tiistai 31. joulukuuta 2013

Imhotep #4

Imhotep magazine, issue 4 (1998)
Ablaze My Sorrow
Dark Funeral
Dark Tranquillity
Emperor (compiled from various sources)
Funeral Oration
Limbonic Art
Lux Occulta
Proscriptor / Absu
Russ Smith
The Great Kat
Withering Surface
+ reviews and a bit more


New year, same old hangover. Today's item is another 'zine... pardon, a magazine, from Norway. Looks cool, is fancy but I don't really like it. I like even less the later commercial glossy incarnations. Some cool artists obviously and a posh pro look, but something is still missing or rather it has more to do with how fed up I was/am with the late 90's 'zine editors' attitude. It's just plain annoying to read much of the time. But feel free to decide for yourself. There's quite a lot to read so it'll certainly help you pass the time. I'll just crawl back into my cave for now.

lauantai 28. joulukuuta 2013

The Black League - Demo 1998

The Black League - (Unreleased?) Demo 1998
1) Avalon
2) Winter Winds Sing
3) Sanguinary Blues

RGhost / Mediafire

Ok let's do something a little different for today. Some readers probably listened to Sentenced and remember their old vocalist Taneli Jarva who was also involved in a bunch of other bands and projects? Well, this is one of them and still active. Or not, last album is from 2009. Anyway, today's item is their, according to Metal Archives, unreleased 1998 demo which I got a dub of from one of my traders. This and the other early releases also feature Sir Luttinen of Impaled Nazarene and Legenda fame on drums. I suppose it has no cover art if it is actually unreleased so see above an extremely primitive placeholder image. Pretty good dub and it has quite a good sound quality as well so no need to worry about that. As long as you remember this is a demo recording, that is!

Apparently this version of "Avalon" was released on Spinefarm's compilation CDs "Spinetingler" and "Helldorado II" so there is a slight likelyhood you've heard that one. It and the second tune "Winter Winds Sing" appear also on the debut album "Ichor" which I've last heard about ten years ago so I don't remember if the sound is hugely different. Most likely cleaner and all that. These tracks are of a rocking, groovy sort of heavy metal with touches of stoner on the first one and noticeable blues vibe on the slower, second number. The third song "Sanguinary Blues" is, as name reveals, pretty much bluesy death rock, surprisingly upbeat though. But as I don't obviously know what I'm babbling about I'll leave this at that and recommend you to try it if you're a fan of old Sentenced, Jarva and/or TBL or just got curious by my vague decription.

maanantai 23. joulukuuta 2013

Stregoica #4

Stregoica 'zine, issue 4 (1993)
Denial Of God
Mortuary Drape
Malefic Oath (The Unsane)
The Black
Hordes (Hammerheart)
Perdition Hearse
Choronzon (hol)
Twilight / Cthonium
Rotting Christ
Inverted Pentagram
Demonic Christ
Ancestral Goetia
Thou Art Lord
Grand Belial's Key
+ articles "The Voivod of Valachia part I" and "In the Track of the Bloody Countess part I"
+ band bios/articles (Lemegethon, Archgoat, Master's Hammer, Carpathian Forest etc...)
+ news & reviews


I presume due the holiday season most people have more time on their hands than usual so it might be a perfect timing for posting another 'zine and this is quite a huge one, a grand grimoire of black metal so to say, the 4th issue of the French classic Stregoica. Made by the four man editorial team this issue has a hundred pages, if you count the covers, which should be more than enough for one sitting. Not sure of the exact release date, but it was in 1993 and probably in the autumn as the news section mentions DMDS being delayed by Euronymous's death which then is not further mentioned in the issue. The covers are printed on (thicker) red paper, the rest good old b/w. See below for a full image of the front and back cover collage.

