perjantai 27. helmikuuta 2015
Lunar Womb - The Astral Grief demo II 1997
1) Through the Silver Caves
2) Ebon Ocean
Yandex / Zippy
Ok, back to Finnish synth stuff, here is the second demo of (at this point) Henri's solo project Lunar Womb mentioned in the Kharadrai post. I actually was sent another rip already some time earlier by the Russian dungeon synth folks, thanks for that, but since I after that discussed the project with Henri and he sent me another rip (and scans) made from the master files I decided to rather use them. And being such an ass as I am, I start from demo II instead of the first controversial one. We'll get back to that later but not today.
Only two tracks, but both are long, eleven minutes each and different enough from one another. First one is rather upbeat, folky even, and somewhere between medieval darkwave and dungeon synth. Not just keys, there are distroted electric string instruments involved too. Second track starts slowly, ambient like and eventually, when a guitar joins the procession one might even anticipate a turn to an epic Moonsorrow track. Not happening, though the atmospheres are similar from time to time. This is great and very much recommended, if you're into atmospheric music at all. Even if you're not really much of an ambient, dungeon synth or whatever enthusiast you might dig the second part. I'm really curious to hear the third demo finished. A word of warning: the first demo is very, very, very, very different from this one! Ok, maybe not that different, but... well, you'll see.
UPDATE: Discovered, to my slight surprise, that Hollow Myths of USA had released a CD compiling this and "Planets" - I can't say anything definite about the release itself but looks promising. Apparently both were remastered too. See link above.
Golden Dawn - Rehearsal August 1994
1) Golden Dawn
Mega / Depositfiles
I decided to continue with the Golden Dawn operation and this is actually also the last item I had stashed away unless something more pops up. Might look like another Friday Night Filler when you look at the tracklisting but this old and obscure rehearsal (though it sounds just like all the older GD demos do) recording is actually longer than the previous '96 one! I found this on one of my dubbed tapes while looking for something else and don't really have much more information on it. I presume the "08" refers to August here. Obviously no covers for this one and I wasn't feeling like making one up. UPDATE: Image used sent by reader Running Wild who wanted to make placeholder images for this and the other rehearsal, thanks!
A single track running for over fourteen minutes and even though I got this labeled as rehearsal, there is really no difference at all soundwise to the demos. Yeah, I know I said that already but it's worth mentioning again in case someone feels
torstai 26. helmikuuta 2015
Golden Dawn - Rehearsal Tape 1996
1) Call from the Grave (Bathory cover)
2) Inwards Leads the Mythic Death
3) A Message [cuts!]
I was going to post another synth kind of an item today but then on a whim, possibly influenced by the other rehearsal tapes recently posted, I decided to resume my awfully slow Golden Dawn project with this rehearsal tape from '96 ripped by Grev's comrade. Thanks again, gentlemen! No covers exist for this one, at least that's what I think. UPDATE: Image used sent by reader Running Wild who wanted to make placeholder images for this and the other rehearsal, thanks!
No more time to waste, to the music: first song should be familiar to all, a cover of Bathory classic "Call from the Grave" which does have some personal touches thanks to the synth bits that appear in the later part of the song. Decent rehearsal sound quality, not that far from the '95 demos really. Musically not too far removed either, it's getting a little bit more complex with more synth parts, quite obviously as this sits between "Way of the Sorcerer" and the debut album. Or that's what I think, neither of the original titles appear elsewhere, unless they were renamed and I don't right now recognize either being an album track. Then again, it's been a while since I last listened to "The Art of Dreaming" so I might be wrong. Unfortunately the last track cuts, I've no idea how much. If you have a complete version of this recording it would be very welcome. Until then, this would be recommended to fans of Golden Dawn and collectors of Austrian recordings, as well as people into synth-heavy, somewhat avant-gardish dark/black metal.
keskiviikko 25. helmikuuta 2015
Kharadrai - Shadows of the Sea demo I 1997
2) The Sleep of Khona
Rusfolder / Depositfiles
Back to Finland and let's do a non-metal thing today. This is another contribution, sent by Henri after my request for Kharadrai material, thanks for humouring me! Kharadrai was a synth project by the Meathooked 'zine editor Sami Heikura who used the same pseudonym for himself and was also a member of Thornfrost and a contributor on the first Lunar Womb demo. Meathooked #2 has a brief article for further background info on the project, if you haven't read that. Initially I got just the music but fortunately Henri found the covers too so scans are included.
