tiistai 25. joulukuuta 2012

Inactive

The Coven is in a hiatus for a while. Reasons are none of your business, happy holidays!

maanantai 17. joulukuuta 2012

A 1000 Years... #1

A 1000 Years... of Lost Pride and Dignity, issue 1 (1993-94)
Interviews:
Unleashed
Varathron
Enslaved
Monumentum
Katatonia
Burzum
Rotting Christ
Articles:
Editorials
Ancient Rites
"Viktig melding til alle nordmenn"
Shadow Dancers
"Stave Churches"
"The Trends Exposed At Last!!"
Manowar
Carpathian Forest
Edvard Grieg
+reviews, flyers & so on

Depositfiles / Narod

Another contributed item today, sent to me by one of my readers, nada88pe from Perú and originally scanned and posted on NWN! forum by S.Charlach from Germany so thanks to them for this 'zine! Please note that the file is in .pdf-format. I am reposting this here as comrade Kurgan was looking for it and I believe it would interest several other readers as well. Personally, I've been wanting to see it since seeing flyers for it but never got around to order it. The scans are not of very good quality. but there's nothing I can do about it - it also appears the 'zine itself wasn't printed (or copied) in too good quality to start with. Should be readable enough.

After reading through it, I have to be blunt and say I didn't miss much by not ordering it back then as it's not really that good a fanzine. For starters, there's much less content than I believed there would be, as you see there are only seven interviews, some of which are very short and also very dated for a 'zine released in early 1994. Some... well most of the articles end up being waste of space, worst offenders being the "Trends..." rant, Manowar article and the shallow look at Norwegian timber... oops Stave churches. I'm not 100% now if I'm mixing up this with another 'zine but I think the flyer mentioned also an interview with Vlad Tepes which certainly isn't here... is this complete then or am I thinking about another Norwegian 'zine? Despite my negative words, it's a worthwhile read and occasionally entertains too. I'm just glad I didn't invest my little money in this back in the day. My experience so far shows most Norwegian 'zines fare rather poorly compared to other countries, with the exception of Ornament and some of the Slayer and Imhotep issues. Anyways, definitely recommended to read or at least leaf through... or whatever it is you do with a reader.

Black Witchery - Evil Shall Prevail demo 1998


Black Witchery - Evil Shall Prevail demo 1999 (2nd release, original 1998)
1) Black Witching Metal
2) Evil Shall Prevail
3) Summoning of Infernal Legions
4) Destruction of the Holy Kingdom Which Spawned the Cursed Trinity of God

Narod

Here's the third and final from the batch sent by unholydeath, thanks bro! America's Black Witchery might be a familiar name to at least some of the Coven's readers and some might even recognize their first monicker Irreverent. Known nowadays for barbaric war black/death metal style, the earlier efforts like this demo still have more traces of early Scandinavian style present beside the war metal trappings. Or perhaps it'd be accurate to say it sounds more USBM than Canadian metal? However you decide to describe the difference, it's still quite primitive and in your face at the early stages as well. Note that this is the 1999 re-released version released by Chanteloupe Creations of France with a rather decieving fantasy cover artwork (stol... borrowed from TSR's AD&D Dragonlance book whose name evades me, you can Google it if you really must can't you?) - the original version was released a year before (1998) by the band themselves under the Witchery monicker which they changed as it was already in use. The contents would be same for both versions of the demo and several of these tracks would be used again later (on the 7"EP and split with Conqueror).

Good sounding rip and I think the demo sounds good itself too, you can clearly tell it's a demo recording but everything is as audible as it needs and has both rawness and power. It's not inventing the wheel again, or adding much bling to the original yet works for me. Very much recommended if you enjoy raw black metal and worth a try even if you're not into the more recent BW creations.

sunnuntai 16. joulukuuta 2012

Der Stürmer - Europa Erwache! demo 1999


Der Stürmer - Europa Erwache! demo 1999
1) Für Den Kommenden Mann
2) Europa Erwache!
3) Sieg Heil Vaterland
4) Der Hakenkreutz

Mediafire

Another tape from unholydeath and continues in the similar vein to the previous post, only more extreme and blatantly nsbm, here's the first Der Stürmer demo. Taking their name (and logo) from Julius Streicher's propaganda tabloid and using very direct images and lyrics (especially in the earlier releases) there's nothing subtle about these Greeks. I wasn't sent cover scans this time as the covers were horrible quality pixel-shit not worth scanning like ud put it, but I borrowed images uploaded to Discogs to satisfy the curious. So thanks to unholydeath for his rip again!

Musicwise this is probably the most aggressive and hateful of their drummachine-era recordings. Not much to really say, in your face-assault and most likely not for everyone reading the blog. You probably know if you want this or not. Note that these tracks were also released as a split with Galgenberg so you'd probably want to get that one instead... or maybe not, now that I checked this rip sounds better.

lauantai 15. joulukuuta 2012

Blutorden - Blutorden demo 1997


Blutorden - Blutorden demo 1997
1) Intro
2) Nazistic Vampyr
3) In the Ruins of Wewelsburg
4) The First Ritual - Entering the Order

Depositfiles / Narod

I made it back alive once again. For a few posts, let's do contributions shall we not? Well, they'll be done in any case so don't think it's a poll or anything. Starting off, recently brother unholydeath sent me rips of a couple of his tapes and this is the first of them, the one-off side-project of the French classick Osculum Infame. I know there are other rips of this in the net but at least one has an incorrect tracklisting. This doesn't. A cover scan enclosed, too. Thanks, ud!

Blutorden differs from Osculum Infame by being more clearly ns (while stating they're not a political band on the covers) and musically being slightly more straight forward and violent. Drum machine spews cover fire in the background while echoing, drawn out vocals and oddly murky yet clearly audible strings dominate the front line. So despite the general murkiness the sound is good for such raw black metal. The cover lists two people responsible for bass guitars so it appears they've taken the Necromantia approach, which would explain how the first track sounds. Other being distroted and the second not is more apparent on the 2nd track (ok third if you count the intro) "In the Ruins...). Last track is a longer one and slightly slower too. Nice stuff, definitely worth checking out if you're not too worried about the ns matter. Or even then too.

lauantai 8. joulukuuta 2012

Stregoica #3


Stregoica 'zine, issue 3 (1991-92)
Interviews:
Mortician
God Macabre
Impetigo
Excruciate (swe)
Darkified
Phlegethon
Anatomy
Grave
Sigh
Sepulchral (fra)
Therion
Impaled Nazarene
Master's Hammer
Necromantia
Abruptum
Death SS
Vital Remains
Blood
Misery (swi)
Necrotomy 'zine
Libation
Catacomb (fra)
Cadavrosity
Occult (fra)
Pan-Thy-Monium
God Dethroned
Shub Niggurath
Mordor
Disastrous Murmur
Tormentor (hun)
Putrid (fin)
Deadly Dislocated
Frayeurs
Sinister
Visceral Evisceration
Disembowelment
Amorphis
Misanthrope
Putrid Offal
Burial Vault
Korsakov
Mythic
Sorcery (swe)
+articles, bios, gig and scene reports, reviews

Depositfiles

I'm off to Prague for a couple of days so I thought I'd leave you with something to kill time with until my unforeseeable return. This is a 'zine for change and one I scanned at yet another fit of insanity. Third issue of the classic French Stregoica 'zine, starting to move from death metal to black metal, though most of this issue is still death metal - like most of the bands around 1991 were. The interviews are in the death metal 'zine way, so many of them include odd and humorous questions - the seriousness hadn't yet settled in the authors, though they certainly were very dedicated into the underground. Most of the interviews are quite compact (=short). The bios and articles include bios sent by bands/labels as well as ones written by the editors, including for example Awakening, Sentenced, Eternal Darkness, Acheron & Sadist. Other sort of articles include "Thoughts of a Neutral Mind" where the guys interviewed people not into death metal about it and "Into the Pandemonium" which details some well-known demons. Also included are tons of old flyers, cool pics and archaic forms of well-known logos. A nostalgic read, especially for people into metal of death but recommended for other readers as well.