This is one of my favourite 'zines. The band roster is varied enough while remaining still in the black metal field and in the bands, instead of this and that 1-3 issue 'zine editor or small fry distro. This is the approach I prefer my black metal 'zines to take. I guess this might then make the 'zine boring to some other readers differently oriented. There are non-musical articles about Vlad Tepes and Erzsébet Báthory, which are surprisignly well-written for 'zine articles and a better read than you'd expect despite being probably the most common subjects for these sort of texts in these kinds of publications. There is also a short article "Vox Tenebrarum" by Albertus Jiménez, whose name some of you might recognize, which is ok but brief, shallow and feels like an introduction or sample. Those of you who have not done so yet might want to check out the previous Stregoica issue here for a more (well, basically 90%) death metal oriented 'zine. I suppose you could read half of the 3rd and half of this issue if you want to have a balanced diet of death and black. Like that issue, this is a nostalgic read but for a bit different crowd this time. I also like the way the staff are not just doing the obvious names on the North/South directions (well, they do feature a couple of extremely obvious picks from both) but also focus on the often neglected Dutch scene as well which was quite lively in the early 90's. Reading this also reminds me of a ton of 'zines and demos I need to find which is a really mixed blessing. Recommended reading!

perjantai 20. joulukuuta 2013

Alioth - Channeling Unclean Spirits demo 2002

Alioth - Channeling Unclean Spirits demo #1 2002 - 2007 re-release
1) Intro / The Channeling
2) Invocation / Apocryphal Dimensions
3) Invocation II / Call of the Deep


Every now and then I make exceptions to the blog's generic line of posting (mainly) 90's material and today's post is one of them in more than one sense, this is the 2007 cassette re-released version of US Alioth, a side project by a Cult of Daath member Wargoat Obscurum originally recorded in 2002. The original version was apparently released in 2003. Why am I posting this? Because I like it and feel it fits well enough to the Coven. A cover scan is included as it's ripped from an original tape.

The tape has three songs with short intros to each for a bit over 15 minutes and the music is atmospheric and doomy death metal strongly reminiscent of old Greek style à la Varathron and early 90's Rotting Christ. Mostly midtempo pace, melodic but not too mellow. Vocals are deathly growls and grunts, sound good demo level and everything simply works for me. I had something more in my mind but I'm in need of a nap so I'll just leave this here and recommend you to take a listen, especially if you're into the old Greek sound.

keskiviikko 18. joulukuuta 2013

Väri Avaruudesta - Avain demo 1999

Väri Avaruudesta - Avain demo 1999
1) Avain
2) Miikael kuolleen poika
3) Kuningas herää
4) Suo
5) Hauta
6) Enttein syksy
7) Laivat
8) Kehäloitsu

Depositfiles / Rusfolder

Today's item is a request I've decided to grant and another Finnish item, the quite limited (66 copies) demo by Väri Avaruudesta (The Colour Out Of Space - Lovecraft reference obviously) released on CDr and ripped from a copy bought from Pakana distro back then if I remember correctly. I hadn't done this before as I was under the impression it could be found quite easily online, but a recent inspection showed otherwise. Cover scans enclosed.

As it's ripped from an CDr the quality is good. Music is raw black metal with an underground demo production, with fuzzy guitars buzzing away over rather subdued battery, accompanied by harsh, raspy vocals and some reasonable doses of synths and effects which give a neat touch to the demo. It's not really anything that original but has certainly some bewitching charm on placed on it as it seems more than the sum of its parts. Part of the appeal probably comes from the unusual lyrics (most are included, in Finnish for your maximum inconvenience I'm afraid) and the timpani-like support percussion which always gives me Master's Hammer flashbacks and makes reason and common sense fade. As you see there are eight tracks and though the first is an intro it's almost album length at ~34 minutes. The demo seems to consist of two recordings as the sound changes quite a bit after "Suo", becoming murkier especially in the vocals department. Incidentally these tracks around the middle point are slower ones, combining with the sound change to create a certain tempo loss. The pace picks up in the following track and the slower "Laivat" is another standout track in the later part. Interesting demo with an obscure atmosphere, or alternatively yet another unoriginal one-man lo-fi black metal project. Have a listen and pick your side.