This first demo consists of two titles and apparently was a bit too minimalistic to the artist's own liking later on. The covers imply this would be influenced by H.P. Lovecraft which is always (well, almost always) a bonus in my books. Neither of the tracks is overtly long, leaving the total playtime at almost eleven minutes and making sure they don't overstay their welcome. Actually they could've been a little bit longer and I don't find them too minimalistic, I rather like this. Ok, the second track is less active out of the two but still not as static as many other ambient things, especially in the more cosmic oriented vein which is where this leans too. I'm starting to get confusing so better quit while I'm still ahead and go grab a snack. The later Kharadrai material has a bit more stuff going on but we get back to it another time. If you're into ambient stuff or interested in the Meat Hook Productions roster, grab this.
lauantai 21. helmikuuta 2015
Evil - Rehearsal 8th October 1995 (or 10th August 1995!?)
1) From the Black Horde of Pure Evil
2) Medieval Spells in the Ancient Vastlands, the Forest of Sorcery Twilight
3) Nocturnal Rites in the Black Pentagram
RGhost / Yandex
The next South American destination is Brazil and I think many of the readers are familiar with Evil, this early rehearsal tape is from their pure black metal period and another contribution by brother Baldemar, thanks again for your work! I'm not sure if this was recorded in August or October as people overseas tend to write down the dates in wrong order, probably just to piss me off. There obviously was no cover so I just made that to have something to decorate the post. Obviously inspired by "All Evil" demo cover.
All the three tracks are featured on "All Evil" as well as some later releases, these versions naturally sound quite different due the rehearsal sound which is slightly challenging this time around. The instruments have a very low volume while the vocals are really loud. No, louder than that. And very raw too. Actually the distant, almost frail sounding instrumentation combined with the abrasive, over the top vox does create a special atmosphere, kind of makes me think Graveland and Veles circa '97. I might not be right in the head but to my ears this sounds cool. I'd really like to know if this was recorded August or October, I'm guessing before "All Evil" anyways as the second track has a longer title than usual, they probably dropped the last part from it for the demo. Yeah, enough about me, give this a try if you think you're into raw black metal.
Medium (col) - Rehearsal Tape 1996
1) The Battle
2) On the Left of My Lord Lucifer
3) Countess Bathory (Venom cover)
Today's destination is Colombia and I could use some help again. You remember the previous one-song rehearsal by Medium I posted here? Well, here they are again with another rehearsal tape from 1996 (which I titled slightly different to keep 'em from being mixed) and once more I got no tracklisting to go with it. Except for the third track which is extremely easy to identify. I'm pretty sure their two originals are from "The Battle" demo yet that's little help as I haven't gotten that one. Help would be greatly appreciated!
UPDATE: RazorAttack confirmed both tracks are from "The Battle" - he gave as titles "La batalla" and "A la izquierda" which match, well, "The Battle" and "On the Left of My Lord Lucifer" on the demo. I'm not sure if they were titled in Spanish like he said or did they switch language with Abaddon (both tracks appear on the '08 album), but since they're in English on the demo I used those versions of the titles here too.
