sunnuntai 31. tammikuuta 2016

Congestion - Live at Lutakko 07-05-94

Congestion - Live at Lutakko, Jyväskylä 7th May 1994
1) Intro (Cold Wind Blues)
2) Throne of Dominating Force
3) Bed of the Ancient River
4) Burnt into My Mind
5) When the Sun Rises in the South
6) Wind Convoys
7) Unblessed

4shared / Mega

More Finnish metal in co-operation with me and brother Grev (he dubbed, I ripped) this is once again Congestion, possibly the band with most place-holder covers on this blog. A gig performed at the well-known venue Lutakko in Jyväskylä, with a new keyboard player on board (trivia courtesy of stage banter, no actual personal knowledge!), they perform all the tracks from the '93 "Bed of the Ancient River" demo, two new (well, three if you count the intro which changed into an outro) songs which would appear on the '94 promo and an oldie Unblessed. Pretty good sound, though the start of the recording is a bit wonky but that gets better soon.

It's not a very long gig, I'm assuming they opened up for someone that Saturday or perhaps participated in some sort of event? Why am I making guesses, this is 2016, let's google... yeah, it was "Metal Up Your Ass" with Deceiver (apparently headliner? death/thrash), Scum (death metal, signed with Black Mark), our boys Congestion and Kansa Taisteli (an old punk band) and here's actually the poster:

Would be actually kind of neat to hear the rest of the bands if someone recorded the whole event. But I'm about to digress again so back to Congestion. If you've heard the demo material and/or Let Me Dream debut album you know what to expect: groovy and melodic doomy death metal with gothic touches (mostly the less-than-stellar clean vox and not-stellar-but-nice keys). It sounds quite pleasant live, I presume better still under the influence of intoxicants, mostly flows nicely. Not a horrible place to start listening to Congestion either if you're unfamiliar with them but got interested. After all I'm sure many people have gotten into bands with live albums, think "Alive", "Decade of Aggression" and "Live After Dead" for example. Not that this would be on par with those but you get the idea.

perjantai 29. tammikuuta 2016

Barathrum - Battlecry (Unmixed) demo '92

Barathrum - Battlecry demo II 1992 unmixed 1st version
1) Sacrilegium
2) Nocturnal Dance
3) Justice of the Shining Steel
4) Battlecry/Outro

Mega / Rusfolder

Today I decided to upload a sending by brother Grev, ripped by his comrade, thanks as always gentlemen and it is an item I was requested last year by a certain person, after a bit of deliberation I decided it'd be worthwhile to include it here as well. This is the first, so-called unmixed version of the second Barathrum demo "Battlecry" and I am sure most readers should be quite familiar with this band by now? The requestor provided me with a cover so it is included.

So what are the differences between the two versions, beside the cover? Well, this one does not have the rather dumb intro Epilogue the second has, cutting the playtime to roughly 18 minutes. Also the vocals are different, devoid of the overt pitch-shifting. Music sounds less muddled too, crisper and slightly... lighter? As in heavy vs. light not dark vs. light-way. Songs and music themselves remain the same but the changed sound affects the result a lot. I personally prefer this version over the second one. All of the songs reappear re-recorded on various Barathrum albums (1st on "Saatana", 2nd and 3rd on "Eerie" and 4th sans outro on "Hailstorm") but if you wish to hear them on rougher demo form I suggest this over the "mixed" version (actually this is mixed too, read the cover: mixed and produced by Sami Jämsen and the second version does not give any further info on it, but curiously changes the studio name from Sound Grinder Studios to Gothic-Sound and reduces Jämsen's role to "help" so there is that). JetBlackMetal!

tiistai 26. tammikuuta 2016

Annwn - Promo-tape 1995

Annwn - Promo-Tape 1995
1) The Canticle - Part I (In a Forest of Shadows)
2) Midnight Ellapse
3) One Night on Raven Wings
4) The Dead Are Just... Sleeping!!!
5) In Cold Winter Darkness


I have a bit of catching up to do so without further ado, this is Annwn of Portugal whom the Metal Archives labels as "atmospheric doom/black metal" which at least on this tape is poppycock. The music is dark ambient/dungeon synth with some sparingly used vocals, reminds me actually quite a bit of the Balam/Laïlheb demos, especially the last track though generally not as obscure and morbidly tenebrous. Despite the name, not Celtic or in general folky either! Thanks to the contributor who sent me the rip, no covers though so we must make do with pitiful MA image.