Enochian Key - Rehearsal 03.05.1995


Enochian Key - Rehearsal 3rd May 1995
1) The Revival of the Shadows
2) Return of the Pagan Mesopotamia

Mediafire

Another rehearsal tape today and this one is possibly an unfamiliar name to many. Enochian Key was a short lived Israeli black metal band who released only one cassette EP during their run, though there were two rehearsal tapes also circulating the tape trading scene. Well, that is two as far as I know and this is one of them. No covers made (I think) as this was again a thing dubbed to some people and then spread around.

The recording sounds acceptable, it is a rehearsal tape after all so don't expect much. The sound is pretty clear and most things are audible though the drums are too much on top and together with the keyboards they drown out the guitars pretty much. The guitar sound itself could be better. Vocals are quite typical raspy gargling, not very memorable nor offensive either. Musically this is melodic and the songwriting and the keyboard presence bring older Cradle Of Filth strongly to mind, with the atmospheric breaks and all. Not bad but I prefer the cassette EP myself (which also features the second track). Worth checking out if you enjoy this sort of music, happen to be their fan and of course for the historical value.

torstai 6. joulukuuta 2012

With The Winds - Rehearsal 1995

With The Winds - Rehearsal I 1995
1) In the Caress of the Winds

Depositfiles / Narod

December 6th is the Finnish independence day so I decided to celebrate that a bit late by posting something Finnish. With The Winds was yet another project by the prolific young musicians from Wanderer/Raven/Haven In Shadows and so on. They never released a demo with this one, just a couple of tracks recorded in their rehearsal room. Probably they lost interest or motivation in this one, which is a shame, at least I enjoyed this. No cover, as expected, and I don't think a logo exists either?

This is basically a rehearsal recording, though made with a four-tracker so the sound is quite rough... well, very similar to their other recordings actually. Unfortunately there's some tape wear or whatever dub fail in two or three places, short but annoying little distractions. Otherwise it sounds good. Musically this is again atmospheric and quite slow dark/black metal, this time a complete work with vocals (raw and clean ones), synths and whatnot included. If you enjoyed Haven In Shadows or I Flow In Depths... you probably like this one too. It's much better than IFID. Recommendable.

keskiviikko 5. joulukuuta 2012

Desaster - Lost in the Ages demo 1994


Desaster - Lost in the Ages demo II 1994
1) Hymn to Forgotten Lands
2) In a Winter Battle
3) Tears of an Old Wizard
4) Lost in the Ages
5) As the Deadworld Calls
6) Leaving the Hall of Kings

Narod / Mediafire

Still more Germans, though now back to metal. Desaster is one of the oldest 2nd wave black metal bands of Deutschland, being formed in 1988. That's pre-2nd wave, actually. Well, anyways, they are still (very) active to the date, having released an album which I yet have to hear this year. I ripped this demo from a dub I got from one of my traders, so not unfortunately from an original tape. No scans either, I've included a few pics borrowed from Discogs, Demo Archives & Metal Archives. Proper scan would be welcome.

The sound quality is pretty good, I recall they recorded this in a studio, or at least with more than four tracks. Not that it'd matter that much to me, raw is good and less is more. It is still a bit rough like a demo should be, but all instruments are very audible, including the bass, and quite well balanced. There is a little tape wear audible but not enough to be a problem. Musically around this time Desaster was still clearly black metal, not black/thrash, but the influence of the great old ones is very audible in their sound, without directly copying anyone. Don't get me wrong, I definitely like later Desaster very much but I prefer the attitude on these earlier works - less tongue-in-cheek and no songs about metal works better for me. Songs like "Tears of an Old Wizard" are just awesome, epic and very metal. Recommended if you enjoy old school black metal, either of the early 2nd wave or before it.

tiistai 4. joulukuuta 2012

Depressive Silence - Depressive Silence 7"EP 1997


Depressive Silence - Depressive Silence 7"EP 1997
1) Lost in My Dreams
2) Dark Soul

Mediafire / Depositfiles

And now a natural continuation to the previous post and I dare say an anticipated one. Some of you might remember how I've promised to rip and upload the final work of Depressive Silence, the 1997 EP, once I'd A) find the tape where I have it dubbed or B) manage to take it with me to an associate with a vinyl player and rip it. Well, I'm happy to finally post the long-sought EP even if neither A) nor B) came to happen yet, instead I was contacted by comrade LZV who also owns the 7" and offered to help us. He sent me a rip of his copy for which I'm grateful, and I took my copy and scanned the covers, insert and even the vinyl (didn't take it out of the plastic though). So, thanks LZV, I'm glad to have this one up at last!

This is ripped directly from his vinyl which he said might need cleaning. Well, there's a little snap-crackle-pop going on but this is expected of vinyl is it not? Unfortunately he ripped this at low bitrate (128) but this isn't really affecting the end result that much in this case. Both tracks on the EP are quite long, over 7 minutes and side A starts quite noisy, even threatening before moving into the ambient/dungeon synth sounds with keyboards that sound almost like they were carried by winds through forgotten mountain valleys, past the crumbling towers of a ruined yet still menacing castle, echoing around the empty courtyard where only shadows reside. Reminds me a little of Lamentation, actually. Side B surprised me too as I had forgotten how completely different it is - it starts with something that sounds suspiciously like gothic rock with odd distorted vocals over it! An electric guitar joins soon to give it a more metallic edge, but this is sure unexpected in the light of the other material. Though some guitars and raw vocals were already used on the second demo, this is pretty much a complete track in "metal" category, sounding as it proceeds a little like a crossover between gothic and a Summoning (mid-phase) track. I'm not sure what more to say about this, better have a listen for yourself. With this EP posted the Depressive Silence saga ends (as far as we know).

sunnuntai 2. joulukuuta 2012

Mightiest / Depressive Silence - Split Demo 1995


Mightiest / Depressive Silence - The Recreation of the Shadowlands / Depressive Silence split demo 1995
Mightiest:
1) The Enfold Shadows of Mighty Gates
2) My Time to Come
3) Silence
4) Lord of Darkness
5) Eternal Past
6) Depression
Depressive Silence:
7) Medieval Demons
8) Dark Side
9) Düsterwald

Depositfiles

I think it is time to post some German material again and we start with another split release and like the previous one of this nature (the EP here) this treads the line whether it's appropriate to be uploaded here in the Coven or not. You see, part of this has been re-released on CD the other year and the Depressive Silence material has been floating around the inter nets for some time already (though at low bitrate and possibly mistitled, at least one rip has track 3 as 1st). Then I thought, what the hell, a proper rip of this tape is necessary. So here we have Mightiest and Depressive Silence who should be familiar to the readers, or at least those into dungeon synth, both from Germany and at this point sharing members. Ripped from an original copy and includes scan of the xerox cover. Which doesn't really look like the image above, I just combined both bands' covers to one.

Mightiest on side A performs on this recording atmospheric yet raw sounding black metal and this is their best release in my opinion. The sound is of demo quality with buzzing guitars dominant and distant, cold feel to it overall. It is not crystal clear but certainly more audible than various Moonblood tapes for example. The main vocals are echoing screams, bass non-existent and drums definitely there but taking the back seat. Elements like synths and female vocals are used but quite tastefully, the guitars being the main focus. Ok, some of the tracks have a lot of keyboards but it's still more like "S/T" than "In the Nightside Eclipse". There are two pure synth tracks Silence and Depression which were not included on the compilation "Bloodyssey 1994-2003" released by Cyclonic Empire, shame on them. Both of them are quite long, over four minutes, so it doesn't feel right to consider them as merely an interlude and an outro. Rather they're fully fledged dungeon synth pieces. I must say I really enjoy Mightiest's part and recommend it to people into atmospheric black metal or with a general interest in the 90's German bm scene.