Soundwise this is less bass-heavy than the previous tape was and also a bit less messy, again good enough for a demo or rehearsal demo. The music has still that same old school vibe and groove, first track sounding almost heavy metal at first but getting very ferocious and fast around the middle. It returns to closer to the initial moods again before the end. Second track follows starting at bouncy midtempo, sticking to it for most of the track and speeding up to end. A cool solo around mid-song. Last song should need no introductions. Both originals seem very recognizable and I suppose if you had the demo you would be able to name them pretty easily. Cool stuff, hopefully the titles and a rip of "The Battle" surface soon. Meanwhile this is recommended for people into South American black metal and generally into more old schoolish sound.
keskiviikko 18. helmikuuta 2015
Paganus Doctrina - Natural Inbio del Paganismo promo / demo I 1995
2) Recuerdo S. XIV / Obscura en Teoría Celeste
3) Hypostasis - Nous de Culto / Christós Dogma
4) Teologismo Doctrinal
5) Plotino, Uno Primigenio / Natural Inbio del Paganismo
Rusfolder / Mega
The Coven's adventures in the Central America continue, moving southward to Costa Rica for our next contribution, again courtesy of brother Baldemar, here is Paganus Doctrina. This was a bit tricky as there are keyboard interludes part of or preceeding the tracks 2, 3 and 5 which tend to blend with the previous tracks so Baldemar wasn't sure where to cut 'em. I think I got that figured out and looks like the other rip online has it either differently (=wrong) or perhaps it's a timing thing (this rip both begins and ends quite abruptly, as if a few seconds were missing) so it wasn't much help. The tracklisting was also off. I've enclosed a scan of the xeroxed cover, there's a bit clearer version on Discogs if you need one.
Musically this alternates between passages of generally fast black metal (the "main" tracks) and keyboard interludes which essentially are the first parts of the tracks that have a slash on their title. Though there are some keys used in the "metal" tracks too. Some unwashed lout complained about these parts on the Metal Archives review, well screw him they're just fine and the demo would be a bit dull were it only the black metal parts that tend to feel quite samey throughout. Though the first track has a pretty neat solo, second has a break... ok maybe not so similar after all but you get the point, don't you? The lyrics would seem to be rather interesting too (they're written on the Metal Archives entry, but not included with the cover, perhaps there was an insert) though my extremely limited understanding of Spanish gets in the way a bit. This is a cool demo and recommendable especially if you're into Southern black metal and don't mind the keyboard parts.
maanantai 16. helmikuuta 2015
Sabbathan - Promo '94
1) Thousand Luciferes
Mesoamerican madness continues with more Mexican mayhem by Masthema Sancia 666, this time a contribution by another person and slightly different sort of stuff as we delve into depths with his solo project Sabbathan. You might see Sabbathan referred to as black metal but that'd be the case with the later stuff, or parts of it to be accurate. The older tapes, including this one, are synths and voice sort of ritual music/black ambient - well, I'm sure you get the idea. Metal Archives refers to this as "Thousand Luciferes" promo '95 but according to my contributor and the vague recollections I have (= reliable, accurate info) of some interview or article or something in a 'zine this is '94 promo. No cover exists so I just used the logo.
I don't really see how Sabbathan were "Aztec black metal" in any point as somewhere was mentioned since both this, '93 demo and "The Fury of the Storms" are clearly Satanic content. Probably a mix-up with the themes of the other related projects... though as we saw from the Iadanamada rehearsal I posted at least the old material there was Satanic, pure black metal as well. Yes, but back to this recording, what we have here is a single song with organ-type keys, clear voice proclaming incantations slightly drowned out by the music and... well, that's pretty much it. It's a simple, somewhat ritualistic piece. As a standalone track it's not really something to write home about, I suppose it serves better listened to as an interlude between other related pieces, or perhaps as an intro to a Lords of the Tyrants compilation or such (subtle hint there!)? Recommended still to people interested in this circle or similar material in general. I really want to hear the first Sabbathan demo so get in touch if you have it! Well, the last one too.
sunnuntai 15. helmikuuta 2015
Iadanamada - Thy Honor of Triumph rehearsal 1994
2) Dark Princess
3) My Black Evocation
4) Proclamation from Satan
Mediafire / RGhost
As promised, here's something more uncommon and keeping with the travel plan we move south of border (this time from the US viewpoint) to Mexico and another contribution from brother Baldemar, many thanks for this one! "This one" being Monterrey's Iadanamada, one of the bands by Masthema Sancia, known from Sabbathan and Hiborym as well as some other projects. This is apparently the second release with this project, if the Metal Archives note about a demo from '93 is correct, and at least two more tapes should exist: '95 promo titled "Metzli" and the '97 demo "Evocation" listed in the Archives. Though I wonder if these are the same release? Entirely possible they're not, they might've just re-recorded two old tracks. Whatever the case might be, I'm looking for the rest of their material so get in touch if you got any.