Five tracks for 22+ minutes, so on the average quite typical metal song playtimes and nothing drags on for too long or ends abruptly. Sound is good and instrumentation is keyboards, guitar, possibly bass and like mentioned, some voices. It's a bit on the fence but I'll go ahead and call it dungeon synth rather than say black ambient which it does resemble too, it's obviously more about moods, atmospheres and such like things rather than rituals, invocations, séance or celebration of evil, though the last track begs to differ. I had forgotten about it, but looks like the hilariously titled The Dead Are Just... Sleeping!!! (which is also another standout track) was featured on the "Southern Assault vol.1" compilation CD. Though the running time listed on the cover there does not match what I have here at all... must examine further, perhaps it's a shorter version? Enough of that, this is pretty good and I wonder if the second (?) demo "The Canticle - part II" mentioned on the Archives page would be metal or more in the same vein. As usual, if you find yourself in possession of that tape get in touch with me!

torstai 21. tammikuuta 2016

Zemial - Rehearsal 03/09/92

Zemial - Rehearsal 3rd September 1992
1) The Scourge of the Kingdom
2) Falling into the Abyss

Zippyshare / Yandex

A short one for today but highly relevant to my upcoming Friday night's activities, this is a two-song rehearsal tape by the Hellenic legend Zemial, contributed by brother Baldemar. Thanks! No tracklisting and of course no cover either were included but these songs were easy to figure out, for change. Quite good sound quality. Extremely plain and unnecessary placeholder cover by me.

As you most likely know, both tracks appear on the "Sleeping Under Tartarus" EP's B-side, though in reverse order there and they aren't exactly long tracks. Well, these versions are even shorter so the total running time is a wee bit over five minutes. But hey, quality over quantity and all that! They sound different enough from the EP versions to merit a listen, slightly rougher and... softer? Fuller? ...Fluffier sound, vocals are more gruff and closer to old RC, Varathron and who have you. That's enough, recommended if you like Zemial and old Greek material. If you're not familiar with either for whatever outlandish excuse you whip up it's about time to get acquainted and this is a suitably bite-sized morsel to sample.

tiistai 19. tammikuuta 2016

Akhkharu - Advance Tracks '96

Akhkharu - Advance Tracks 1996
1) Vengeance Summoned Forth
2) Psychotic Hallucinations
3) Temple of the Whore

Mediafire / Sendspace

Ok, one more advance tape. This is the Akhkharu that released "Poisoned Dreams" and an advance tape of three songs dating to 1996 which in the end were never officially released. Naturally no cover either, Joe Rood just dubbed these tracks to his contacts, inluding my contributor. Thanks for sending this as well as other items!

Compared to the '95 demo these three tracks show advancement, things seem less haphazard and random as they used to. Keyboard is the main instrument and fortunately the various less than impressive vocal experiments are more subdued here. Or so I thought... There's still more than I care for, mind you, but it actually fits pretty well on the first song. All seems to be better but then the second track comes along. Sure enough it starts quite decent with oddly wobbly bouncy synth and a sample but soon gets stranger, more unhinged and eventually crosses the line to just inane. And the voices strike back with the son of a vengeance's return. Such an annoying thing to listen to! Third track is more melodic and, somewhat unfortunately, vocal driven. It does sound much better after the previous fiasco and most of the time the voices stay within reason but the pathetic moans and effect-laden screeches/hisses I could really do without. I suppose these were to be the last recordings of this Akhkharu, wonder if third time would've been the charm as they were getting better here. Not good, mind you, but better certainly. If you liked "Poisoned Dreams" seek help or grab this too and cope your very own way!

lauantai 16. tammikuuta 2016

Chronic Anguish - I Was Heard from Within adv.demo '95

Chronic Anguish - I Was Heard from Within advance tape for demo 1995
1) Corpse, Blood, Swords and Victory
2) Violence
3) Killing for Pleasure

RGhost / Depositfiles

Another Swedish advance tape, this is Chronic Anguish of whom I know really nothing apart from the Metal Archives entry and what I guess would be an advance tape for their second demo. Swedish, advance demo '95 and tracklisting is all the info I had. Not sure if the demo was even released in the end, if you know more feel free to share the information! Obviously no cover, took the logo from the '94 demo to decorate the post. Apparently this was a side project of the members from death metal band Measureless, possibly not very serious at all so the grimmest warriors may leave for now.

