lauantai 25. lokakuuta 2014

Ugluk - Hveralundr demo 1993

Ugluk - Hveralundr demo I 1993 (1995 version)
1) Ar Var Alda
2) Nam Ekk Upp Runar
3) Moldina ok Blodit


Today I'm posting another sending by Henri, thanks for all the hard work and this is the first and only demo by the Italian one-man project, the notorious if not infamous Ugluk. Cover scans are included and this is the Necrotorture 1995 release of the tape. I know there was a vinyl re-release made some (make it ten) years ago with a short extra track but as I haven't heard that one not going to comment.

We're straying from the viking black metal sub-theme a bit, but this is pretty much as Norwegian as an Italian band could get and received certainly a substantial amount of flak for that in the 'zines back in the day. Somewhat unfairly, I might add. Sure, it's an Italian one-man project (by Verminaard of From Depths, as a note) with a name taken from Tolkien that plays pretty much straight norsecore with lyrics in (old) Norwegian. Did I mention the sort of poor sound and slightly vague recording information (supposedly recorded in '93, the most common version was released in '95 and still saw it referred as demo '94 elsewhere)? But who am I to judge? Ok, in all honesty I tend to be very quick in passing sentence and casting stones, but I find myself enjoying this. Original? Surely not, even in its own era unless you count the novelty of Norwegian lyrics as that. Bad sound? Not really, I mean people were giving it crap for poor sound back then as the style of the times was shifting towards clean, produced, professional sound (crazy, wasn't it?) and this is lofi, muffled, imbalanced, repetitive and more "Transilvanian Hunger" than "In the Nightside Eclipse" even though the music itself would be a bit more inspired by Emperor than Darkthrone. Point fingers and laugh at it if you will, or enjoy the trip and embrace the peculiarities, I'm needed elsewhere now. Recommended but with caution.

perjantai 24. lokakuuta 2014

Hin Onde - Ahti's Depths demo 1999

Hin Onde - Ahti's Depths demo 1999
1) Dawn of Ragnarok
2) Fimbulwinter
3) God of Thunder
4) Behind Oceans and Times
5) Towards Mimir
6) Well of the Highest Knowledge

Zippy / Mediafire

And here we go again, I decided to get this out of the way right away. See previous post. Thank you Henri again for the rip and scans!

Short info for those too lazy to go read the previous entry, more of the same which in this case is Finnish viking metal of folky sort. Though first of the returning tracks "Dawn of Ragnarok" still sounds kinda RACish. This is the first release under the monicker Hin Onde and to be honest I understand and approve of the name change here, if not for anything else then to take distance to the dismally poor Svartalfheim demo. This sounds much better, is played better and is almost voluntarily listenable without any sort of chemical or other choice artificial encouragement(s). I might actually even like it were it not for the specter of the previous attempt looming over my shoulder, whispering into my ear discouraging, maddening words and making mind wander to unwanted paths. The third track kinda stands out and sounds cool. Almost makes me want to hear the albums now. Still in the end of the day not really my favourite sort of music, especially with vocal performance ranging from terrible to bearable and so on, but if you wanted to like "Well of the Highest Knowledge" but couldn't, stop trying and listen to this instead.

torstai 23. lokakuuta 2014

Svartalfheim - Well of the Highest Knowledge demo 1998

Svartalfheim - Well of the Highest Knowledge demo 1998
1) The One with the Ravens
2) Dawn of Ragnarok
3) Well of the Highest Knowledge
4) Norder reser sig igen
5) Väinämöinen and Joukahainen
6) Two Ravens

RGhost / Mega

The previous two posts were examples of what I consider good sort of viking black metal. Unfortunately as we today move to Finnish soil the case isn't so and I know this item can quite readily be found on the inter nets, but since Henu sent me a good rip of it I couldn't resist ending my little -heim trilogy here. I suppose I could've picked a different, more ascending sort of order for it, though. This is Svartalfheim, from Finland (which historically isn't known for vikings), a project of Azaghal leader Narqath and comrades Wind & Kalma who have been recently featured with other projects here. This is the first and only demo released under this name, they started as Calm, changed to this and then swapped for Hin Onde around 1999 and kept that till the end. I suppose it is safe to assume they called it quits as the last release is from 2003. Cover scans included and this tape was released on Elven Witchcraft's sub-label Engwar Creations.

The more keen readers might have already picked from the previous paragraph that I'm not very impressed with Svartalfheim. And that is indeed the case, I've never liked them. I still don't, which considering history might seem odd, seeing that I liked Perkele's "Pohjola" demo for example. It's just that this sort of viking metal got old really soon and by the time I heard this it had already done so. Having a song about Kalevala heroes Väinämöinen and Joukahainen just makes all the other viking content stick out even more. The first proper track "Dawn of Ragnarok" actually reminds me of some RAC song by its end. This might be a sales point for some people but leaves me still quite cold. The sound isn't very powerful either, vocals are poor and amateurish, musician's performance at times struggling and, and... I realise there have been demos here where the points I've mentioned have actually been positive things but I just don't like this, ok?! Awful, awful stuff. So bad it's horrible. Makes me want to listen to Siren instead. However, feel free to enjoy this and disagree with me, I won't judge you.

tiistai 21. lokakuuta 2014

Jotunheim - Aldagautr demo 1998

Jotunheim (swe) - Aldagautr demo I 1998
1) Färd till Valhall
2) Slaget vid Danariket
3) Bergslagsnatt
4) Lodbroks dödsvisa
5) Aldagautr

Mediafire / Rusfolder

Viking black metal again, this time we journey to Sweden so at least it is a valid Viking country. Another rip courtesy of Henu, thank you, and includes cover scans as it was made from an original copy. This is the first demo of the Swedish Jotunheim, not to be mixed with the more recent and a tad questionable Polish, Russian or US users of the name.

