keskiviikko 28. tammikuuta 2015

Northland - Śmierć to nienawiść demo 1995

Northland - Śmierć to nienawiść demo 1995
1) Światowit
2) Stormwind
3) Mokradła Swarożyca
4) Złoty koń Czernoboha

RGhost / Yandex

The Coven's Baltic Sea tour moves further south and a bit west too as today is Poland's turn. Well, actually there would be that bit of Russia with Kaliningrad but since we already did Russia it's fair to skip ahead a bit. Here is another contribution, a nameless benefactor sent me some items burned on a disc and this was among them, one of the three '95 demos of Northland. I think someone was looking for these the other year and one ("Nadchodzące zło") can already be found online so that leaves two missing, unless there are some unreleased/super-limited things out there. No cover, I used the rather charming image of Nahald found on Metal Archives. He probably enjoyed Salvatore's early books. Speaking of Metal Archives, the Northland entry claims the band changed to synth project later but this is already fully ambient material.

Pretty short demo as three of the four songs are in "intro-lengths" with durations ranging from 01:06 to 02:07. The first track has a rather neoclassical feel to it while second one sounds wonderfully casiolike and has that old game soundtrack/dungeon synth-vibe. Third one is middle ground for the first two, quite solemn though that feeling is a bit ruined by the background (I guess?) noise at 01:33 or so, sounds like a car alarm or really cheesy UFO sound effect kicking in. Fortunately it is fleeting and not very loud but still a little jarring. The last, longest song is another solemn piece, I think I hear some Burzum-influence there which is not a problem in the slightest. Enjoyable demo and I certainly want to hear at least the other non-metal demo. At least in small doses synth-Northland is vastly better than metal-Northland. Recommended, even if you hated "Czernoboh" (most reviewers did, back in the day).

maanantai 26. tammikuuta 2015

Valefar - Frigus Ex Tenebris Venit (both versions)

Valefar - Frigus Ex Tenebris Venit demo 1996
1) Intro
2) In Memoriam Dead
3) Šešėliais renkasi sielos
4) Seni užkeikimai Drakulos pily
5) Asmodeuso karo liepsna
6) Ne šio gyvenimo tamsa
7) Sninga sninga...
8) Nors tu Vyteni ir neateisi...
9) Sodomos himnas

4shared / Depositfiles

Travelling further south the Baltic lands we arrive in Lithuania where the members of the black metal bands Anubi and Nahash joined forces for a common project Valefar whose demo I have here. Ripped from my copy of the tape (which I bought used from somewhere) and includes scans that I kind of botched, the outside (front) and inside of the cover got scanned at different qualities. Well, at least you can easily read the lyrics now. Presuming you understand the language. This is the Ledo Takas version of the cassette.

I got a rip of this among other contributions recently from comrade Baldemar but decided to go with my version anyways as I had already it waiting for finishing touches (= me to get off my ass and divide it into tracks and add tags). Interestingly the two rips have a moderate difference in sound, on mine the vocals seem to be almost completely on the left channel and sound somewhat louder while on the rip I was sent both channels look to be the same. I wonder if the two different versions of the tape had a different mix or whatever technicalities, the rip I was sent seems to be released by Sanahtas Mod distribution in 1995. The Sanahtas address is exactly same as Ledo Takas so it'd be the first version and SM changed name to LT in '96 and put out a second edition of the tape. Now that I think about it, I'll upload both versions so stop the press, change the post title!

Valefar - Frigus Ex Tenebris Venit demo 1995
1) Intro
2) In Memoriam Dead
3) Šešėliais renkasi sielos
4) Seni užkeikimai Drakulos pily
5) Asmodeuso karo liepsna
6) Ne šio gyvenimo tamsa
7) Sninga sninga...
8) Nors tu Vyteni ir neateisi...
9) Sodomos himnas


So there, that's Baldemar's rip. Pick either one or both, whatever your preference may be. I guess it might be good to say something more about the actual contents instead of droning on about versions, covers and other crap. I presume everyone's already familiar with the main bands of the members? Good, this is actually a lot like a mixture of them, Anubi's oddness tempered by Nahash's somewhat more traditional black metal approach but the result is still obscure sounding. Tracklisting can be roughly divided into four (generally longer) metal tracks and five intros, interludes and/or non-metal tracks (most on the short side). The first proper track actually sounds to me a lot like a mixture of 90's Polish black metal and Urfaust. Yes, the vocals do it, clean somewhat operatic voice combined with heavily echoing black metal vox. Sound is gloriously murky, unhealthy (to steal a term from esteemed Stregoica 'zine) and slightly chaotic, especially on my tape. Which annoying also suffers from some tape wear or errors. The old version's sound is a little clearer but also less obscure. Enought text, it's recommended, listen to it already.