Depressive Silence on side B has only three tracks but these have a combined duration of over 33 minutes, beating Mightiest's half an hour with half the songs. I am not 100% sure of the track division but this is how it seemed to me, the first one is an epic length multi-part one at 16+ minutes and the two others clock 8+ minutes each. But it is better to listen to this as a whole anyways, is it not? I'm not going to waste time typing more, this is awesome and if you enjoy dungeon synth you should be listening to this already.

perjantai 30. marraskuuta 2012

Nomicon - Promo '98 CD


Nomicon - Promo '98 CD
1) A Search (Beginning)
2) Denial
3) Saint An

Narod / Mediafire

Nomicon from Finland started in 1990, first playing (or so I read) death/thrash metal which evolved then into the technical death metal which culminated in the split CD shared with Sarnath released (delayed) in 1994. Which is not my pint of beer, not at all. Music that technical just doesn't do anything to me. But on with the show, after that the band practically split up, leaving the main man Tommi Launonen alone, toying with computer and sound cards. Teaming up with Jarno Taskula (Evemaster, among others) they recorded a promo tape in 1996 which was very different from the old direction, consisting of computer music with raw double vocals. He pushed forward, recruited some more people to assist and recorded the first real Nomicon album "Yellow" in 1997 which dealt with the concept of Mecca's destruction. And so we have arrived on this recording which was made as a trio (Launonen, Roope Latvala & Agathon) and released on CDr on Launonen's Aquarius Production, predecessor to Sagittarius Productions. Ripped from an original copy, includes scans of the xeroxed covers and a bio sheet where you can read more if that wasn't enough already.

These three tracks were recorded in a couple of days in S-studios with Lord Heikkinen assisting and the resulting sound is pretty good, clear but not overpolished. Music is kind of half-symphonic black/dark metal with other elements in as well. Based quite heavily on synths but clearly metal this brings first to my mind Covenant (nor) circa "Nexus Polaris" and maybe Tartaros, the pace is similar, midtempo one too. We're not really moving in my area of expertise so I'll drop the name dropping and just say that I find this surprisingly listenable even though that genre isn't what I listen to these days. There being just a bit over ten minutes of material here obviously affects that outcome as well. Another thing I like here is Launonen's vocals which get maniacal at times. Not like the guy Maniac's, mind you. If you enjoy synth-driven symphonic sort of 90's black/dark metal you might like this. Enough writing, I'm out.

torstai 29. marraskuuta 2012

Macabre Omen / Godblood - Split 7"1997


Macabre Omen / Godblood - Split 7" EP 1997
Macabre Omen:
1) The Waltz of the Nereids, of the Dryads, of the Nymphs
Godblood:
2) A Funeral

Reuploaded

Today I decided to post another EP which in a way is also waste of time as it's been already available on the internet for quite some time. But nevermind that, I ripped a dub of this recently and as it came out ok I decided to share it here anyways. I also get to tag something "cypriot" again. This split 7" was released by Greek Daimonion Productions in 1997 and side A features the great Macabre Omen, from Greece and side B has Godblood from Cyprus, remember the demo posted earlier? Be warned that this is again a cassette rip, but if I remember right I was dubbed this by a guy who had the vinyl. Cover image is from Metal Archives, just rearranged sideways and additional images seen below from Macabre Omen fanpage on MySpace.

This is what it actually looks like. I have them the other way around.

Both bands have a quite typical 90's Greek style sound on this recording, MO working more in the atmospheric black metal realm with quite a lot of synths added and with a rather epic feel to the track. His screaming is also quite distinct, almost hysteric and high pitched whereas many of his Greek peers would go for a growlier style. Godblood continues straight from where they left on their demo, the riffing on this is very dynamic and obviously Hellenic with some heavy metal thrown in. The vocalist does a half screaming, half barking raspy growl, the bass is very audible and at times even prominent and all said it's a catchy number. Memorable enough to be re-recorded for their debut album it seems. Unfortunately it seems the dub is authentic enough to a vinyl experience to have the needle jump in a few places, this happened either twice or three times. I forgot already.

Here's the inside of the cover.

Enough babbling, download it if you enjoy 90's Hellenic sound and don't forget to check out the other Macabre Omen material, the album is available at criminally low prices the last time I checked so get that at least. The Godblood album should be quite readily found as well, for example at Primitive Reaction.

tiistai 27. marraskuuta 2012

Cradle Of Filth - Live in Garatejo 10.11.1994


Cradle Of Filth - Live in Garatejo, Portugal 10th November 1994
1) Darkness Our Bride (Jugular Wedding)
2) To Eve the Art of Witchcraft
3) Nocturnal Supremacy
4) In Dusk and Her Embrace
5) The Principle of Evil Made Flesh

Narod / Deposit

I saw COF live again the night before Black Flames of Blasphemy III, though I mainly went to see Rotting Christ (and to check out God Seed) and sort of inspired by that I decided to finally upload this old live that I had forgotten in some dank, musty corner of my hard drive. Dubbed by one of my tape traders long ago, naturally no cover existed as it was just another audience recording. However, I made one out of a picture by Aly Fell which I came across looking for an image with a vampire chick. The artist has some pretty neat images so go have a look.

This is a short gig, just over 23 minutes, and I'm not sure if it is incomplete or not as another live from the same tour (?) I have is also just over 23 minutes and has also intro and four songs. I suppose they were a warm-up for some bigger name and given a very short slot. Notice that Dusk... was still in this early stage called In Dusk and Her Embrace (...or it might've been a mistake by my trader but I'm sticking to it). Another "new" track Nocturnal Supremacy has also been featured on the other old 'Filth releases posted on the blog and I still haven't compared the versions side-to-side. Then to the inevitable: this is an old audience recording so the sound, as expected, is not very good. It is clear and audible enough, at least if you're used to the quality of bootlegs, but somewhat uneven and there seem to be some glitches to it too, not sure but seems like it cuts a little on To Eve... It certainly is better than I remembered and surprisingly balanced as nothing's overpowering, the guitars are once again too low but you can still hear 'em and Dani's vocals sound actually pretty good here and are on reasonable level. Recommendable if you like old COF and are a seasoned listener of lo-fi recordings and live bootlegs.

sunnuntai 25. marraskuuta 2012

Dol Guldur - Universal Funeral demo 1998

Dol Guldur (fin) - Universal Funeral demo I 1998
1) Stone Tomb Cry / Veil of Winter
2) Universal Funeral
3) Opus Diaboli
4) Devil's Chamber

Mediafire / Depositfiles

Black metal and something I bet just about no-one reading this has ever heard, here's the first and probably only demo of Finnish Dol Guldur. I got a dub of this from a girl who was involved with the band, she dubbed it on a tape and wrote besides the tracklisting this info:
Summoned in Tower of Wizards
Published by Haunted Visions
All songs written by Sir Apocalypse
Produced by Dol Guldur
Additional female vocals by Serene
I don't know if they actually made covers for this, or where and how much copies were spread. Anyways, it was a couple of young guys and this chick and they made this tape back in 1998.

So how is it like? It's crude, raw and kind of sloppy, with a rehearsal sound that features strange and horrible drum sound. I'm not sure if it's a real drum that they've "produced" to something bizarre or some kind of computer thingy. Worst is that it sounds odd and awful only part of the time, at what should be toms I guess. If you can ignore that, the overall sound is quite necro but certainly bearable. As usual, the guitar is quite weak and buried beneath almost everything else. Vocals are surprisingly ok, though they slip to silliness at times. Raspy croaks for the most part, though some (effect-produced) growly bits are included as well as some spoken parts which are thankfully mostly inaudible. The female vocals mentioned above consist of equally buried short spoken bit and a way too audible (as in on top of everything else) scream in "Opus Diaboli" which is a bit more ambitious track overall with various vocal styles employed by the main vocalist too. Which range from pretty cool to totally unnecessary. Last track is a keyboard instrumental, could pass for dungeon synth actually. It is painfully obvious that this is a product of young people more eager than capable but hey, wasn't that the same with a bunch of kids in early 90's too? Not to mention the 80's. Though I should be hung if I would compare this to "Wrath of the Tyrant" or "Triumph of Death". Charming like a young animal barely standing on its wobbly legs but hardly an essential listen. Of course you'll end up listening to it, you're too curious not to.

keskiviikko 21. marraskuuta 2012

Let Me Dream - The Maze demo 1996


Let Me Dream - The Maze demo 1996
1) The Maze
2) My Doom
3) The Spear in Your Hand
4) Wolfborn

Mediafire / Narod

Time to post something else than black metal for change. This one is still metal, though narrowly. Let Me Dream, previously known as Congestion, played gothic doom metal, though I guess around the time of this demo the sound went much further into the gothic territory and very little doom metal remains. I remember I used to like one of the tracks on Congestion's "Bed of the Ancient River" demo quite a bit and was to some degree into gothic so I was interested in this band as well. Now that I listen to this demo I can't say I'd be that enthusiastic. Ripped from an original copy, cover scan enclosed.