This is a rehearsal tape and as it wasn't ripped from an original or direct dub either you might feel very cautious. Fret not, the sound quality is decent enough even if it is closer to poor than great, you're reading this blog after all so you're most likely not that sensitive about it. It's a bit on the quiet side even if I increased the volume a tiny bit. The intro sounds very much like a Dead Can Dance track and probably is one, I just don't recognize it right away and am too lazy to research. Their own material is black metal, at this point still dealing with quite traditional topics, judging from the song titles and treads mostly at steady mid-tempo. It's more melancholic, moody and monotonous than bestial or warlike, closer to Burzum than Sarcófago. Rather simple, somewhat repetitive but I take pleasure in this sort of primitive stuff. Don't pick this up expecting sophisticated black art, pretentious avant-wankery or fashionably boneheaded retrogasm.
lauantai 14. helmikuuta 2015
Black Funeral - Journeys into Horizons Lost demo 1994
1) Intro: Within the Ballinok Mountains
2) Into the Stars of a Blazing Past
3) Journeys into Horizons Lost
4) The Land Beyond the Forest
5) Armageddon (Lord Sathanas Returns)
6) Voice of a Forgotten Ghoul
RGhost / Depositfiles
Let's stay in the States for one more post - it's a huge place after all - and switch back to black metal with an item that possibly seems very much like a filler and might've been done to death already, the classic first Black Funeral demo from '94. Why post it then? Well, simple, I ripped "my" copy (borrowed from a comrade for undefined period of time, possibly until my death) for personal use not long ago after copying the covers for another person and thought I might as well share it. This is the No Rip-off productions version with xeroxed black and white covers (which have been cut with remarkable sloppiness and lack of care!), scans of which included. Musical content I think was same for all versions... or did the original, self-released version feature a different mix? (UPDATE: Nope, it was the vocals that were different as brother Fenrirsson reminded me.)
Whatever the case with the mix may be, this is the only version I've ever heard and listened to and I was pleasantly surprised after the long, long pause from the last time I played this tape, sounds so much better than I remembered! Can't help but wonder why the hell it took me so damn long to get back to this again? I remember people were quite keen on pointing fingers and calling this Burzum rip off back when it came out but that's not entirely fair, even if the similarities are there. I think the Baron's stuff has always had a certain aura to it, despite the ever-changing line-ups. Last track is a quite long dark ambient piece, more a track of different genre than an outro. Similar to what he did with Darkness Enshroud back at the time. Mandatory if you're into usbm, recommendable even if you're not into it at all! Has either aged well or perhaps it's just me?
Next one will be something rare again, promise!
keskiviikko 11. helmikuuta 2015
Funereus - Into the Autumn Shade demo 1992
1) Intro - Commence the Rites of Burial
2) Into the Autumn Shade
3) Interlude - Among the Whispering Spirits
4) Ascension of the Infernal Sephiroth
5) Outro - Eternal Judgement
Rusfolder / Yandex
Our journeys take us now overseas from Norway, but unlike the vikings we're not making stops at Iceland or Greenland this time, instead heading straight for USA and resume where I left off in December with Funereus and their demo '92. With another demo '92! Confused? Don't be, these are two different recordings, this one made in June and the other in July and were both spread by different band members, this one by Rob Robichaud. And seeing how it is less known I'd assume in smaller quantities than the one known just as Demo 1992. It's probably pointless to try to call one demo I and another II since the timeframe is somewhat vague. As my contributor Cyclades wrote: "...what happened then is that different guys in the band chose various recordings from these sessions and kind of spread them around independently in an informal way. Thus, we get two different demos from a mere month apart featuring similar (but subtly different) material." For further background details read the old post, thanks again to C for the rips and information!
