keskiviikko 30. marraskuuta 2011

Algaion - Promo Track 1995

Algaion - Promo Track 1995
The Sign of Evil Existence (Rotting Christ cover)


A real quick one here, literally, as this Rotting Christ classic covered by one of my favourite bands Algaion lasts less than two minutes. Dubbed by a trader with little info given, I don't know if this was actually ever used anywhere. I got it as "promo track" and am pretty sure it was just recorded at some other session and then dubbed to some people. Sound is a little muddy but okay demo sound and the track is obviously a classic and they do ok job covering it. Recommended if you enjoy either of the bands but if you're more of a hifi-person you might want to try their new album "ΕΧΘΡΟΣ" which features a medley of this and Thou Art Lord's "The Era of Satan Rising" and is a great album overall. /advertisement

Daimon - Presence of the Past demo 1995

Daimon (aut) - Presence of the Past demo 1995
2) Dominion of the Strong
3) Life Is Fight
4) Templar Secrets
5) Eternal Flame
6) Far Away
7) The Evil Inside
8) Presence of the Past

Link removed as obsolete:

Time to get this blog back on the course. We're getting closer to the usual fare with this quite unusual demo one of my traders once dubbed me. According to Metal Archives, this is the only release of this Austrian project and as it is a piece of trading loot I have no cover for it, the quite bad image from the M.A. page is used. Like always, I'd be interested in proper scans. I'd also be interested in hearing from someone who could confirm my division of the tracks as I had a little difficulty with it. I've probably screwed it somewhere around the middle.

The music on this demo is practically one part neo-medieval dungeon synth-ish material, two parts black metal which brings to my mind several of the project's countrymen like early Golden Dawn, old Abigor, old Summoning and the A.B.M.S. - bands. The sound is crispy sort of clear, very obviously demo level but fitting in a crude manner like an axe blade to the side of your skull. The guitar sound is sharp and clear, vocals (when used) harsh and shrieky, synths endearingly cheap sounding and percussion rigidly mechanical. Surprisingly bass can also be heard, nothing muffled about this one. Some clean vocals (quite ok) are also used. Songwriting on the black metal parts varies from driving, simple gallop to unexpected wanderings unto shadowy offroads. I remember I didn't listen to this much on cassette but now I'm a bit fascinated by it. An interesting demo, recommendable.

UPDATE: No wonder it sounded familiar and like old Golden Dawn; looks like it was another of Stefan's projects and he has added the demo to his Bandcamp page. Get it from there now!

maanantai 28. marraskuuta 2011

Perkele - Erotic Circus (1996)

Perkele (fin) - Erotic Circus
Dancing in the Night
2) Where's My Lady
3) Lightning Strikes
4) Summer
5) Red, Liquid Flower
6) Warhorse
7) You're My Wish
8) Summernight (Digital Passion Mix)
9) In Parties


More unusuality: an album. Well, this has been long out of press so it was a request I thought I'd go ahead and fulfill. Also, I'd hate to see you cough up ridiculous sums for a used copy without hearing it first. Perkele, here a two-piece, was another project band featuring Ari "Sinister Satyr" Honkonen of Morningstar but if you've read this blog for any longer time I shouldn't need to introduce him. The earlier material was Isengard/Storm influenced pagan metal but the project started to get gothier around "Midsummer Murders" promo 1995 and went all in with this, their sole album released by Nederlands' Hammerheart in late 1996 (or early 1997). I've ripped my copy and made a halfassed scan of the outer sides of the digipak.

You might've noticed a certain lack of enthusiasm on the previous paragraph. That is because I don't like this, plain and simple. It's probably the worst release Arska has put out. His wavering clean vocals worked on the "drunken viking" approach of the old tapes and on the more sinister sounding promo tape but here it's just not happening. Granted, I'm not much of a fan of gothic rock and vocals of for example Two Witches make me cringe but I'm not very keen on the music either. If you're a connoisseur of gothic rock you might manage to enjoy this. I advice the rest to approach with caution.