lauantai 24. tammikuuta 2015

Heresiarh - Dragons of War demo 1998

Heresiarh - Dragons of War demo 1998
1) Horns of War
2) The Cruel Bard
3) Lamenting Shield-maid
4) Dragons Domain
5) Wolfghosts (In Winter)
6) Ælfwine
7) Hidden Live Track

Zippyshare / Mega

South of Estonia lies Latvia, our next stop with this contribution picked from the seemingly inexhaustible supply of rips Henri sent me. Strangely enough, I had also ripped my copy already long time ago but it got stuck in the unfinished items folder, so thanks for saving me the trouble! Though I had to work a bit on my audio to add the seventh, untitled "hidden" bonus live song master Sorvali had either forgotten or left off for some reason. But back to business, this is Heresiarh, Elven Witchcraft's Morgueldar Dragonseye's own band with their one and only demo. Scans of the quite fancy covers are included.

Heresiarh labels themselves as "dragon metal" which on this release means melodic metal based on dark/black metal with vague touches of gothic and folk to it. Vocals are divided between the roars and growls of Morgueldar and the female voice provided by Rasa which has a strange divisive quality to it; I remember I used to like the vocals back when I got this tape originally, then much later returning to it I could not stand them. Now I'm somewhere on the fence, but still can't say I'd enjoy this demo like in my youthful days. In theory the sound is good for a demo, but also there something bothers me. Would be interesting to hear this as an instrumental version, or with vocals mixed lower or something. The additional live track sounds frustratingly familiar but I can't remember what it is, I'm pretty sure it's either a cover or some traditional piece that has also been used by someone else. The great Skyforger pops to mind but not any particular song that'd fit timeframe. As usual, if you have knowledge do share. Interestingly, I also enjoy this performance more than the studio recording. I guess that's not really a surprise to people who know me by now. Nice screams by Rasa. Recommended for people driven to collect all Elven Witchcraft releases, fantasy metal enthusiasts and, uh, people who enjoy epic sort of melodic metal I suppose. It just doesn't click with me these days like it used to, though I'm likely to eventually change my mind again.

torstai 22. tammikuuta 2015

Whispering Forest - Darkest Side demo III 1997

 Whispering Forest - Darkest Side demo III 1997
1) Curse
2) The Doomed
3) Untitled
4) Darkest Side
5) Green Eyes
6) I Shall Return
7) Last Sunset
8) Path of the Dead
9) Shine of Lethe
10) Black Orchid

Mediafire / Rusfolder

I thought I'd stay in the neighbouring countries and this time we're going south of the border. No, that's not Mexico, for us Finns it is a few hours on a boat (getting drunk is optional) and we arrive in Estonia from where hails this atmospheric death/doom band, the late Whispering Forest. They made (at least) four demo tapes, an album (released twice) and a demo or a self-released EP in 2001 before calling it a day. I got this rip, as well as some other Estonian items burned on a disc from comrade Veiko last year in Steelfest, thanks again! And yes, I took my sweet time getting to post this but I had a very decent excuse for at least part of the delay. Sadly I've no covers for this (if I had, things would be different!) so scans would be very much appreciated. I made a (pretty nice) placeholder "cover" for this too, but decided against posting it in case I get the actual cover scan later.

So what took so long? Simple, the tracklisting was incorrect and it's a real pain trying to figure it out with a band you're not very familiar with. Unsurprisingly, Metal Archives' entry didn't match either and Estonian Metal's was just copied from M.A. so no help there. Looks like that tracklisting completely ignored the intro/interlude tracks but it also had the songs in wrong (or different?) order. Fortunately most songs reappeared on the debut album and had lyrics available so once I got to work it wasn't as impossible as it seemed. And some of the others which did not reappear fortunately included the song title in the lyrics so it was pretty easy to guess those out. Anyways, I was still left with one untitled track, the third one which is a just below minute long interlude sort of bit. I toyed with the idea of just adding it to the title track as intro but then again the other two similar tracks were named and identified so I just left it untitled and separate in hopes of someone with a scan or at least more accurate knowledge appearing. The band's email address was naturally a dead end after all this time.