lauantai 14. joulukuuta 2013

Sacrilegeous Excrement - Demo 1/93

Sacrilegeous Excrement - Demo 1/93
1) SSSSK (The Unpleasant Smell of Green Cranial Amoeba Slime)
2) Putrefaction (of Souls)
3) Dissection of Cornea
4) The Dimension Called "Hell"
5) Reversing Diffusion pt.II

Mediafire / RGhost

I guess you are now expecting something horrible and vile sounding. Well, this contribution by brother Suuret Muinaiset - thank you again - comes close even if it's not quite as foul as I might have promised. This is the 1993 demo by Sacrilegeous Excrement which evolved/changed name to Sacrilegeous, familiar already to some readers of the blog. Covers included and they're again something to look at. Note that SM called this just demo 1/93 but the cover would appear to have an additional title but it's pretty hard to make out what it is supposed to be... "Dissection of Incoherent Universes" is my current best guess. I would love to read your suggestions!

To the music: it's just as weird ass stuff you'd expect if you've heard master Necrodesecrator's later work. Which I feel I must upload more soon, it just needs to be shared. The sound is crude and unrefined, rehearsal-like yet very clear. Practically same as on the Sacrilegeous demos to be honest. The music is a rather bizarre, crude, raw and somehow alien-feeling mixture of death metal, black metal touches and experimental, possibly partially accidental, songwriting. It can't be called good or catchy yet it has strange appeal. Perhaps I'm totally losing it, perhaps I am nearing enlightenment. You should probably experience it for yourself. Cautiously recommended.

perjantai 13. joulukuuta 2013

Rise And Shine / Gehennah - Split 7"EP 1998

Rise And Shine / Gehennah - Rise And Shine And Gehennah split 7"EP 1998
Rise And Shine:
1) Deadringer (For Love)
2) Jackson

RGhost / Yandex

Let's do something different for today. This is still marginally metal but very different anyways, a split EP featuring two Swedish bands is no news to anyone but when the concept is covers of classic (or "classic") duets things get interesting. Or at least untypical. Here we have Gehennah, known for their alcohol-fueled Venom-worshipping proto-black/thrash/hardrock and Rise And Shine, possibly much less known band playing psychedelic traditonal doom metal/rock on their proper releases. Or so I am told. On this EP, however, they do covers with vocalists dueting and if I've understood, the bands playing each their own bit. R&S do Meat Loaf's "Dead Ringer for Love" from his 3rd album (1981) which was performed as a duet with Cher and you've probably heard it even if you don't realise it. At least if you're a grown up. Gehennah go crazy with a country classic which has been recorded probably around million times, including at least one version in Finnish, "Jackson" - best known from the two 1967 recordings, a more pop version by Lee Hazlewood & Nancy Sinatra (which they apparently referenced here) and Johnny Cash & June Carter country version you haven't managed to avoid no matter where you have been hiding. Note that I ripped this from a cassette dub on a whim, not vinyl! Cover image from Discogs, and probably the most colourful thing I've had on this blog.

The sound is quite unpolished but clear enough and fits with the bands involved and goes actually surprisingly well with the tracks themselves. Like mentioned both tracks feature Mr Violence and Josabeth Leidi dueting and to be honest, neither is exactly my favourite or ideal vocalist. But at least the outcome is personal. Gehennah's side sound a little more muddled than Rise And Shine and that's all I'm going to comment as I can't stand that song in any of the versions I've heard. Ok, not much more to say except have a listen if you want something different. Next post will be either a 'zine or something horrible and vile sounding.