Let's speak about the content then, as seen the "main course" consists again of the same two long songs, served with an intro, interlude and outro which I think serve well to build the atmosphere. Which is, as in the other demo, morbid and heavy. The sound here is a little bit less clean but that just adds a touch of otherworldliness to the music and I must say I prefer this recording personally. The end result isn't as severe as Demo 1992 was but more unearthly and atmospheric. Another notable difference is that "Ascension..." is a longer version here with a fast part in the end that was later left off. Speaking of versions, Cyclades had this story to share about the title track's... well, title, and history: "The title/lyrics date back to 1990, at the tail end of Cartilage Ripper, when it seems they had slowed down into a more doomy entity. It was then apparently brought over for Funereus, which is the version you are listening to now. They then used the title again (but with totally different music) in Asmodeus, which eventually became the version from the first Evoken release, even through Robichaud was long gone at that point. Then even later, Ceremonium used it as the title of their first album!" Ceremonium was a New York death/doom band whose original members Oscar Matter and Victor Rivera (who had also been in Putrifact with Orlando) were good friends with the Funereus guys and apparently hung around at all of their recording sessions. Actually the name sharing dates earlier as their rehearsal '93 already features a track titled "Into the Autumn Shade" which then reappears on the '95 album. Well, it's not as wild as the use of "Tormentor" back in the 80's!
Enough talk, download this if you're into funeral doom, the other Funereus demo or Evoken. Recommended and hopefully the Asmodeus recordings also eventually surface.
perjantai 6. helmikuuta 2015
Hades / Mock - Live in Oslo '94 split live tape
1) Pagan Triumph
2) Hecate (Queen of Hades)
3) The Spirit of an Ancient Past
4) ...Again Shall Be
5) Unholy Congregation
6) Pagan Triumph
7) Thy Sorrow of Åsgard
8) Call Thy Eternal Winter
9) Bonded by Thy Blood
Mediafire / Zippyshare
Let us not sit idle but move on to another neighbouring country and yes, it is Norway's turn to be featured. Again a contribution by a certain person, thanks alot for this one, for change a split recording and a live tape to boot. This was recorded in 1994 at an unknown venue in Oslo and features relatively short sets by Hades and Mock, perhaps it was some sort of festival environment so the time was limited? Annoyingly, I'm certain I've read something about either this tape or the event itself in a 'zine but can't recall which one it was or when, not to mention any further details on the show. I'm not sure if this tape was released as sort of semi-official thing by either band or people associated with them, or was it just a bootleg. There's a cover scan but it's not overtly informative and actually didn't even have tracklisting for Mock's part.
|No titles for Mock!|
To the music, both bands play black metal in Norwegian style but with different twists. Hades' material is generally mid-tempo, somewhat epic and lyrically influenced by various mythologies and pagan faiths while Mock is more in the Norsecore style viking black metal. Six tracks in roughly 26 minutes for Hades, though first and last are the same instrumental song, album opener "Pagan Triumph", performed as intro and outro. Which on paper might look a bit silly but works wonderfully. A cool idea. Sound is a little rough and somewhat messy but everything can be heard well enough. Same thing with Mock's portion which consists of three tracks in slightly over 16 minutes. Note that each title has "thy" in it, can't help wondering if they actually understood the word or thought it as a cool way to write "the". Whatever, they do a decent job also and there's a little bit more variation to their three songs than Hades' material. Hades still wins and I'd really like more recordings like this. Recommended for fans of either band, provided they can stomach the sound and collectors of old live tapes and/or Norwegian black metal.
torstai 5. helmikuuta 2015
Adornment - ...And Love Perished demo 1994
1) ...And Love Perished
2) The Birds Have Gone
4) Daughters of Dawn
4shared / Mega
The tour ends in Finland and in moods not that far from where we left off with the previous post. This is Adornment who hail from Vantaa and their only demo dating to 1994. My rip from comrade passetiermes' cassette that was among those I borrowed last summer, posted this late as I was initially disencouraged by the appearance of a rip of the demo, just about when I had scanned the covers, at Raf's blog. Then after a bit of time passed I decided to post this rip anyways since I had already done it, scanned covers and sent the tape back to p. Didn't download the other rip so no comment on the quality, but at least this has higher bitrate and generally good sound.
