this and don't buy that "blackened doom" crap at M-A! Unholy was black doom, this is barely grey!