maanantai 28. huhtikuuta 2014

Final Frontier - When Destiny Falls to Ruin demo 1995

Final Frontier - When Destiny Falls to Ruin demo 1995
1) When Destiny Falls to Ruin
2) Lifeforms Observe
3) Kasus Remylik
4) Homebound
5) Impulse Consumed

Depositfiles / Rusfolder

Let's stick to non-metal sounds. Back to Norway and the probably only release by the industrial project Final Frontier, not to be mixed with the Canadian AOR group, which I'm not sure if it should be called a demo, but since that's what it looks and sounds like, I'm calling it that. I got this tape some months ago, having ordered it out of idle curiousity caused by the affiliation it has to Dunkelheit, Remyl and other 90's Norwegian industrial projects (see Ornament #1 for more about some of them). Cover scan enclosed.

As it is ripped from my probably original tape the sound quality is pretty much as good as it gets. Mind you, it's an old tape, recorded on a four-tracker so the sound is not hifi. Music is industrial and electronic with both slower and slightly faster tempos. The first track sounds like it has excess hiss in the background but that would appear to be part of it. Some voices are included, ranging from spoken parts to actual harsh vocals. It is quite gloomy overall and I seem to be at loss of colourful descriptions here... well, it's not exactly sunny and bright pop music either. I recommend you to give it a shot if you're into industrial, I'm off to buy food.

lauantai 26. huhtikuuta 2014

Arthame - Fiendish Symphonies demo 1998

Arthame - Fiendish Symphonies demo I 1998
1) Chapter I: Uuden ajan alku
2) Chapter II: Päällä ristin mustat linnut
3) Chapter III: Fiendish Symphony
4) Chapter IV: Noitavaltias
5) Chapter V: Tuli olkoon nimeni

RGhost / Yandex

I haven't done non-metal stuff for a while so here is the first and only demo by Finnish project Arthame which you may remember from earlier post, which also has enough background information so read there if you haven't yet. Like you probably guessed already, the demo was also dubbed to me by brother Grev, thanks to whom as always. Sadly no covers so we'll have to do with an image I found at Discogs and a flyer I scanned (see below). A proper, full cover scan would be appreciated.

Looking at the tracklisting you'll notice that of the three songs from the rehearsal tape only one returns here, "Päällä ristin mustat linnut" (translates roughly "Upon the Cross Black Birds" in case you're curious - don't expect me to translate every Finnish word and title from now on!) - or at least if the others got re-worked and/or re-titled I'm too dense to notice. Overall sound is very similar to the rehearsal tape, a little bit louder perhaps and with less hissing. Don't worry, there's still some. Unfortunately this tape is no longer instrumental, Striga got a session member to do vocals on two of the tracks, the aforementioned second chapter and "Noitavaltias". I wrote unfortunately as I find them mostly a distracting element, partially due execution and partially due the Finnish lyrics, I'd probably find them easier to digest if I didn't understand the words. The vocals are executed black metal style, somewhere between a whisper and a croak, surely not the worst in the genre, but again the demo could do without 'em. Or at least have them more buried in the mix. I have to admit that I find myself getting used to them after repeat listens, so perhaps this is something that really depends on my mental state. Anyways, I'm rapidly starting to lose the point here so better stop and just recommend this demo to people into dungeon synth, lofi dark ambient and obviously their previous tape.

keskiviikko 23. huhtikuuta 2014

The Dead Sea #2

The Dead Sea 'zine, issue 2 (early 1997)
Necropsy (uk)
Valle Crucis
Rich Brown (Flashpoint Recordings / Wishwood Music)
Der Untermensch
Summoning (Silenius)
The Marble Icon
Violent Dissorder
Theatre of Tragedy
Beyond Dawn
Cradle of Filth
Iron Rainbow
Sad Entheus
+ Articles (Yukio Mishima, Elend, "Satanism from a Pagan Point of View"), reviews & poems


Here's another 'zine for you to browse. I'm sick so I'm not going to write a novel here. This is an English 'zine, the second and probably last issue, made by a man called Nick Moberly and a league of contributors: roughly half of the interviews were sent by other people, a few were made face-to-face after concerts, some were meant for another 'zine originally and so on. This also results in quite varied quality. At least the questions won't get too repetitive this way. Most of them tend to concentrate on more musical side of things instead of anything ideological. Layout is neat and readable, even if he does fall into the unfortunate habit of playing with fonts.