Like I sort of established above, this is musically more like gothic rock forced into metal mould than gothic doom or other gothic ___ metal combinations. The demo has a pretty good sound while sounding kind of weak. It's clear, with vocals on top and everything else audible but would suit pure gothic rock much better than metallic version. The main vocal is a clean voice, familiar from what they already used as Congestion and, of course, it's bordering on cringe-worthy and listenable. Sort of mix between Fenriz on "Vinterskugge" and the guy from The Equinox ov the Gods. TEotG would be a comparable band from the ones posted on this blog except that they're much heavier. The vocalist uses also a half growl half croak in addition to the clean singing which is okay but sounds first kind of odd over the goth. Repeat listens actually make me appreciate it on the 2nd song.

It's a little hard to say in the end what I think about this, at first I hated it, then it sounded kind of ok, then again utterly horrible, then this bit was great and this ok... well, you get the picture. My comrade SuuretMuinaiset absolutely hates gothic metal so I assume he won't stand this either but the rest of you feel free to give it a try if you're not allergic to genres and artists mentioned. Oh I suppose I should mention Let Me Dream has also a 1999 EP also called "The Maze" but with different content.

tiistai 20. marraskuuta 2012

Vålnad Ur Rymd - Rehearsal 1995


  
Vålnad Ur Rymd - Rehearsal I 1995
1) Där järn bröt bygd, hat visar väg mot död

Reuploaded


I guess it's about time I show signs of life here, been busy with stuff and recently also attending and recovering from Black Flames of Blasphemy III which was good times. But back to the post, here's another obscure thing unearthed by brother Grev from his vaults. Thank you! Vålnad Ur Rymd was (is?) a black metal band, or probably really more like a project, from Sweden and featured Steril Vwreede, Kheeroth, Zathanel and Thorn, people known from Near Dark Productions and the bands Blot Mine, Midvinter, Sorhin, (ex-)Setherial and whatever else. But as far as I've understood, this was mainly Vwreede's thing. This one track rehearsal was dubbed to some of the guys' contacts and thus had no cover. I just made up one again.

How does it sound? Like raw early-to-mid 90's Swedish black metal, with some melodies of course to it but nothing sickly sweet. Think about stuff like early Setherial, Sorhin, Nauthis or Octinomos. Nothing fancy to it, fast paced and primitive death worshipping black metal. If you're looking for originality you'll probably be dissappointed, but I like it. I know Grev has another rehearsal track which I'm going to leech off him but any further material would be greatly appreciated. I read there should be enough material for at least a demo but I don't think one has been recorded. I'd be glad to be proven wrong there but for now listen to this.

torstai 8. marraskuuta 2012

Svartsyn - Aandens melankoli MLP 1996


Svartsyn (nor) - Aandens melankoli MLP 1996
1) Forhekset av nordlyset
2) Den monumentale horde
3) Mektighetens herskere
4) Outro

Narod / Deposit

This is another repost. I try to keep these to minimum but in this case there was a very good reason to do it like this. Please bear with me and definitely download this now and discard the original version!

It appears I was right with my hesitation back in February 2011 when I first posted Svartsyn's mini here. The dub I had was incomplete, but even worse than thought. It was missing both "Forhekset av nordlyset" which is an intro type track but over four minutes and an unmentioned and -titled outro on B-side. That is around eight minutes of material! Fortunately I have now gotten a dub of the actual vinyl from comrade Kurgan and ripped it - the end result being both better (though a little tape wear may be heard in places) than before and foremost complete. Apologies once again to people who already have downloaded this, the really annoying side of the tape trading thing was the occasional sloppy individuals who's botch the dubs, not bothering to mention something was missing etc. But better to have it fixed late than never I suppose. See on the right an image of the MLP back cover, with the tracklisting (missing the outro).

What was said of the music applies still, though of course I guess I could say something about the intro and outro that were missing. Well, the intro is gloomy, desolate and atmospheric, consisting of synths, effects and spoken words. It works and doesn't feel too long despite being just over four minutes. The outro is a sullen instrumental piece which is very nice. That's enough, get it already. A half an hour of gloom and doom that fits the season.

UPDATE: I should've really added a mention of it here, but since the initial post back in '12 there has been an unofficial (read: bootleg) CD re-release of this on Burznazg which various sources have informed me to be quite poor and an official, devoutly remastered vinyl re-release on Gnarled Records which is excellent. Comrade Rhun sent me a rip of his copy which I decided against uploading here as it would be piracy and I get seasick quite easily. If you have a vinyl player and a preference for the format I recommend ordering a copy, it is reasonably priced and still available. This of course will not do much for those of us lacking one. Rejoice! Steffen of Gnarled got in touch with me and informed me they did a CD master but decided against an actual CD release for various reasons. However, he has made that version available, you may either grab it from the label website or from my yet another repost on this.

I decided to let this version stay too as it is made from the original vinyl version and differs from the remastered edition, obviously.

maanantai 5. marraskuuta 2012

Barathrum - War Metal Studio Session 1993


Barathrum - War Metal Studio Session 23rd October 1993
1) Beltane
2) Boundless Arts
3) Sinister Autumn
4) Soaring Up from Hell
5) War Metal
6) Dagger, Seal, Vengeance
7) Moonshine Calls

Narod / Depositfiles

Saturnal Bandcamp

Today's item is another contribution by brother Drowned and quite a rarity, the studio session for what was supposed to be Barathrum's fourth demo "War Metal" but it remained unreleased as something went wrong during the sessions and Demonos was very displeased with the producer and the recording. Later it seems like the band members have lost the tape but luckily some copies had been dubbed to people. Drowned had gotten this from a US trader who possibly got it directly from a band member, whatever the case may be in the end I'm certainly thankful for them having it and sharing it! No cover was made (as far as I know) so I just made up another one. Was a bit torn between using the old logo and the new version but considering the era of the recording went with the old one. See below how it'd look with the more recent one. And I know it's been spelled "Warmetal" everywhere but I went with how I got it, though I have my doubts the spelling might've been corrected by the traders somewhere along the chain.

Tried the new logo too.
All seven tracks were new at the time and like the Barathrum tradition is, would all eventually be recorded and used again on the future albums: first two would appear on 1999's "Saatana", next two on a 1993 rehearsal tape and album-wise as late as on 2002's "Venomous", the title track, with spelling "Warmetal" would be included on 1997's "Infernal" and last two tracks on the second album "Eerie" (1995), with "Moonshine Calls" changed to "Moon Calls". So all tracks are in a sense familiar ones and move mostly in the slower midtempo speeds, the title track being fastest number and others having that black/doom vibe to them.

Yeah but what does this sound like? Well, it is a studio recording and Barathrum stringed section of the time consisted of two guitarists and either two or three bassists, I can't remember if all three were actually there for this recording. So it sounds quite heavy and the bass presence is certainly there. Which fits the slightly slower overall tempo well. It doesn't sound quite as powerful as it might and the vocals are maybe a bit high on the mix, not completely overpowering but the most audible element still. Perhaps the sound isn't the optimal but it sounds good to me, it's a demo anyways, and it's certainly easier to digest than the rather exotic sound used on "Sanctus Satanas"/"Sanctissime Colere Satanas" so I'm not really sure what was the issue with this. Was it something to do with the mix? Or the vocals? Whatever the case, if you enjoy older Barathrum style I'm quite sure you'll like this recording too.

UPDATE: I can't believe I forgot to mention here that Saturnal Records re-released a remastered version of this recording as "Warmetal" on vinyl and digital (Bandcamp link added above) and as "Jetblack Warmetal" on CD, which has the "Jetblack" 7"EP as bonus and is obviously the recommended version! Unless you're an impractical, vinyl collecting snob in which case you need to track down a separate copy of the EP, it was also re-released but limited to 300 copies.