Three songs, the one with the longest name being the shortest, a brief and fast piece that still manages to have two distinct parts. It opens with what sounds awfully like one of those falsetto yells some thrash bands were terribly fond off and further vocals keep sounding more like thrash than black metal though some proper screams are present. The second half is suddenly... uh, dark ambient I suppose, with ominous keyboards and various more or less demonic sounds. Odd and somewhat unexpected! Second track is the longest one and most close to traditional black metal sound. The vocals sound more in genre here, with deep support growls adding to the old schoolish aura and main screams bordering on hysterical at times. Third song sports a familiar melody I don't right now identify, possibly a ...xmas tune? Growly vocals start and the black metal ones carry the portion where it gets more "normal" though that certainly does not stick ...this is starting to sound confusing and now I really want to hear the '94 demo. Strange nine or so minutes but not without merit. Recommended for those fascinated by odd things and/or obsessed with the old Swedish underground.

keskiviikko 13. tammikuuta 2016

Runemagic - Fullmoon Sodomy adv. tape '92

Runemagic - Fullmoon Sodomy advance tape for EP 1992/93
1) Fullmoon Sodomy
2) Desecration of the White Christ
3) In Remembrance

Yandex / 4shared

Inspired by the advance section of the Exstinctio Sensus 'zine posted the other day I decided to do one here at the Coven too since I do have quite a few advance tapes ripped. First we have Runemagic of Sweden again, I posted their live tape just last month. See that post for crapload of background information on both the band and these recordings. Long story short, had ripped this as an unidentified tape B-side, got a revelation and remembered what it was, we're here. I've no proper cover for this version so used the Swedish tape version from M.A.

I believe this was sent as advance tape for 7"EP (the Polish bootleg version I suppose) but it is really just the demo recording with nothing done to it, except one song (Nocturnal Creation) being left out, most likely due timing constraints. Note that the Metal Archives tracklisting for the demo, or more like the song lengths therein, are incorrect. The source tape must've been this same which makes me wonder if the demo was ever actually released complete? That tracklisting divides In Remembrance into two and tries to pass off its second, keyboard part as Nocturnal Creation which as we learn from the quite recent Bandcamp release is actually 7+ minute song. Or perhaps the contributor had a dub of this and cover of the Chaos Productions version which was complete but circulated less? Who knows, I don't. Old era Runemagic in general seems to be more unknown than I expected.

This was supposed to be short but seems like this band drives me to ramble more than usual. Ok, contents quickly: sound is pretty murky but definitely much cleaner than the live tape, a little stuffy and with prominent low end. A lot of it has to do with tape wear obviously. Title track is a long one, over seven and half minutes, bouncy brisk midtempo effort with some breaks and changes in pace. Very good black metal rasp, grating and drawling at appropriate times. Robert "Reaper" Pehrsson was also responsible for the vocals on the first two Deathwitch albums as well as presently in Death Breath and some other projects in very different vein. I'm digressing again!!! Ugh, yeah so Desecration of the White Christ is a fast paced, shorter song in old school black metal vein and was reused for Deathwitch later and In Remembrance is another shortish piece divided into two parts; slower and epic metal half and a synth part that reminds me of vintage horror movies. Good stuff and I really like his voice, I just wish I had a slightly better rip or even better the Chaos Prods tape itself. If you have it, get in touch, rich rewards await. And I want the rehearsal tapes too. Very much recommended!

tiistai 12. tammikuuta 2016

Exstinctio Sensus #1

Exstinctio Sensus fanzine, issue 1 (1995)
Obtained Enslavement
Forgotten Woods
Funeral Winds
Lord of Evil
Osculum Infame
Cacophonous Records
Liar of Golgotha
Darkwoods My Betrothed
Mastiphal (Katowice)
Megiddo (UK)
Dark Funeral
Troll (Aafjord)
"From Xmas to Solar Rites..." by Darkarts
"The Church of Satan or the Pure Evil Swindle" by Se Irim Abrahel
Funerary Call
Murder Rape
Dies Irae (nor)
The Helheim Society
+ "advances" section, "In the Mist of My Grief" poem, Darkthrone press statement, Bathory lyrics, English translations of Varg's lyrics for Darkthrone & Burzum...


How about some reading? Here's another classic-era 'zine, first issue of the Spanish black metal fanzine Exstinctio Sensus who, like was the somewhat unfortunate style of the times, were extremely Norge-centric. Or more fairly Scandinavian-focused since out of the twelve interviews six are Norwegian, four Swedish, one Dutch and then there's Mortiis. My scans, made last summer when I borrowed this 'zine from comrade Kurgan or more specific from his mate. Thanks, gents!