A definite plus on this 'zine is the attention given to the domestic, smaller bands, most of which are completely unknown to me. I wish more 'zines had had this sort of attitude instead of sending the same questions in different order to the same old "famous" bands. Not that this wouldn't have it's share of often seen names (Mortiis anyone?). But enough crap from me, read this for now.

keskiviikko 16. huhtikuuta 2014

Maleficum Orgia - Noixificurc detrevni promo 1992

Maleficum Orgia - Noixificurc detrevni promo rehearsal 1992
1) Unholy Darkness
2) Black Hate
3) Inverted Crucifixion
4) Hypocrite Christian
5) Victory Is Ours (Bestial Summoning cover)
6) The End of God Throne

Zippy / Depositfiles

Let's get back to France where we started our recent little black metal tour. This is Maleficum Orgia, a rehearsal/promo tape from 1992 and there's nothing subtle about them. As their choice of cover track might hint, this is old fashioned, rough and crude black metal. Ok, after a spooky synth intro they go raw and primitive. Looks like they restarted their activities a few years ago and re-recorded some of these tracks for their self-titled album so check that one out too. I got this dub once again from brother Grev, so thanks to him. Includes scans of the covers.

The sound is as you'd expected of a rehearsal recording. Murky and muddled but well enough balanced so nothing completely overpowers the other elements. Despite what I wrote about this being primitive and rough, it has quite a lot of interesting old schoolish riffs and moods. So more Vlad Tepes than Ildjarn I guess. I also like the short synth intros. Not going to write more, grab this if you like lo-fi black metal, are an old school bonehead or collect French stuff. Bonus points from the cover art.

lauantai 12. huhtikuuta 2014

Dismal - My Beautiful Empire demo 1996

Dismal (swe) - My Beautiful Empire demo II 1996
1) Intro
2) The Path to...
3) My Beautiful Empire

Depositfiles / RGhost

Still more blackened stuff but now it's time to cross the border and move to Sweden once again and this is the second demo of yet another band with an overused one word name, Dismal. I was originally interested in this band because of the Infortunium Records and Fredrik Söderlund connections (F.S. played on the first demo, which I need) and asked brother Grev to dub me this tape after spotting it in his list. And once again he delivered, thank you brother! Includes cover scan. The actual members have been participating in such bands as Blasphemous, Satanic Slaughter and Nephenzy (- Chaos Order).

This demo features the band as a duo supported by a session drummer and it again a short recording, but what'd you expect when the tracklisting is intro + two tracks? Around half an hour of material if it was a funeral doom band I suppose, but this is Swedish black metal so we get about nine minutes. A pretty intro which kind of reminds me of Parnassus or Octinomos stuff, but that's just my subconsciousness picking up the connections more than actual resemblance. The following song is midpaced and has an almost epic feel to it despite the rough sound and the drummer messing up a bit. Unfortunately there is quite a few places with audible and slightly disrupting tape wear. Can't be helped I suppose. Vocals are of the usual harsh black metal sort but they're buried pretty deep in the mix, I wouldn't mind a little switcheroo between them and the slightly too audible drums. Second track continues in similar vein, a little bit faster and with some more variation. Ok melodic Swedish stuff but I had a little too high expectations for this I guess. Still, worth a listen and I need the demo I 1995 so let me know if you got that one!

perjantai 11. huhtikuuta 2014

Mortify - Skuggeriket demo 1996

Mortify (nor) - Skuggeriket
1) Weird Shrieks from the Castle in the Sunset so Dark of Shadows
2) Skuggeriket
3) Born in Blasphemy
4) A Dark Fog of Mayhem Over the Valley of Black Sorcery

Rusfolder / Yandex

Let's stay in Norway for a bit longer, here is another less known band from there and again a case of using a band name that was already taken several times before! So, don't mix this one-demo-wonder with the better known, older Greek Mortify, or the Polish one, the Finnish one, the Swiss one... well, there were a lot of Mortifys in the 90's. This is the only demo from these guys (who among them feature Lars Jamne who would venture to start Oskorei 'zine and graphics and Kvitrafn aka Einar Selvik who has spent short times as a drummer in Gorgoroth, Sahg and Det Hedenske Folk among others - I wonder if the vocalist Øistein Selvik is his brother?) and I got this dub from brother Grev, thank you, who unfortunately did not have the cover. So that'd be needed again!

Four quite short tracks with a low sound, for a total playing time of around 12 minutes. The music here is sort of black/death metal mixture, which are always tricky in my opinion. The vocals are mostly growly and according to Iscariah (source: NWN forum comment) pitched down. To be honest I don't really have a whole lot to say about this, it's kind of forgettable to these ears and is quite easily lost among the sea of other similar releases from the era. Worth checking out if you're interested in the doings of the people mentioned, collect Norwegian demos or just really, really, really enjoy black/death metal.