maanantai 9. joulukuuta 2013

Everlasting Reign - Obscuritatis Terram Dominat demo 1996

Everlasting Reign - Obscuritatis Terram Dominat demo 1996
1) Intro - Something to Follow
2) Chaotic Eclipse
3) Inner Eternity
4) Doors of Perception
5) No Sense
6) Symphony of Agony

Mediafire / Rusfolder

More death metal music follows, this one representing a subgenre not very often seen in the Coven's vaults: melodic death metal. This is the apparently only demo by the Italian band Everlasting Reign which, according to Metal Archives entry, featured two young men Francisco and Cesar Zavattari - my educated guess is that they're brothers - who later would form a thrash band called Aghast Insane with a couple of other fellows. No, I haven't heard that one either. I got this dub from one of my traders basically on a whim, the demo title was pretty cool, but wasn't too wild of it to be honest. He didn't send me covers and there don't seem to be any around the internet so unless someone contributes we have no decoration for this post.

Like I already mentioned this is melodic death metal. Think certain 90's Gothenburg bands, or old Children of Bodom and such, but played by two young guys with a drum machine. Yeah. The sound isn't bad and they got some pretty good bits and whatever but this isn't my chalice of poison. So I'm not going to spend any more time making vague comparisons, give it a listen if you're really curious, morbidly obsessive about melodeath or absolutely must hear every obscure 90's metal demo.

Thus Defiled - Enchanted by the Dark One demo 1993

Thus Defiled - Enchanted by the Dark One demo II 1993
1) Enchanted by the Dark One
2) Eternal Demonomancy
3) Primordial Darkness (Returning...)


Today's upload completes another cycle and is again a reader contribution, sent along with a bunch of other items by comrade Ruptured Souls, this is the second demo by UK black/death group Thus Defiled. You may find the first demo here and a bit later rehearsal tape here. I don't know who made this rip originally, it might be quite old, however the quality is decent enough so thanks to whoever it was. No cover scans were included so I've again sto - borrowed images from Discogs, these are included in the folder.

This tape looks quite professional if one would judge a book by its cover and printed cassette and I do seem to recall this being called a cassette EP somewhere. Of course I don't have a reference at hand so I'm not going to champion that argument and just call it a demo like everyone else does. The sound is quite comparable to the debut demo, a little more clear and less echo-y. Unfortunately it also sounds less dark as a result, more death than black or black/death metal this time. There's just about the same amount of metal as on the first effort (a bit over ten minutes spread over three tracks) but less evenly divided as the title track hogs over half of the duration and side A of the tape, supporting the EP feeling I get from this. Despite the title track's extra length, all three follow the same basic patterns of slower, heavy and doomy parts alternating with fast, grinding aggressive sections. Vocals are guttural and brutal growls. I feel like I don't have really much more to say about this now, check it out if you like death metal and/or black/death metal, enjoy the other Thus Defiled stuff or happen to collect UK demos.

perjantai 6. joulukuuta 2013

SS 2666 - Promo 1997

SS 2666 - Promo 1997
1) Bloody Charriots
2) Holocaust Thunder

Yandex / RGhost

Let's do a quickie today and also something different. And obscure, you see, this short two track promo tape was sent to me by one of my tape traders in the 90's and the only info he had was that it was promo 1997 and featured personnel from Prophecy (pol), Hermh and possibly some other band which I now forget... though the Discogs entry to a compilation CD "Brum numer 50" featuring the first track here credits only two people, Bartłomiej "Bart" Krysiuk for lyrics and Szymon Czech for music while Christ Agony website's bio mentions Marek Kutnik also as a member. And that's pretty much all I've got... until I asked Bart who supplied me with tracklisting and told me they had been preparing for a full length album which was never finished and this tape didn't have any covers or such. Apparently they've also recorded something in 2005 also and Witching Hour might release the SS 2666 material as a 7"EP.