Neverwood - Angel demo 1997

Neverwood - Angel demo 1997
2) Decay
3) Glass
4) Servile


If the previous post was obscure then I suppose this one is just unusual, though I haven't seen this online either. As someone might've guessed already, another non-metal item and this time not ambient or dungeon synth either. If you remember the Plastic Sampler compilation I posted then you might also recall Neverwood who are/were (not sure if active or dead) an electronic music project. Not to be confused with another, more metal, Finnish project. This might or might not be their first demo, no idea since I don't have covers and haven't managed to find much info from the inter nets.

I'm no good at all with the subgenres in this direction so I'm not going to go guessing too much, let's just say that they perform quite an ethereal sort of electronic music with a female vocalist. I've been told their debut album would be trip-hop or something and I suppose that might apply here too. Whatever it should be called, I like listening to it every now and then. Sound is good and the dub also is of satisfying quality so take a listen if you're into this sort of music.

keskiviikko 23. marraskuuta 2011

Iskalde Vinder - Sorgens Tid demo 1995

Iskalde Vinder - Sorgens Tid demo 1995
2) Bortgang
3) Sorg


Something obscure from my tape traded items again, this is a demo, possibly only one, of the Norwegians Iskalde Vinder. I couldn't find any information, pictures or the like on the internet, nor do I remember seeing a flyer, review or interview anywhere. Yet they once existed and made this almost 23 minutes of atmospheric Norwegian black metal. Three quite long songs, the middle one being quite non-metal actually, I'm reminded occasionally of the fellow Norwegians Forgotten Woods, Strid and someone else whom I forgot and will edit later into this text. Yeah. Mostly the music is kind of mellow, yet gloomy and moves at a slow midtempo. The sound is pretty typical demo fare and dub quality is okayish, obviously it's not first generation but the minor wear and flaws do not bother at least me that much. The music is very interesting and recommended to pretty much all readers. Any further information, images and cover scans are welcome!

tiistai 22. marraskuuta 2011

Brainstorm #4

Brainstorm 'zine, issue 4 (September 1995)
In the Woods...
Celestial Season
Mayhem (Hellhammer)
Opera IX
Misanthropy Records
+ reviews, news & gig reports


Here's a 'zine post for change. In a temporary fit of insanity I scanned this fourth issue of the Lithuanian Brainstorm 'zine. I haven't seen any of his previous issues nor do I know if he made any after this one as I bought this from one of the various small distros once upon a time in the later 90's. I believe my reason for purchase was the Mayhem interview. Anyways, this is a neat 'zine with pretty interesting artists featured, a tidy layout and decent enough English. The author's music taste seems to be more melodic-oriented than yours truly's (spoiler: the album of the issue is Sentenced's "Amok") and I find myself disagreeing with his reviews from time to time but it's not a big deal. Recommended especially if you're fond of the bands mentioned above or a curious explorer of the past.

keskiviikko 16. marraskuuta 2011

Unhola - Beetlehemin Saasta... Rehearsal 1995

Unhola - Beetlehemin Saasta... Rehearsal Tape 1995
Mustan Syvyyden Tuulet
2) We Bring Thy Garden
3) Beetlehemin Saasta


Today's second post is again a contribution, this one from brother Grev, thanks! If you've paid any attention to the side of the page you might've noticed I've been on the look for the first Unhola demo since the beginning of written history and it has steadily evaded me. And still it does, for this recording I got from brother Grev is a rehearsal tape recorded before the demo itself (as far as I know). Note that both of the tracks from the demo appear here as well, "We Bring Thy Garden" is "Täältä Tullaan Kuolema" with different, English lyrics. Musically it appears to be mostly similar. No covers for this one.

Ok, so this is a rehearsal tape and you know what to expect, right? There are some minor flaws and errors and the sound quality is uneven, that can't be helped. Overall it has a good rehearsal sound though and everything is quite audible. They have some problems getting the last track started, that's why the lenght (22:13 of which 10:09 is the last one). I like older Unhola and rehearsal tapes very much so naturally I'm all into this but the casual listener might be left unimpressed. Anyways, I recommend you at least try this out if you like older Finnish black metal.