Dark Drakkar - La Creación demo 1997


Dark Drakkar - La Creación demo 1997
1) Intro (Dark Drakkar)
2) Ley Vikinga
3) La Creación
4) Einheriar (Guerreros del Valhalla)
5) Ragnarok (El Ocaso de los Dioses)
6) Blasfemia al Dios Cristiano
7) Utgar (Instrumental)

Depositfiles / Narod

Here's something you don't see everyday, another odd, twisted warped thing from the 90's uncovered. Dark Drakkar were a Spanish viking black metal band who released a couple of tapes and changed name several times. Yes, that's right, Spanish viking black metal. With Spanish lyrics to boot. This demo is the only product I've heard from them under any of the various monickers they went and was sent to me by a tape trader who didn't have the cover. But I happened to have a flyer of theirs which seemed to include the cover image so I used that. See below for the complete flyer, apparently they spread their gospel only in the homeland.


I am also experimenting with the Russian Narod service as I don't trust Mediafire anymore at all. Let's see how this works.

But let us discuss the music, how do they sound like? Well, the intro is fitting and promising enough, synth and sound effects, pretty standard fare. I like how they transfer to the first proper track, the sudden keyboards sound like something off a 20's film. Unfortunately the black metal that follows isn't as exciting. Quite fast and with a rather weak guitar sound which takes much away from the overall experience. They do slow down and add some synth to the background which I suppose works okay. Notably the bass is very audible as well. The drums are too loud compared to the guitars. Main voice is a hoarse scream/yell of average quality, you should be able to figure out at least part of what he's screaming if you understand Spanish. They use some death metal support vocals which don't really fit too well. A different sort of a scream would've been better, or maybe even clean vocals though we've seen how well they work for demobands before, haven't we? There are also some female voices employed, these are of spoken word variety and most likely a band member's girlfriend/sister/school mate, but that's ok as she's not trying to sing. In the end their take on viking black metal is quite fast, melodic and often more in common with melodeath than black metal. It's not as bad as you probably think from the initial shock (Spanish viking black metal! In Spanish!) but I can't say I'd really enjoy it either. Have a listen and decide for yourself, it won't kill you, only steal half an hour of your life.

lauantai 3. marraskuuta 2012

Sanctimonious - Demo 2001


Sanctimonious - Demo '01
1) Dark Fantasies
2) Susi
3) Arkham Asylum
4) I Love the Night

Depositfiles / Mediafire

Another month has begun and the Coven takes another misstep to the 21st century with today's post. Debut demo of the Finnish band Sanctimonious, released on CD-R and handed to me at Nummirock festival either 2001 or 2002, can't remember for sure. Probably 2001. Ripped from the disc and scans of the covers included.

Santimonious played melodic black metal based material which they probably wanted to call black metal but I don't think that's happening, though I'll agree with dark metal. The lyrical content deals with, track by track:
1) sex, erotic fantasies etc..
2) wolves (supposedly valid black metal topic)
3) Lovecraftian tales (not Batman related then which might dissappoint some)
4) exactly what it says, love of the night (kind of valid, think "Opus Nocturne")
See, black metal-lite, quite typical of the later 90's and early 00's. Musicwise it's competent enough if nothing too impressive. Like I said, melodic stuff, somewhere in the borderlands of melodeath and black metal, pretty fast with some slower bits. Quite amateurish but unannoying vocals get their job done, not so sure of the supporting grunts but they're not too awful either. Overall quite average demo of the era, not bad but not my thing either. I guess some of the readers might find it more amusing than I do.

The band recorded a promo in 2003, which can be downloaded for free on the last.fm page and has since then been inactive, as far as I know. Have a listen if you enjoy melodic black metal of not exactly very black variety.

keskiviikko 31. lokakuuta 2012

Faerghail - Rehearsal 1995


Faerghail - Rehearsal 1995
1) In Dreamful Supremacy

Mediafire / Depositfiles

A quickie to end the month, here's another Faerghail item I found dubbed to end of a tape, obviously as a filler by one of my tape traders in the 90's. I posted their cassette EP last year, if you wondered about that "another". This is something probably just dubbed to some contacts of the band and then around the tape trading circles so no real cover exists. I went with maximum minimalism this time.

As you note, this track would later appear on the 1996 demo of the same name which I haven't heard so I can't say if this version differs much. Of course since this is an earlier rehearsal recording I'd assume this sounds rougher and more primitive. Style-wise this is slow to midtempo dark metal and sounds doomier than the material on the cassette EP. Not too bad rehearsal sound, the raspy vocals are buried somewhat by the stringed instruments but I can live with that. It's pretty decent and makes me want to hear the first demo and the rehearsal demo mentioned on M.A. So, not a shining pinnacle of musicianship but has that crude charm and a wintry atmosphere to it. Recommended with some reservations.

lauantai 27. lokakuuta 2012

Ornament #1


Ornament 'zine, issue 1 (fall 1994)
Interviews:
Katatonia
Immortal
Nezgaroth
Remyl
Forgotten Woods
Bethlehem
Bhaobhan Sidhe
Dunkelheit
Ancient
Obtained Enslavement
Silent
Crypt
Mortuary Drape
Fleurety
Equinox
Gehenna
In The Woods...
Enslaved
Satyricon
Mysticum
Einherjer
Sigh
Typhon
Articles:
Head Not Found/Slayer mag
Langsuir
Ulver
Darkwoods My Betrothed
Ras Algethi
Godsend
Harmony
Concrete Sleep
Darkthrone
Beyond Dawn
Vond
Darkness Enshroud
Vorphalack
Hades
Christophe Szpajdel
Moonblood
Mock
Ildjarn
Pentacle
Ravn
+reviews

Depositfiles

I haven't posted a 'zine for some time so it's about time and this one's pretty much straight from the oven as I scanned it last night. This is the first and to my knowlegde only issue of Ornament, a Norwegian fanzine made by Johnny Willems, of Dies Irae. His bandmate J.A.W. (aka Jan Wessel) also contributes some material.

As you may see from the listing above, a shitload of bands included in these 52 pages (if you count the covers). Quite an interesting roster too, as it features besides some of the "obligatory" names a good number of unusual ones and covers styles outside the black metal and metal genre in general. Unfortunately some of the interviews are not that exciting nor in-depth and most are quite short. Some are very short (see the Mortuary Drape one for example) and the articles are of the bio length and some seem cleary like fillers. Still, plenty of interesting reading included and as a bonus it's very neat lay-out wise and includes many illustrations by Kittelsen and thankfully no graphics under the text or switching fonts every other page or anything of that sort. The Darkthrone "interview" advertised on the cover is/was a bit of a let down as it's a translation of an article/interview sort of piece from a Norwegian newspaper. And of course at this time and age Darkthrone is not what they were back then - they were then quite isolated from the scene and did next to none interviews and actually great music. Anyways, a recommended read with some flaws and plenty nostalgia.

torstai 25. lokakuuta 2012

Decayed - Rehearsal 25.02.1994


Decayed - Rehearsal 25.02.1994
1) Black Funeral (Mercyful Fate cover)
2) In Lustful Mayhem

Depostifiles / Mediafire

Another short rehearsal tape today, a bit longer than the SotM one but not much! This is Decayed from Portugal and they do a Mercyful Fate cover and a song of their own, for a grand total of slightly less than six minutes. Tape traded item for which no real cover exists, I edited someone's (forgot who it was well sorry) photo of a Portuguese graveyard and slapped the Decayed logo and symbols from a few old releases on it.

In the early 90's the Portuguese black metal scene was based on three pillars: Moonspell, whom you might know, Filii Nigrantium Infernalium, formerly known as Bactherion and Decayed. Several others soon popped up and followed them but these three were best known to the international underground and amazingly enough all three are still active. Where Moonspell has been changing their style several times and have become quite famous the other two have more or less stuck to the old school sound and their style, though FNI went more retroish from the doomy (and better) style of their demo, as well as remaining less known and in the underground. Decayed's black metal is very much influenced by the first wave bands and most of their releases tend to have a cover (or two) from their mentors.

