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
2) A Funeral


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


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 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.