Lux Axiomus - Oblivion demo 1992

Lux Axiomus - Oblivion demo 1992
The Plague
2) Oblivion
3) Unholy Chanting
4) In Nomine Spiritus


Another contribution from brother SuuretMuinaiset who ripped me his dub of this old & obscure Norwegian demo. Thank you! Since we didn't have the covers another Metal Archives image is used and as always, a proper scan would be appreciated!

To the music, this is thirteen minutes of rough sounding (rehearsal sound quality) early 2nd wave black metal. It's no Kvist, Strid or early Emperor but quite enjoyable material still. Some death metal influences pop up from the witches brew but the overall sound is that of early Norwegian bm scene. I'm pretty sure this has been recorded at their rehearsal room but fear not the sound is still clear and listenable. The last track ends oddly, it sounds like they finish the track once but then it countinues, only to abruptly end soon. Problem with the dub/rip/original recording? I don't know, but tell me if you do. Nice curio worth listening to, especially if you're interested in the old Norwegian scene.

sunnuntai 13. marraskuuta 2011

Master's Hammer - Rehearsal 1993

Master's Hammer - Rehearsal 1993 (actually 1992)
Instrumental Jam
2) Já nechci mnoho trápiti...
3) Kol prostírá se temný les...
4) Ten dvanácterák zmizel v houští...
5) Mezi kopci cesta je klikatá... (1st version)
6) Mezi kopci cesta je klikatá... (2nd version)
7) Mezi kopci cesta je klikatá... (3rd version)
8) Že vše je podle mého přání... (1st version)
9) Že vše je podle mého přání... (2nd version)


Here's one of my own rips for change and one of my favourite bands, the Czech cult band Master's Hammer which I hope is familiar to most of my readers. If not, go and listen to their first two albums immediately. Then the demos & new album. Ok, this thing here is a rehearsal tape I got from one of my traders, titled rehearsal 1993 and without a tracklisting. However as you noticed already I figured them out and I believe this to be rehearsal session(s?) for the 2nd album, in which case it'd be 1992 really. Not sure though so I kept it labeled as I got it. I know there is a rehearsal tape called "Hash-Influenced" dated for 1992 which I for some bizarre reason never had dubbed which might or might not be this same recording. If you have that tape get in touch with me right now.

As you've probably figured out, I'm a big MH-fan so anything I write will not be neutral. I'd be likely to listen to an hour of Franta practising a single riff. Keeping that in mind, I'll start by saying this has mostly an excellent rehearsal sound, demo quality easily. The first track might be a bit off a turn off for many as it really is, like it titled it, an instrumental jam. At least I could not identify it as any of the actual songs. The rest of the material are "proper" tracks but tend to sound quite different from the album versions, obviously. Vocals and most of the instruments are present. There are several takes of two of the tracks and all sound quite different. Might not be to everyone's taste, even fellow Master's Hammer fanboys', yet I still recommend it as it is an interesting listen even if things occasionally get a bit out of hand and some elements are missing/different.

keskiviikko 9. marraskuuta 2011

Funerary Call - A Comselh De Ors demo 1994

Funerary Call - A Comselh De Ors demo 1994
Da I Crip Ors
Battle for Conquest
3) With Fire and Blood
4) Fallen Monuments
5) Divine Sodomy
6) A Last Breath Before the Final Sleep


One more for the road and another contribution, this one by brother Fenrirsson, thanks for the rip and scans! Non-metal material from Canada, this is funereal dark ritual ambient. It has some shades of dungeon synth too but I don't think I'd label this as that genre. Well, I'm not sure actually so I guess I'll wait Andrew's call on it.

Fenrirsson has ripped an original tape and edited the sound so it is clear and listenable, yet still sounds like something echoing from lightless subterranean catacombs. Murky and evil synth music with black metal voices and quite short tracks. I haven't heard the latest FC recordings so no comparisons to them. Listeners of dark ambient, ritual music and dungeon synth should check this out.