tiistai 8. huhtikuuta 2014

Rune - Rune demo 1995

Rune (nor) - Rune demo 1995
1) Vargtime
2) Blodhevn

Mediafire / RGhost

Today's post is an item that is as short as it is obscure, here is a two song demo from a Norwegian band (or project?) Rune dating to 1995. And that's pretty much all I know about them or this demo. As you might guess, I've gotten this one too from a tape trader and all he had was what I wrote above and a messed up tracklisting. By messed up I mean that obviously he did not speak any Norwegian and had probably gotten this from someone else who had gotten it from yet another person etc... all most likely sending handwritten tracklists and so essentially it ends up being a game of broken telephone (or Chinese whispers, or grapevine or whatever you call it) and the end result warped into this:
1. Vargetime
2. Byskup Bammopvd Bloodhevn

No, that's not making much sense and the three words (vargtime, biskop and blodhevn) I could decipher as Norwegian were all misspelled and the middle word on the second track just wouldn't end up making any sense. Needless to say this left me quite disheartened and I ended up basically forgetting this in my READY items folder. That is until comrade Borderline posted this compilation here in her blog which, miraculously enough, featured the second track from this demo and the title there was simply "Blodhevn". Encouraged by this (most certainly a sign from lord Satan) I decided to follow suit and ignore the bits I couldn't translate and here we finally are. Long, boring story.

Say something about the music? Well, first off this is a really, really short demo, barely over four minutes. The first song "Vargtime" is almost two minutes and instrumental, a folky piece performed mainly on electric guitar. The second song has percussion and vocals added and it's is midtempoish, atmospheric and manages to sound simultaneously vaguely folky and grim. For a quick name drop session I'm reminded of the likes of Ulver (before they went mad and electronic), Burzum and Strid.
I would love to get any further information on this and if there is anything else recorded, that. This ends too soon. Recommeded.

perjantai 4. huhtikuuta 2014

Nehëmah - Light of a Dead Star demo 1995

Nehëmah - Light of a Dead Star demo 1995
1) Light of a Dead Star
2) Across the Landscape
3) Black Winds over the Walls of Csejthe
4) Sønner av den Fimbulvetr
5) In October Nightshades
6) I Will Sleep with the Dragon
7) Cycle ov Werewolf
8) Outro

Yandex / Zippy

Today I'm fulfilling an old request and by old I mean almost three years old. An anonymous reader was asking for the 1995 demo of the French black metal band Nehëmah here and not too long ago I came across a copy of it, bought it, ripped it and finally got around to post it. Not sure if that person checks back anymore but here it is now. Ripped from either an original tape or a bootlegged dub, can't say for sure which one, but I got copies of the covers and sound quality seems fair enough.

Someone might think that this demo and the debut album of the same title would be basically the same thing, but as a look at the tracklisting there and that of the album confirms this is not so. Or you could alternatively check that from Metal Archives or something, it's 2014 after all. Note though that the track durations at M.A. aren't correct. this demo actually has a slightly longer playtime than any of the albums at almost 57 minutes. There's an obvious intro before the first track starts and more are found between the rest of the songs. At first I toyed with the idea of separating these to their own tracks, but then decided to go with the tracklisting printed in the cover and leave them be. Tracks 3 and 4 would make a reappearence on the second album "Shadows from the Past..." and track 7 appears to be exclusive to this tape. Unless it was renamed and/or worked for either album, I'm not feeling devoted enough to confirm that right now. Sound is a little murky and grim, guitars buzz like on "Under a Funeral Moon" and drums are a rumble mostly in the background, vocals raspy and grating. Surprisingly enough, you can occasionally hear the bass clearly. There are synths too but they are used sparingly. If you've heard either of the old Nehëmah albums you'll know what you're getting here, early 90's Nordic-style black metal worship and I'm ok with this. That is all.

keskiviikko 2. huhtikuuta 2014

Dogmeat - A Prayer to the Dog demo 1993

Dogmeat - A Prayer to the Dog demo II 1993
1) Dirtiness / Hey!
2) Love
3) Dead Meat
4) The Flowers Grow (Again)
5) Solution
6) Blond Pigs Have More Fun

Mediafire / Rusfolder

Here is the second Dogmeat demo, also courtesy of brother Suuret Muinaiset, thanks for your efforts! Much of what I wrote in the previous entry applies here except the music has evolved somewhat. There are less songs but they're much longer (in the average over 5 minutes instead of the 2½ minutes of previous demo) except for the last one which I guess serves as a kind of outro.

The sound is roughly similar to the previous one, except the guitar is not quite as dominant and the percussion sounds much better, there's more power to it. The vocals have changed this time, now it's more like death grunts run through a filter which I'm more comfortable with. I think the songwriting and riffs are better overall as well and the Celtic Frost and Black Sabbath influences more obvious, in 'Frost's case fortunately better chosen too. So possibly a slight dissappointment for fans of the first demo, could be an improvement as well. I know I like this one better.