This is actually quite a natural item to continue from Helheim as the style present is rather similar, viking black metal with a raw sound. Which is enjoyable, somewhere between pagan black metal and norsecore. Another similarity to the second Helheim demo would be the very epic song durations, this tape runs almost 45 minutes with five songs to it. The screaming vocals are raw, occasionally very piercing shrieks, supported by "clean" vocals thankfully low in the mix. Various nature sounds serve mostly as intros and outros between the tracks, synths are used but with restraint which is nice. Tempos range from the rather fast second track to the more plodding, Burzumesque third song which is also the longest. Sort of reminds me of older Rautavaris, or I suppose it'd be the other way around. The general approach here seems to put more emphasis on black metal elements rather than viking/folk which some will approve while others might be driven away by it. I find myself enjoying this though I would make further cuts to the clean vocals. And perhaps trim the running times a little too. Recommended if anything above appeals to you at all, definitely preferable over stuff like Frostmoon.

maanantai 20. lokakuuta 2014

Helheim - Niðr ok Norðr liggr Helvegr demo 1994

Helheim (nor) - Niðr ok Norðr liggr Helvegr demo II 1994
1) Muspilli strid
2) Blandt ulvenes frender og kråkenes trær
3) Jotne vandring
4) Under the Norse Sky
5) De kalde marker av slag fortapt
6) Drømmedans
7) Gravlagt i Eljudne
8) Gjennom mørke og tåke

Zippy / Depositfiles

This week I'm going to continue with the contributions master Henri Sorvali sent me back whenever it was and to kick the week off, here's a continuation to a post over five years old, the second demo of Norse viking black metal band Helheim. Still not to be mixed with the industrial-tinged, NS-flavoured The Helheim Society. The long time between these posts isn't an oversight, I just didn't feel like ripping my copy of the tape back then, with the 2005 re-release out and all. Anyways, out of appreciation for the contribution, the good quality of the rip and demo itself I've decided to post this now. Scans of the cover are enclosed, thanks again to Henu for sending this.

Like Nehëmah's "Light of a Dead Star" this demo is in the rather rare group of tapes that actually have a longer running time than the band's debut album (don't believe Metal Archives on this, yet again) and without silence breaks or excessive intros too. Ok, there are a couple of shorter, instrumental songs but if you think of such as filler go back from whence you came from! Instrumentals, intros, outros and whathaveyous are important parts of recordings too and the Coven does not tolerate discrimination against them. Where was I? Yeah, it's good viking black metal, atmospheric and maybe a teensy bit inspired by early Enslaved, which they naturally denied in all interviews back then. Two of the songs, 3 & 7, were re-recorded on the debut album. Recommeded for the few who might still be unfamiliar with this and like this sort of music. Actually, it's worth checking out even if you can't stand folk or viking metal as it's more norsecore than drinking songs.

lauantai 18. lokakuuta 2014

GOD Magazine #1

GOD Magazine for Extreme Music, issue 1 (late 1999/early 2000)
Impaled Nazarene
Dark Funeral
Carpathian Forest
Thy Serpent
Old Man's Child
Hades (Almighty)
+ reviews


Ok, it's about time I get back to posting and since it's been a while from the last 'zine post here's the first (I think) issue of humbly named GOD 'zine, which I've been told would be a sort of follow up to Amortization. I borrowed this one again from brother passetiermes, thank you! Looks like it cost someone 35 marks back then, probably in a record store.

As you see from the list, it's more than enough Norwegian bands again and being made in the turn of the millennium (I think most interviews would be made around November or December 1999 as Erik's dead and he asks people about the upcoming new millennium, release date however might've been post that, hard to say as it's not printed anywhere) things were looking rather ugly. Horrible even. All interviewees are also so called "big" bands so nothing much for the underground fanatics but at least some of the interviews (like the live one with I.N.) are entertaining while others are just plain annoying. Well, 'twas the style of the times and all that. Certainly not a favourite yet might entertain you so give it a look!

tiistai 14. lokakuuta 2014

Wind - For One More Melancholy demo 1998

Wind (fin) - For One More Melancholy demo IV 1998
1) The Sleeper
2) For One More Melancholy
3) The Night to Come
4) In Robes of Sorrow

RGhost / Mediafire

I decided to post the next Wind release today, which is, as my source wrote: "4 compositions of poetic and surrealistic synth/chamber music with both catchy and totally insane melodies" and released again on his Ståhlhammar Productions, sth 017. There seems to be some confusion on P2P circles to the order of these demos, but I'd consider Narqath reasonably reliable source for info so if "Veils..." was the third demo and this was released after it, it should be demo IV and the following "Woodland Spirit" (sth 32, 1999) is naturally demo V. Accurate info seems a bit scarce so until proven otherwise I will go by this. Again only a tiny little image was all that was found so a proper scan would be great.

The demo starts off easy enough with wind effects and a generally laid-back mood before kicking a more intense, even aggressive gear in at 01:30, complete with black metallish vocals and all. These almost whispery snarls are practically the main vocal here, along with a gothesque clean voices which dominate the rest of the demo. The music has a strong neoclassical feel to it and the sound isn't as rough as on the previous demo, dropping the dungeon synthiness level considerably and upping the darkwave gauge. I find myself agreeing with Narqath, this is a good listen but "Veils..." was a bit better. Check it out if you're into darkwave/neoclassical stuff.