Howll - In to My Kingdom demo 1996

Howll - In to My Kingdom rehearsal/demo I 1996
Written in Stormclouds
2) At Dawn Came the Silence
3) In to My Kingdom


Slow posting lately. Well, here's another rarity from brother Grev to make up for it. Finnish stuff again and probably the only release of Howll, a project by Nattasett aka Julma from Darkwoods My Betrothed. I have practically no information about this apart from what Grev told me and he did not have a cover for this either. If one even was made. Unfortunately the quality of this rehearsal recording is far from great, due just about all the sound coming to the right channel. I could not up the volume much and ramming it out mono did not produce a much better result, thanks to the low general volume. If someone absolutely wants to try the mono rip leave me a note.  
UPDATE: Well, seeing that this version was lost with the destruction of an external drive and the Mediafire fiasco back in the day, you'll have to listen to the mono rip for now. I could also ask brother Grev for the other version but let's work with what we have.

I should say something about the music too I suppose. Well, like brother Grev wrote, this is a mixture of synth stuff and black/doom metal. The pace is generally very slow and the tracks quite long, the title track being faster and more aggressive than the preceeding ones. Nattasett uses a clean, semi-spoken voice, the extremely high, hysterical vocal you might remember from DMB material and a more typical, raw and hoarse black metal scream. Some samples are sprinkeled among the music. This would be a very interesting and enjoyable demo if the sound was better. Now it's just very interesting and kind of enjoyable. Still, recommendable if you can overcome that.

tiistai 1. marraskuuta 2011

Thorns Of Compassion - Dreamless demo 1997

Thorns Of Compassion - Dreamless demo 1997
A Soul Full of Sorrow
2) Dreamless
3) Embraced by Darkness


More Norwegian gothy stuff follows, this an apparently obscure demo is as far as I know also the only release by Thorns Of Compassion who should probably be categorized somewhere between dark metal and gothic metal. They use several kinds of vocals, from mediocre clean singing to effect-laden spoken voice and a harsh snarl which probably works best in my opinion. Music is obviously melodic and has slight folky touches to it. Napalm Records probably didn't get this demo or had their roster full at the time, otherwise I'd expect them to have released the band's debut album. Century Media might've been another candidate. Well, it's not as bad as what I wrote makes it seem. If you dig mid/late 90's melodic bands like Old Man's Child, Dismal Euphony, Trail Of Tears etc... maybe even Obtained Enslavement or Borknagar you could enjoy this.

Tape traded item so unfortunately I don't have a proper cover for it and the only image I could find on the inter nets was the small Metal Archives image. I'd be pleased to get a proper cover scan. The dub itself was ok, a little wear is audible in places but it's not drastic. The recording itself has a pretty good, full sound. Musicianship seems proficient enough to me (well, the somewhat amateurish clean vocals come off pretty awkward like I said) so if you enjoy the style it ought to be listenable.

Shadow Dancers - Blacker Then Better Between demo 1994

Shadow Dancers - Blacker Then Better Between demo I 1994
Blacker Then Better Between
2) In the Heart of America
3) The Wasp
4) God Wanted Dead or Alive
5) Untitled


Some of you might remember me uploading some recordings from Norwegian goths Shadow Dancers in 2009, well here is their debut demo from 1994, courtesy of brother Fenrirsson who kindly ripped me his tape as well as scanned the covers. Much appreciated! He has also provided me with several other rips which will be posted in the future.

But let us get back to this tape, F ripped his original copy and apparently worked on the sound a bit to reduce hissing and whatnot. Anyways, being an old demo tape recorded probably at someone's garage or basement the sound quality isn't going to be dazzling. For a black metal demo (in case you didn't know, the musicians were/are involved with the bm scene) the aesthetic is fitting, for gothic rock slightly higher production values would probably be more appropriate. Well, it gives the recording a certain aura I think. If you listened to the Sverd Storm II compilation, you've already heard one of these tracks and the 1995 recordings I posted featured re-recorded versions of two. Still worth checking out if you enjoyed those recordings. As mentioned in the old post, I like this more than most other gothic rock. One more thing, the tracklisting has only four titles (which are mentioned as chapter I, but that probably refers just to this being the debut demo), the fifth (8 min+) track/outro combo is unmentioned. More info would be appreciated, is this actually part of this demo or another recording dubbed as bonus to Fenrirsson's tape or what? Recommend for open-minded followers of the Coven, fans or Cultoculus and/or Ragnarok, collectors of curios and so on.