Until that happens we're stuck with my rip here which is ok quality, unfortunately the tape seems a little worn in places and you can hear the results occasionally. The first track can be found in better quality as it was released on the compilation CD I mentioned and the possibly upcoming Witching Hour release will be remastered, Szymon had done that before his death. I guess a few words about what this sounds like might be necessary? It's a mixture of industrial/electronic metal with electronic and industrial beats, metal guitars, mostly harsh vocals, samples and so on. The sound would be good if not for the lacking dub quality. As a quick reference I'd say it's more ...And Oceans than Diabolicum. If these genres and their combinations interest you, it might be a good idea to check this out. Or if you're into the related bands. Not probably for everyone reading this blog.

tiistai 3. joulukuuta 2013

Abygor - The Faces of Pentagram demo 1991

Abygor - The Faces of Pentagram demo 1991/1992
1) Son of Dawn
2) The Faces of Pentagram
3) Snaking the Sky
4) Lilith

RGhost / Yandex

More black metal follows and this is South American material for change, Abygor from Brazil with their only demo under this monicker. Ripped from a dub I was sent by brother A.S., thank you for the tape and cover! Which means a cover scan is also included. Quite good rip quality if I say so myself and sound isn't bad at all either. Note that the covers do not give any info about when this was recorded, I was told it was 1991 but M.A., which as we know is sadly far from reliable, gives May 1992. Anyone able to verify?

A few words about the music: it's fucking awesome! This was really quite a surprise and I really like coming across (or guided to, like in this case) obscure old and great demos like this! It's not of the thrashing or bestial warlike school you might expect from a South American horde, rather this is atmospheric and mysterious, with an old school aura similar to demos of Black Crucifixion, Darkstyle, Fiendish Nymph, Lemegethon or even select Beherit material. Guitars move mostly on a quite brisk midpace, riffs are quite simple but evocative and vocals whispering, remaining in the shadows but still audible enough. I really enjoy this and would love to hear the stuff of the previous incarnations Bestial and Lamentation so let me know if you got those recordings! Recommeded.

sunnuntai 1. joulukuuta 2013

Myrddraal - Promo 2001

Myrddraal - Promo 2001
1) Moonhunter
2) Strings of Inquietude
3) Muspellheim

Yandex / Mediafire

Black metal from Australia today, a 2001 promo by Myrddraal contributed to me a little while ago. This recording was made after the debut album "Blood on the Mountain" and in very limited amount, ten copies or so, given to labels and to demostrate their capabilities to Denny Blake (StarGazer) in order to enlist him to play drums for the next album. Quite rare thing for a while, though not anymore as it's also included on the "Surrounded by Unlight" compilation released by Abysmal Sounds this year. See below for a flyer. I don't usually post items that have been re-released but this may be counted as an exception, or promotion or whatever you wish to call it.

To the content. If you are familiar with the band's first album you'll remember it lay somewhere between the ferocity their landmates were often known for and melodic, even epic passages. These three songs continue where they left off on the album, they're quite long, totalling almost 24 minutes and start off with an intro that reminds me of the outro on the album, samples and noises giving way to acoustics. The sound is murkier and darker, partially probably due the drums (machine I believe as they were recruiting a drummer) being pushed into the background and bass taking more room. "Moonhunter" features several acoustic breaks as well as an almost operatic slightly bizarre part which still barely manages to work. Plenty of going on for its eleven minute duration. Second track is shorter and more intense, especially with the dual voices utilized and nice, cracklingly crispy guitars. The vocal parts remind me a bit of Diamatregon which is a good thing in my book. Third track "Muspellheim" starts catchy and is again a long one at almost nine minutes. It maintains a sense of urgency intermingled with certain melodicism reminding me of old Gorgoroth/"Transilvanian Hunger"-Darkthrone before bursting into a clean vocals section that's almost (later day) Therion and then resuming like nothing happened. Pretty cool stunt! I think I really need to take a listen to the compilation after this promo and then the second album which I honestly have completely forgotten how it sounds like. You can start with this and follow my lead if you wish.