But enough of me whining about how hard I have it, let's talk about the music. It's atmospheric death/doom with gothic touches. Can I go now? Maybe a few words more, the obvious name drop is always My Dying Bride but instead of the UK folks I'm thinking about the various Czech bands like Dissolving of Prodigy, Silent Stream of Godless Elegy, Love History and what have you. Also the Norwegians The Sins of Thy Beloved comes to mind. Main voice alternates between bellowing death grunts and black metal-esque rasping croaks which is cool. The additional female vocals are, as expected, clear and ethereal and bring someone to my mind yet frustratingly I can't remember who right now!!! They're quite good, whoever it is I'm trying to think. There are some gothic touches overall but they get an extremely prominent front stage role on "Shine of Lethe" which is practically gothic metal/rock hybrid with vocals to match, unlike the album version they're male and the song is generally faster and a little "lighter" so to say. In general the versions here are refreshingly different from the later ones and the more I listen to this, the better I like it. Recommeded, especially if you enjoy atmospheric death/doom and related material. Now I want to hear the older demos too.

lauantai 17. tammikuuta 2015

Silence of Graveyard - Храм вечной скорби demo 2000

Silence of Graveyard - Храм вечной скорби demo 2000
1) Могильная тишина
2) Пред краем бездны
3) Погребение
4) Храм вечной скорби
5) ...И разверглись небеса

Zippyshare / Depositfiles

From Finland to abroad again with another contribution sent by Eugene, thanks once more, this was actually sent before the compilation I posted first thing this year here, but that one took priority. This item is a demo of Russian project Silence of Graveyard, hailing from Voronezh and this is the extent of our information for now. The title translates as "Temple of Eternal Grief" and individual tracks (rough Google translations... which you could've done yourself) "Sepulchral Silence", "Before the Edge of the Abyss", "Funeral" and something about heaven that didn't translate correctly. So, looks quite gothy and darkwavey based on the titles and the image of the artist standing by someone's grave.

Sounds too, music is instrumental darkwave with at times almost martial percussions and some electric guitar for that extra bite. Though I got this labeled as dungeon synth I'm reluctant to call it that myself as even if I do feel the dungeon vibe at times I think this feels more gothic, mournful and funereal than medieval, nostalgic or, uh, fantastic. Then again, the sound does vary from track to track and some bits feel totally appropriate so I'm kinda on the fence here. Well, I'm no authority or a specialist on the genre in the end so I suppose I just include that tag too. Eugene called the music "kinda second-rate DS" but I seem to like this today. The rip is low bitrate, unfortunately, but the sound is good. Give it a try!

torstai 15. tammikuuta 2015

Cerberus #6

Cerberus 'zine, issue 6 (summer 2000)
Love History
Nightly Gale
Mental Home
Insanity Reigns Supreme
Lethal Prayer
+ reviews


Haven't posted a 'zine for a while now so let's fix this with another sending by comrade Kurgan, thanks for the donation! Cerberus was a long-running Finnish 'zine started in '92 and centered mostly on death metal with some nods to doom(/death) and black metal as well. All issues were rather compact in size, ranging between 20 and 40 pages, this episode being 36. Not sure how much longer they carried on after this, two more perhaps? I've never owned the past issues myself, I just vaguely remember browsing through someone else's copy of issue... uh, it was probably three?

Ok, so I'm not going to dwell in their past but looking at this issue the editors' experience is obvious and their English is also very good. Unfortunately the content just isn't very interesting. Well, the reviews are quite long and written with more than average effort so they do count. The band roster just isn't my chalice of venom, but perhaps the readers of the blog might find something intriguing among the lot. I might later get some of the back issues which look to be more to my liking, of course their era helps in this regard. The turn of the millennium just doesn't have the appeal of the early and mid-90's. Still, it's well made and worth a shot if you read 'zines at all.

keskiviikko 14. tammikuuta 2015

Myrkwid - Hymn demo 1998

Myrkwid - Hymn demo IV 1998
1) The Witch
2) A Night...
3) Fog
4) Krigsgud
5) Hymn!
6) Hulemdverg

Rusfolder / Mega

The fourth and last Myrkwid demo of the batch I was sent, thanks once again to my contributor! A large cover scan is included, with a bit more stuff on it this time around. The sound is a little off-balanced, favouring the right speaker. I've experimented adjusting the sound slightly, the difference isn't very great, just enough to make it more balanced but in the end decided to upload the rip I got as-is instead of meddling. If someone wants to hear the "balanced" version let me know and I'll upload it.

Someone said the first four Myrkwid demos would be the best ones so I guess this ends a chapter here. Much is similar to the previous demos but still slight progress has happened. This one is also the longest of the bunch but features an oldie as "Hulemdverg" from demo I is revisited. If you've enjoyed your journey with Myrkwid so far I suppose there's no reason not to listen to this part as well. Personally I like this probably second best of the bunch. Recommended and see the old posts.