This rehearsal tape has a very loud and thus a bit messy sound but it is listenable, with all the instruments discernible despite the ruckus. No keyboards here. Fast paced, filthy, chaotic and traditionalist without being exactly retro Decayed is old school black metal in the vein of early Bathory rather than degenerate 'black'/thrash like Abigail today or quasi-punk pseudo bm. In a way this rehearsal tape sounds more satisfying than the "In Lustful Mayhem" album from 1995, it's rawer and has more energy to it. Recommended for fans of old style black metal, or those who enjoy a raw sound.

tiistai 23. lokakuuta 2012

Barathrum - Bride of Lucifer rehearsal 1996


Barathrum - Bride of Lucifer rehearsal 05-1996
1) Bride of Lucifer
2) Hellbreed
3) Half Heart
4) Whores of Hades

Mediafire / Depositfiles

More from brother Drowned, first of a bunch of items I requested from his list. This is a 1996 rehearsal tape of the infamous, one and only Barathrum. Ripped by Drowned and obtained from a trader comrade back then, I guess. Thanks for all your hard work! Has no real cover, as far as I know, but I made one using a Barathrum logo and a pic I scanned off "Okkult" album covers.So credit to whoever it was who took the pictures, it read on the booklet, check for yourselves please.

If you look at the tracklisting, you notice that it is quite appropriate that I rip off "Okkult" for my makeshift cover as three out of the four appeared on that album and the last one on 1997 7"EP "Jetblack" - whose cover has just the symbol and logo on it. Naturally these are different versions, interestingly the EP song is here a much shorter version and the ones to be included in the album are slightly longer. Comparing the sound of this rehearsal tape to the (too) polished late 90's albums is quite pointless, but let's just that say it's good for a rehearsal and would be decent enough on a demo too. Messy, sure, bit cleaner than the Rotko recordings I posted a while ago and definitely still on the chaotic side, not that very far from the "Devilry" promo actually. With the occasional special effects (which tend to murk things up extra efficiently) and all this really brings a demo more to mind than a rehearsal tape. Recommended listening for Barathrum fans, especially ones that prefer the rough approach.

lauantai 20. lokakuuta 2012

Ewigkeit - Beyond Realms Unknown demo 1996


Ewigkeit - Beyond Realms Unknown demo 1996
1) The Enchantment...
2) Christendom Falls
3) Jewel of My Empire
4) O Elbereth

Mediafire / Depositfiles

Inspired by the recent discussion of oddities in the comments, today's post is Ewigkeit from the UK with their '96 demo. Though this isn't that odd yet really, the project would turn stranger a bit later. I got this dubbed from one of my traders who sent me a xerox of the cover as well which I've scanned and included in the download. The dub is of unknown generation and some tape wear and hiss is present, consider yourself fairly warned. Otherwise the demo has a pretty standard not-pro-studio sound of the era.

At this point Ewigkeit's music had not yet turned to the more experimental paths, this second demo (and I presume first one too - haven't heard it) is more in the vein of atmospheric (black) metal with synths and drum machine... well it sounds a lot like Summoning. Not as epic though, this is a quite short demo at roughly eleven minutes. Actually due that comparison some of the songs feel like they end up too soon, without proper build up. Well, to be honest it's not so alike as this is more guitar-oriented, in the end of the day I suppose it sounds like a cross between some German demo band doing atmospheric bm crossed with an early 90's Greek sound... and a little bit of Summoning. Ugh, listen for yourself and come up with a better description. I'm not going to compare this with the albums and other later stuff as I haven't heard anything more recent for years - I vaguely recall disliking whatever one it was that I heard and avoided the rest. But this one is okay, maybe I should give them another go.

keskiviikko 17. lokakuuta 2012

Secrets of the Moon - Rehearsal 1997


Secrets of the Moon - Rehearsal 1997
1) Moondancer
2) Atomic Nuclear Desolation (Blasphemy cover)

Deposit / Media

Back to metal with a very quick (as in short) one, here is a two, or more like one and a third, or a quarter even, track rehearsal tape from my long time German favourites Secrets of the Moon. SotM are one of the few bands whose entire discography I actually listen to and enjoy. But back to this thing here, it is an almost four minute rehearsal tape which was on the Gothmog rehearsals tape, untitled and confusing me until I enlisted comrade THE DECEASED to help identify the troublesome first song. Fortunately he had been writing and trading with the then-drummer Frazer who had dubbed the same song to him. Apparently it was a one-off thing inspired mainly by Isengard, most likely from 1997, and features Frazer doing both the drums and vocals. Quite a curio I'd say! Naturally, no cover exists, I've just made a placeholder thingy with the old logo and a pic I once took.

As expected of a rehearsal recording, the sound is not polished and flawless though I have to say it is very good for a rehearsal, better than many demos I've listened to. No tape flaws, wear-and-tear or cuts. Not even much hissing! All the instruments, including the bass that is quite prominent on "Moondancer", are clearly audible. Like earlier mentioned, the first song is strongly reminiscent of Isengard material with the clean(-ish) vocals and bouncy midtempo pace. The second track is a Blasphemy cover; a thirty second outburst of violence. Remember they covered this also on "Vanitas" live part? Not much to add, this is naturally very interesting for SotM fans and possibly for people into Isengard and/or viking/trollish/Norse whatchacallit metal. And I guess war metal/Blasphemy fanatics too. What a combination... oh well at least I enjoy it!

tiistai 16. lokakuuta 2012

Dolch - Yggdrasil...Nature...Anthems demo 1997


Dolch - Yggrasil...Nature...Anthems demo 1997
1) Gods of War in the Triumphal Procession
2) Tumulus
3) Stormdance - Autumn Kisses
4) Enthroned Winter
5) Forest Murmur
6) Nocturnal Skyfall
7) Middle Ages of 21 Century
8) Children of Yggdrasil

Depositfiles / Mediafire

Here is the second Dolch demo sent by Weaver, again thanks for the contributions! Dungeon synth and ripped by W from his copy.

Compared to the first demo the music on this one is a bit more complex and uses more elements than the somewhat minimalistic debut. The number of songs has increased while the overall duration lessened, meaning most of the tracks are notably shorter than on the debut and also differ more from one another, making this feel less of a whole to me. I'm reminded more of a soundtrack work, perhaps for a vintage RPG, than an album. Also, it's not completely instrumental, some heavily-effected vocals have been added to some of the tracks. Often this is not a very good choice in this genre, Mortiis himself tends to suck when he uses them. Here they do not ruin the whole as the effects used render them almost incomprehensible which is positive in a way. Yeah. Nice stuff, enjoyable and probably more exciting due the variation but I feel like I prefer the first demo myself.

sunnuntai 14. lokakuuta 2012

Dolch - Tiefes Firmament demo 1996


Dolch - Tiefes Firmament demo 1996
1) Re-Inkarnation    
2) Dunkelheit    
3) Der astrale Schein    
4) Majestätisch    
5) Ritual

Depositfiles / Mediafire

And again back to non-metal material and contributions, here is the other band or project comrade Weaver sent me, Dolch from Deutschland and the (I think) debut demo. Thanks again to W! Ripped from his tape and has a scan of the front cover included.

Different from the previous dungeon synth demos posted here recently, this one is based on solemn keyboard passages rather than collages of samples and various sounds. Overall, it feels more dark ambient-like than soundtracky. No vocals to pollute the synthscapes either, this is pretty awesome in its stripped down magnificience. Closer to Depressive Silence than Lord Wind, for example. Though DS has some vocals. And electric guitar too. Screw that comparison. Well, the lack of special effects, bells, whistles and narrations with a silly voice might make this a bit too bland for some listeners. Though there are some bell sounds, but you know what I mean. If you don't, listen for yourselves, I'm enjoying this.

Issachar - Medieval Death Hymns demo 1994


Issachar - Medieval Death Hymns demo 1994
1) Black Sorrow
2) December Moon
3) Tor vinter
4) Bring Forth the Sword of Odin
5) By the Dark Winter Frost
6) Weeping Souls of the Forest (Live) - cuts

Mediafire / Depositfiles

Ok, this blog needs some metal again. Issachar from the US were a quite obscure act who released this demo in 1994, recorded an unreleased demo "Wolves in the Winter" in 1995 and turned death metal on "Dead" demo, also from 1995. Not much else I can tell you about them, though I recall reading somewhere about the vocalist/bassist Leon doing time but can't seem to remember where this was or other specifics. A 'zine, obviously. Well, pretty irrelevant I guess. Sent by a tape trader comrade back whenever and unfortunately the sixth track seems to cut, don't know how much. Cover image take from M.A.