Besides the dozen interviews there are several, usually short, articles/bios of bands and unfortunately once again many of the most interesting names are in this section. How unfortunate but not surprising. And again no support for their local scene in any form, then again there was not much to talk about at that time, in the black metal field. If you don't mind the Norway-worship it is a good 'zine with a pleasant, clear old school lay-out and above average content in general. Notably they have no separate reviews here, but they go over most bands' (most recent) release either in the introduction of the interview or in the article. The interviews range from very good (Nåstrond, Sorhin, Setherial) to usual, okay stuff to underwhelming and really bad (Demonic being once again the worst). Generally you'll notice the usual pattern here how Norwegian bands used to give quite poor answers in interviews, especially with foreign 'zines. Enough talk, read for yourself, despite my usual bitching it's extremely recommendable!

sunnuntai 10. tammikuuta 2016

Sabbathan - Satanic's Ritual's demo '93

Sabbathan - Satanic's Ritual's demo I 1993
1) Basilicam Dei Luciferi
2) Aker Leze
3) Egolatria in Pentagram

Mediafire / Zippyshare

I wanted to do a synth-thingy today and chose to finally go for it and post this sending by brother Baldemar (thanks for the rip!) despite being somewhat uncertain of it. Remember Masthema Sancia's Sabbathan featured earlier here? Well, I got this rip here from B. without a tracklisting and vague description of demo '95 but that didn't seem to fit so I made an educated guess this is actually the first demo "Satanic's Ritual's" and '93 changing to '95 a typical tape trading mishap. The first demo and "The Fury of the Storms" which I already had were the only releases listed with three songs so based on that and the sound I'm semi-confident my guess is right. Obviously if you know better (and have proof) be kind and correct me. Cover image borrowed from the Archives once again.

Comparing to the promo track these have a much more obscure sound, with the keyboard being more prominent and vocals almost completely buried below them, a whisper most of the time instead of the clear voice on the promo or the black metal rasp of "The Fury" tape. The sound is sort of crude with the keys sounding almost piercing from time to time, giving a sort of uneasy feeling to the listener which should be a positive factor for this kind of music. I'm actually getting more of a cold space ambient vibe rather than ritual musick from this. "Anti-cosmic dark ambient" to counter Apeiron's "cosmic light ambient"?  Or maybe some kind of  Lovecraftian visions? No, I'm not on drugs. Whatever, nothing Aztecy here either, purely Satanic ritual black ambient. If you have the last tape "Lust & Pain" please get in touch.

lauantai 9. tammikuuta 2016

Krypteia - Hellenic Martial Virtue demo '04

Krypteia - Hellenic Martial Virtue demo 2004
1) Remembrances...
2) Wolf (Child of the Dead Ones)
3) Acherontas Dried Up for Us
4) A Storm That Sweeps All
5) Your Ashes in Tartatus Will Remain
6) ...of Times to Come

Depositfiles / Sendspace

Let's leap forward in time ten years (from the '94 of last posts not the present!) all the way to 2004 and down to Greece from where brother unholydeath's sending Krypteia hails. Thank you for the rip and scan! Krypteia was/is (? status unclear) a two-man unit featuring the former Stutthof drummer Thyrane Sigel, known also for doing live percussion for Der Stürmer and another fellow called Tyrtaios. The name of the demo and bands mentioned so far might give an idea what sort of stuff we have here; raw and warlike Hellenic black metal which pretty much translates as nsbm. Familiar names also pop up on the covers.

A martial intro and outro, four songs of medium running time. Very loud and booming, somewhat messy sound, I think it's ripped at slightly too loud volume (nope, was confirmed it's the mastering - most apparent on the intro and outro) which of course further underlines the violent nature of the music. Vocals seem to be quite heavily effected and end up buried in the wall of guitar and bass storm. It has variation, not just fervent fast-paced charge but can't still call it catchy and casual listening. For people into Hellenic traditions, name-dropped bands and raw black metal in general.

perjantai 8. tammikuuta 2016

Yggdrasil - The Renaissance of the Norse Horde promo '94

Yggdrasil - The Renaissance of the Norse Horde promo 1994
1) The Renaissance of the Norse Horde

RGhost / Yandex

Remember when I wrote in the last post: "...with room for an obscure filler track, maybe I should post such next..."? Well, I decided to do just that, seeing that master Fenrirsson had sent me a very appropriate item with the Bestial Warlust rip the other month! Right, this is the mysterious, curious, cryptic, enigmatic, wrapped in mystery, veiled in secrecy and shrouded in obscurity Yggdrasil of Denmark and what appears to be their only recording, a one-song promo tape from '94. Ok, they're not that esoteric and I used mystery twice, there's a Metal Archives entry after all but hardly any proper information. Even the Danish trader comrade of F knew nothing else about them. Obviously no cover, logo or band pic, and any or all would be welcome.