The music on the quasi-controversial tape is melodic death metal. Yeah, it's that simple, I'm not going to be overtly elaborate. Well, perhaps I could mention the occasional dual-vocals, or the slight English death/doom influences or other details, but nope. Just download it if you enjoy melodic sorts of death metal, you'll like this.
tiistai 3. helmikuuta 2015
Shamharoth - Spheres Ablaze demo 1995
1) The Birth
3) Among Demons
Depositfiles / Yandex
The Coven's Baltic Sea tour nears its end, today we visit Sweden and let's do some metal of death for change, how about it? Hopefully "yes" because that's what we're having, here's Shamharoth and their probably only demo. Another fruit of co-operation between me and brother Grev, he dubbed me the recording and scanned the covers, I ripped it and uploaded here. Thanks as always! There's not too much info on the band available, I do remember seeing some reviews for this and it was on trader lists and the cover lists the three band members' first names, instruments they play, addresses in Stenhamra and mentions the demo having been recorded in "a nameless studio" in March '95.
What do the three tracks made by three Swedish guys sound like? Death metal. From Sweden, not of the melodic sort, though there are melodies present here as well. The nameless studio has provided a decent enough sound, rather clear and reasonably heavy. The vocals are quite high on the mix, they're growled and brutal enough even if not just barked and grunted, more like sung you know? Music is mostly midtempoish and has a bit of groove to it actually. In a sense it's very traditional sort of (slightly) blackened death metal. Syphilis newsletter's review mentioned their flyer calling the music "dark metal" but I'd really just go with death metal here, even if it is quite dark, certainly darker than many rather fruity things that fall under the monicker. Most memorable song personally would be the last one, which is also probably the most melodic and features guitar leads and all. The notable lack of name-dropping here is due my very limited expertise in this genre. Overall I'm feeling quite positively about this, the first song could be a bit shorter though. Certainly worth a try and I wonder was this really the only thing they recorded?
sunnuntai 1. helmikuuta 2015
The Dark Funeral - In Thy Forest... demo II 1993
2) Fullmoon Rites
3) The Funeral
4) In Memoriam
5) Mørke tider
6) Mourning Shadows
8) After the Battle
Version 1: Natural hiss
Mediafire / RGhost
Version 2: Noise reduced
Next stop on the tour is, unsurprisingly if you can read a map, Denmark and here's yet another contribution, the second demo by the elusive one-man synth project The Dark Funeral. Not to be mixed with the slightly better known Swedes. I've been looking for the two demos of this project since forever, inspired by the interview on Blokong 'zine and finally scored the second one so many thanks to the sender, you know who you are! Sadly no cover scans so I just had to use the picture from the 'zine, I could've also used the logo (see below) but Blasphemous simply needed to be my pick.
However, all is not peachy as the rip was from a heavily circulated dub with absolutely massive amount of tape hiss. It's like a faucet running, not drowning the recording but pretty darn nearly. So, I resorted to what I don't usually do and tried applying noise reduction filter to diminish the admittedly distracting hissing. The result is okayish, works a little better on synth stuff like this I guess, but you can still notice the filter's unfortunate side effects in places. I'll leave the choice to you then, pick either the version with the hissing included for more "natural" experience or the reduced version which has less extra distraction.
As for the music itself, like I thought it'd be it's a rather typical one-man-and-his-casio-in-the-woods sort of project, which I don't really find a bad thing after all! Somewhere between darkwave and dungeon synth, the nine tracks are generally a bit on the shorter side (total running time is a bit under 23 minutes) and rather varied, from the 'waveish "Fullmoon Rites" to solemn "The Funeral" and minimalistic standout "Mørke tider" - despite this it still overstays a little, but this is definitely a recommended listen to all into kitchy dark synth stuff! And I really want to hear the first demo.