Musically, this is quite weird ass stuff - especially considering it's from 1994. I'm not sure at all if I got the tracks divided correctly as it's a bit hard to say in places. First two tracks are instrumental and have this feel of a semi-improvised jam to them, same with the first track "Tor vinter" to use vocals, which are quite extreme black metal shrieks and howls. All instruments are audible and the guitar sound is pretty interesting, not at all the usual choice for black metal. "Bring Forth the Sword of Odin" is lenghty, slow and brooding and more like ritual music/black ambient than metal even though performed with the same instruments plus synth. The live track, which cuts, has a sound quite similar to the rest of the material and is also of the slow and brooding sort. I would be very curious to hear the "Wolves in the Winter" recording, I remember seeing it on many trader lists so let me know if you have it. Not great but probably worth checking out if you like your black metal unusual.

UPDATE: This is a bit late, but Withering Crypt has re-released the "Wolves in the Winter" recording, with the added line "Rehearsals 1995" on cassette back in 2015 and there should still be copies available. It's raw pagan black metal, I got me one.

lauantai 13. lokakuuta 2012

Shadowcaster - To Gather My Thoughts Among the Sleeping Summer Spirits promo 1994


Shadowcaster - To Gather My Thoughts Among the Sleeping Summer Spirits promo II 1994
1) Journey Across the Vast Psychedelic Landscape to the Darkness Beyond (Hallucinations with No Color)
2) Comfort Amongst the Desecrated Graves
3) Fearless and Surreal
    1st Movement: Pain's Chaos Creeps Into Me
    2nd Movement: Hallucinations and Stimulations
    3rd Movement: Prolonged Aftermath, Then Solitude
4) The Marches of Madness (Battle Sigh)  (9:03)
5) The Essence of Tragedy (The Descent of Inanna - Part I)  (8:16)
6) When the Sun and the Light Have Vanished  (10:58)
     Part One: The Triumphant Night Conquers the Day
     Part Two: Hymn to the Nocturnal Creatures
7) Outro: Overture

 Mediafire

The second Shadowcaster demo, also Mikael's rip. See here for more details. Cover scan included.

Basically everything, including the track titles, is here longer. And weirder. And there's loads of the vocal effects I hate with passion. It just doesn't work for me but see if you find it listenable. Actually, I can bear it better by skipping the first track which is probably the worst offender with the effected ultra-annoying voices. Still, I can't say I'd really enjoy it. As with the previous tape, some of the tracks were later used for the albums. Check it out if you feel courageous.

Shadowcaster - My Love Affair with Death and Melancholy promo 94


Shadowcaster - My Love Affair with Death and Melancholy promo I 1994
1) My Summoning of the Darkest Princess (Embrace Me)
2) He Is Ever Melancholy
3) Sumerian Symphony No. 1 (Inanna: The Lady of the Evening)
4) Sumerian Symphony No. 2 (The Projection of My Thoughts)
5) I Am Truly Free: The Blackness Within

Depositfiles

More non-metal stuff, like I sort of promised earlier I'm posting Mikael's Shadowcaster promos. These can be found also on his own blog and they are his rips. If you're interested in further background information, I suggest reading his blog. Full cover scan included.

This promo is the shortest one of the bunch, at slightly less than twenty minutes and logically the best place to start with if you haven't heard the project yet. Strongly inspired by Sumerian mythology, the stuff is dark and trippy, though not to the extent the CD's and second promo get with their longer tracks. The comparable simplicity works well for me and I find this the easiest listen of the lot, though some of the vocal effects are very annoying. Recommended for listeners of dungeon synth, ritual/occult stuff and fans of silly voices.

sunnuntai 7. lokakuuta 2012

Olgerd - Olgerd demo 1998


Olgerd - Olgerd demo I 1998
1) Intro
2) The Return of the Trollking
3) Over the Trodarns Mountains of Horror to the Village Scallborn
4) The Olgerd's Olarion
5) Tollrander
6) Blood of Heretic (The New Empire)
7) The Gorlondir's Magic
    a) Skyllnym
    b) The Language of Argadarn
8) Outro

Reuploaded

Here's some non-metal again, dungeon synth to be exact and another contribution: recently comrade Weaver contacted me and sent a couple of items he'd ripped from recently acquired old tapes and this, the first demo by the Slovakian artist Olgerd. Comrade Xexanoth had already posted the 2nd demo in his blog here if you want to hear it - there's a link on the artist's page too. Weaver sent a scan of the front cover too (which was not a full scan and turned out to be a mirrored image too, got a proper one later). Thanks!

Olgerd's ambient dark fantasy music, as he calls it, is made from combining clips and samples from movies (like Braveheart, Excalibur and First Knight on this one), fantasy games (like Warcraft 2) and Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana" with sampled instruments, voices and effects in a music program (Fasttracker-2 for this demo). The end result is a sample-heavy (well, obviously) form of dungeon synth that sounds quite cheesy with the obviously artificial instruments and effects. Yet it undoubtably has charisma to it as I've found this growing on me already on second listening (on first I dismissed this as rather crappy effort) - I still don't like the intro much but if you don't let that put you off the first proper track is already much better and the demo holds up nicely for its slightly over half an hour running time. Main inspiration to this demo was the book "Thorleif Larssen - Olgerd from Scallborn: Sword of Thormaren" which the artist himself gleefully labels as "b-class" fantasy. Considering that inspiration I must say he succeeds here. Give this a chance and a second listen too if you enjoy dungeon synth.

UPDATE: I was sent proper cover scans for this (thanks Eugene!) and I've repacked and reuploaded the demo. You might want to consider downloading it again if you're curious to see the full covers and I've also adjusted one of the titles to better match the printed tracklisting.

lauantai 6. lokakuuta 2012

Abomination - Rehearsal 1988

Abomination [us, pre-Profanatica] - Rehearsal Tape 1988
1) Of Pestilence
2) Crematory
3) Ghouls Chant
4) Mortuary
5) Deceased
6) Bloody Mess

Mediafire / Depositfiles

Here's another contribution from comrade Drowned, thank you! A short and brutal rehearsal tape from Profanatica pre-form Abomination, with John, Paul and a bass player. That's all I know at the moment. No covers probably existed, don't know if there was a logo or anything like that either. And once again, not to be mixed with the host of other Abominations out there.

Six tracks that amount to a bit over seven and half minutes so as you can expect these are short, violent bursts of black/death metal (lyrical topics would appear to be still pretty death metallish by the titles), not too dissimilar from what they would do with their much better known band later on. Or what Nunslaughter do. Pretty good rehearsal sound though if the bass is involved or not I can't tell. The vocal effect intros to some tracks make me smile, but at least they're better than sung vocals by a person who can't sing, for example. Worth having a listen if you enjoy simple and morbid old school black/death madness and don't mind the primitive... everything.

perjantai 5. lokakuuta 2012

Nightside - Promo-demo III 1999


Nightside - Promo-Demo III 1999
1) Call to War
2) Almighty Andras (Return of...)
3) Night's Blackest Shadows
4) Summon the Holocaust
5) Legions of Satan
6) Ad Noctum
7) Demon Metal

Depositfiles / Mediafire

Let us tap once again into brother Grev's vaults, here is the second Nightside item he sent me. I've posted the 1997 earlier here. He had this labeled as promo-demo III which I think is slightly curious as it indicates there should be at least one Nightside demo more, either between this and the 1997 one, or even before that. Perhaps there is an unreleased one, perhaps not and the source Grev got this from was mistaken. For now, I'll take their word for it until proven wrong. No cover art so once again I made up one.