So it's kvlt and obskvre but is it any good? Yeah, not bad at all! Raw, decent sound, mostly fast paced Scandinavian-style black metal with some melodies, aggressive black metal rasps and compact playtime of under four minutes and even slight variation though delicious repetition is prominent. I wonder if in some tomb, ruin or catacomb another recording might lurk buried by dust and bones? For now it's really a one-hit wonder and worth checking out, there's not that much vintage Danish black metal about.

torstai 7. tammikuuta 2016

Fulgor - Our 10 Urphar Visions demo '94

Fulgor - Our 10 Urphar Visions demo IV 1994
1) The Whispering Waters
2) Legend
3) Bachbakuala-Nuksiwäe
4) Fire (The Trilogy of Fire & Ice - pt. I)
5) Ice (The Trilogy of Fire & Ice - pt. II)
6) The Unation (The Trilogy of Fire & Ice - pt. III)
7) October 1844
8) I'm the Tears in Your Eyes
9) Lust, Flesh & Force
10) Mountains

Rusfolder / Mega

Another contribution and a thing I had been after for quite long, this is the fourth and final Fulgor demo, a two-man project already familiar to the Coven. Hmm, with Yappy's blog gone, I wonder if I should post Misfits' rip of the EP here too? But we weren't supposed to talk about that, focus, this rip was sent already early last year but I took my sweet time to get posting as I was hoping for a bit larger cover scan. But we'll make do with the tiny image, thanks anyways to the sender. If anyone can contribute a larger, more clear image would appreciate it. Also, did it have lyrics on the back?

Like "To Be One with the Stars..." this is a long demo, filling up a side of the ol' 90-min tape (with room for an obscure filler track, maybe I should post such next) and giving several albums a run for their money. In duration, obviously, not sound which is decent enough and clear. Musically this is, obviously, between the '93 tapes and the "Eyequinox" EP though nowhere near as trippy as that was. Tempo is most of the time leisurely slow to almost brisk midtempo and varying vocal styles are employed, from singsongy croak to so-and-so clean voice to whispers to howls and so forth. Guitars make a pleasant buzz, synths sound appropriately cheap, the programmed percussion is buried in the soft fuzz. Interludes and parts vary from vaguely ambient to the suddenly wave-y The Unation, the longest track I'm the Tears in Your Eyes sounds almost industrial and Lust, Flesh & Force goes all German in the tastefulness department. The demo manages to sound more cohesive than my description might lead you to believe. Not very evil or even that dark to be honest, but there is a special sort of feel to it. With a few edits it'd be great. Recommended for the fans of Fulgor, old Deutsch demos and the bizarre.

tiistai 5. tammikuuta 2016

Chors - Słowiańska chwała demo 1995

Chors - Słowiańska chwała demo 1995
1) Tam, gdzie cień mrokiem zachodzi, gdzie płoną wrota niebios
2) Ogień pogańskiej wiary
3) Lasy Rastemburg
4) Władca piorunów
5) Chors
6) Zapomniane imperium

Yandex / Zippyshare

It's a new year or has been for several days already as I'm a bit behind my self-made schedule. Without further ado, here's the first entry for this year and it's Polish black metal contributed at my request by comrade LKS last year, thanks for finally letting me hear a complete version of this! You see I've had a slightly incomplete (read: half of it, first three tracks I think) version of the only demo released by Kętrzyn's Chors since '96 or so and only a few years ago noticed the fact when I was about to rip it. Tape trading issues. Anyways, this was a one-shot by Pagan Temple / Blackthorn members teaming up with a fellow called Natang. Speaking of Pagan Temple I was pretty sure I had the '95 demo "Fullmoon" but can't seem to locate it. Might've been lost with the HD a few years past. I could use a rip of that one. No proper cover scan, used Metal Archives pic.

Musically this is labeled at the Archive as pagan black metal and I suppose it's close enough, especially since the subject matter would seem to be Slavonic paganism. Musically I'd say this is closer to Blackthorn than Pagan Temple (though I can't compare to "Fullmoon" demo) and sounds slightly better than either, simply by adding a third musician the sound is much "fuller" though stays in the cutting, thin rehearsal region. Vocals are the near-hysterical Burzum-school shrieks and screams familiar from their other bands. Tracks 3 and 5 are instrumental, the later being a synth piece and what else to say... well, I like this. Don't remember if this and related bands made into the TTOF-banlists or not but if you enjoy old and raw, Polish black metal you'll want to check this out.