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)
Forgotten Woods
Bhaobhan Sidhe
Obtained Enslavement
Mortuary Drape
In The Woods...
Head Not Found/Slayer mag
Darkwoods My Betrothed
Ras Algethi
Concrete Sleep
Beyond Dawn
Darkness Enshroud
Christophe Szpajdel


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


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


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


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.