Whatever the story behind these seven tracks is, the recording is good, better than average demo I daresay. Though there's the slight tape wear and dubbing imperfections, naturally. Musically it continues a natural progress from the 1997 demo, doing everything slightly better. Note that all these tracks were also released on both the 1999 7"EP and the 2001 album. I wouldn't be surprised if the EP tracks were actually from this same session, can't compare without a vinyl player though. Melodic 90's Finnish black metal (well, "Demon Metal" is pretty straight black/thrash) but it has still an edge to it and doesn't sound too sweet or mellow. The same recommendations apply as to the previous tape I'd say.

tiistai 2. lokakuuta 2012

Gothmog - Rehearsals 1997


Gothmog (ger) - Rehearsals 1997
1) Follow Me...
2) A View into My Abyss
3) Drums/Synth - Intro

Mediafire / Depositfiles

Now that I've again alienated half of my readers with non-metal oddities I guess it's about time I fill an old promise. I said I'd rip and post these rehearsal recordings of Gothmog once I found the tape. Well, I did find the tape eventually but had some little problems with the content as all wasn't listed in the tracklisting I had got. Fortunately comrade THE DECEASED was able to help and I've sorted the stuff correctly. There was no cover for this as it was just dubbed to some people but I used a pic RAL had drawn, possibly to be used for a logo (well it does appear on the demo cover now that I checked), I just inverted the colours. See the original image to the right.

The tape has a good sound, actually I think the second track "A View into My Abyss" isn't a rehearsal recording as we traditionally think of them, more likely a four-tracker recording or something. Anyways, "too good" sound should not be a problem, huh? I'm not sure but it seems likely that this is exactly the same version that was included as a bonus track on "Medival Journeys" demo. I should have stated this right at the beginning I suppose: this is not dungeon synth (well maybe except for the outro track) like the demo is, as I mentioned already back on that post early Gothmog was black metal. The first track would later end up being used for Mightiest on their 1999 demo "Eden's Fall". This version is instrumental. "A View..." is already familiar from the demo, if not, it's an epic lenght (10:32) multi-parted track with heavy keyboard presence. I fell in love it with on first listen back in 1997. Actually the first part of it could qualify as dungeon synth. The rest of it is metal, in the similar way Summoning (yes I'm name dropping them once again) do post-Lugburz: pretty much dungeon synth but with buzzing guitars, raw vocals and percussion added. Come to think of it, this track is rather sparing in the percussion department. Last track, which obviously would be appropriate if called "Drums/Synth - Outro" is really just what it says on the tin.

Fancy version. Horrible.
So is this worth your time? Yes, it's great. Even though the best stuff was already on the demo. But if you haven't downloaded the demo yet, download this now if you like atmospheric... well Summoning. And then grab the demo. For people who enjoyed the demo this is probably a dissappointment, if you didn't pay attention to what I wrote back then. Recommended anyways and I still wish RAL would have someone release the Gothmog material and I also hope there would be more, unreleased stuff which there probably isn't. Have a look at the over-the-top version of the "cover" I did for fun, doesn't it look like a 7" cover from a small 90's label?

UPDATE: Looks like Ral has made a revised version of "A View to My Abyss" recently, check it out here!

Desolation Zone - Sound of the Serpent Garden demo 1995

Desolation Zone - Sound of the Serpent Garden demo I 1995
1) Zone I - Earth
2) Zone II - Water
3) Zone III - Wind
4) Zone IV - Fire
5) The Spiritual Execution

Mediafire / Depositfiles

Continuing with non-metal items, here's more stuff from Poland and something pretty obscure, the first demo of Desolation Zone. DZ started as a project of Krzysztof Włodarski, possibly better known to my readers as Geryon, of Profanum and Witchmaster fame. The music here is some sort of dark ambient/industrial/noise combination, I haven't heard any of the more recent material yet so no comparisons. I got this from a Polish trader comrade, titled "Voice of the Serpent Garden" (which is a better title in my opinion) but the Desolation Zone sources title it as "Sound..." - I wonder if he changed the name afterwards or did my trader have it plain wrong. This was released by The Gathering of Funeral Gods prod. who also released the LSSAH, Alchem and Profanum demos. I believe it was Geryon's own label. No covers and a scan would be very welcome!

Ok so the music here is some sort of industrial and ambient based ...thing. During the early part of demo it seems to be wandering almost aimlessly about but gets more focused by Zone III (assuming I divided the tracks correctly...). So it's a bit chaotic but not "noisy" the way much of the noise genre tends to be. Sound of the tape and dub is pretty good, with some minor tape wear. I'm not really sure what else to say about it, it's definitely not everyday elevator music and definitely not for everyone. I guess the artist wasn't really satisfied with it later himself as the TGoFG newsletter makes a point to say it is no longer available. Well, here it is so judge for yourself.

sunnuntai 30. syyskuuta 2012

Skumju Akmeņi - Skumju Akmeņi (1996)


Skumju Akmeņi - Skumju Akmeņi Cassette album 1996
1) Skumju akmeņi
2) Krustceles
3) Nav tumša upe lāpas staros
4) Inūtilis
5) Stāsts par meiteni
6) Mums pietrūka smieklu
7) Atlantīda
8) Debess straumes
9) Pēc septiņiem vienatnē gadiem
10) Es vēlos palikt...
11) Pāri ilgām pelēkām dienām
12) Man pieder ceļš
13) Mūžīgā miera iela
14) Mēma zemes skumjā balss

Mediafire

I noticed I've posted quite a bit of black metal recently. So I guess it's about time for a seemingly random "different" post again. Here's a non-metal item for change, a cassette album from Latvian band Skumju Akmeņi I ripped on a whim some months ago. I suppose I call them gothic rock like people at last.fm seem to do... though I guess indie rock would be a closer call? Their vocalist Helēna Kozlova seems to be very well known in her native land as a singer-songwriter. I bought this tape when I happened to see the band live, oddly enough, in a rock bar in my hometown around 1996/97, can't remember exactly when it was. Anyways, I recall enjoying the gig and when I listened to the tape later being quite dissappointed with it. I can't really remember anymore but I guess it was a bit wilder live. Scans of the cover enclosed.

Ripped from an original tape the quality is good, though there is a little wear in some places. Musically they're playing something with touches of gothic rock but I'd say gearing more towards indie rock though it is quite moody and melancholic. Some (very scarce) Baltic folk elements can also be heard. Helēna's vocals remind me of someone I can't seem to name right now... you know those female singer-songwriters, one of 'em. That's going to help. She sounds a bit husky, with a quite low voice and actually does some rough vocals too for spice. As you probably noticed from the tracklisting, all lyrics are in Latvian which is not my strongest language. They gave me an English lyric sheet with the tape but I don't seem to be able to find it now. If I come across it later I'll scan it. I remember the band name meant "sorrowful stones" or something like that. Pretty light stuff with some nice bits but lasting almost 55 minutes it feels too long and in general isn't really my chalice of poison. For open-minded readers, fans of the genre and/or the vocalist.

perjantai 28. syyskuuta 2012

Amon Sul - Goat Mit Uns demo 1994


Amon Sul - Goat Mit Uns demo 1994
1) War Prophet
2) Even the Sun Is Red
3) Saltus Heathen Toad
4) Goat mit uns

Depositfiles

Here's another item sent me by Fenrirsson, this time black metal from France. "Goat mit uns" was the only demo of Amon Sul who had apparently been playing without a name from 1992 and released only this one demo. Metal Archives seems to have the demo as a 1995 release whereas comrade Fenrirsson dated it to 1994. I'm trusting him on this one. Scans of the cover and insert (with lyrics) are included.

If you're expecting melodic, atmospheric black metal you can forget about it here. You're not exactly getting Les Légions Noires-style rawness either though this certainly has spades that quality to it. "War Prophet" starts off with a curious martial quality to it and maintains a certain aura of... well, mixing martial industrial/ambient with raw lo-fi black metal style through its duration. Must be due the cold production, electronics and mechanical percussion. The second track blasts away without much ado and the frantic buzzing of the guitars strongly reminds me off Norsemen Helheim - The Helheim Society that is, not the norsecore vikings. Things go on similar manner for the rest, slowing down a notch or two for "Saltus Heathen Toad" and picking up again and actually changing the sound a bit for the title track. Somehow this keeps growing on me the more I listen to it, which is almost universally a good sign. Interesting demo, not really for everyone I suppose.