maanantai 29. elokuuta 2016

Bewitched - Hellspell demo '95

Bewitched - Hellspell demo I 1995
1) Triumph of Evil
2) Deathspell
3) The Witches Plague
4) Burnin' Heaven

Zippyshare / Mediafire

Let's kick off this week with some energetic black/thrash metal fra Sverige, sent by our brother Fenrirsson along with other rips months ago. Bewitched should be a familiar name to people into blackened thrash metal or explorers of Osmose's back catalogue. They started out as a side project by folks from bands like Throne of Ahaz, Ancient Wisdom, Naglfar and Katatonia, eventually changing members and outliving some of the parent bands (well, Throne of Ahaz mainly but I'm pretty salty about that) with five albums and some EPs released over a ten year period. Let's not forget they nicked the band name from the older, already established Chilean band who in the end outdid them in longevity and number of releases. Can't comment on the quality as I'm not familiar with full discographies of either. Where was I? Right, this was the only demo and as F's rip was made from a dub we make do with cover images found on the net, mainly M.A. and Demo Archives.

Even though the band got progressively sillier (and me more and more fed up with bands picking up the retro "old school" sound in the mid-late 90s) this demo is quite raw, old style black metal mixed with thrash rather than just straight up black/thrash. The guitar sound is razor sharp, clear and biting, cold even and vocals harsh shrieks and screams. It's more like old Bathory rather than say, Destruction or Slayer which I'm fine with. Drums are again buried in the background but it's fine as the guitars are the spotlight here. All four songs wound up re-recorded on the '96 debut album, which is pretty good too. I think I'll have to give it a listen next. Give this demo a go even if you've heard the later Bewitched albums and disliked them, it's a different beast. Not like lion versus alligator different, more like... a dingo vs wolf different?

sunnuntai 28. elokuuta 2016

Mord Umysłu - Promo '98

Mord Umysłu - Promo tape 1998
1) I
2) II

Rusfolder / Sendspace

Ok, more slightly unusual stuff and again we are in Poland. Looks like a pattern has emerged, I should probably break it as soon as possible before it binds me. But let's not discuss that, let's rather talk about this sending I got already months ago, thanks to the sender, but hesitated to post due lack of information. This is an obscure 1998 recording by Mord Umysłu which roughly translates as murder of mind, or maybe mental murder? Something along those lines anyways. It was a project, most likely an one-shot, by Aro who is best known from Perunwit though he did have a host of other projects as well. Many of them with very limited discography when compared to Perunwit I should mention. There's not really much info about this two song tape on the internets, just passing mentions of the band on Metal Archives and this entry, in Polish, on a blog written by Zuchu666 who used to contribute on the venerated Raf666underground blog. RIP, it strongly seems.

Where was I? Yeah, that entry, it had a download link too but that's expired so I've been unable to compare. It seems extremely unlikely these would not be same recording though different rips certainly. The recording itself consists of two untitled (probably, no-one at least seems to know the titles!) tracks and runs for a bit over ten minutes. Music is... pretty hard to describe with a simple neat term, let's try dark ambient metal, how's that? Way more ambient than metal, mind you. While Perunwit is very folky stuff this isn't that sort of thing at all. The sound is good, quite mellow and floaty, better than on older Perunwit tapes so it might be a studio recording. Most likely just a result of better equipment and experience. Vocals are in Polish and gravelly sort of half-singing half-snarling with slight variation thrown in. Keys and effects are omnipresent and it has a slightly dreamlike quality to it, whatever-wave touches. To toss a very misleading comparison, let's say My Angel-era Arcturus meets late-90s Christ Agony. No, it's not really like that, I had a better one in mind but it got away. Still, an interesting tape, I should ask Zuchu to reupload that other rip so I could compare quality. Oh yeah, no cover as this probably didn't have one, Z speculated it was never "properly" released, just dubbed to people.

keskiviikko 24. elokuuta 2016

Mantar - The Wrath of Hornuk the Great demo '98

Mantar (fra) - The Wrath of Hornuk the Great demo I 1998
1) The Woods Are Our Temple
2) Sodomized for the Cult
3) Unholy Conquest
4) Cult of the Witchdemon

Yandex / Depositfiles

Mantar - The Wrath of Hornuk the Great remaster 2005
1) The Woods Are Our Temple
2) Sodomized for the Cult
3) Gathering of Vicious Souls
4) Unholy Conquest
5) Feast on Satan's Cunt
6) The Wrath of Hornuk the Great
7) Cult of the Witchdemon (The Second Coming)


How about a non-metal contribution today, just for change? This here thing was sent by our comrade zargonath a few months ago and it's (according to the note included) Mantar from France, not to be mixed with the reasonably well-known current German one. Our subject was formed by two men in 1996 who went by the nom de guerres Lord Tenebro Maleficium and Lord Silvins Mortificus, made this demo and disbanded in '99. Lord Tenebro killed himself a year later so slight scent of cult may be detected melding into the usual gravestench and tombmusk. Judging from the cover my educated guess would be that this was released as a CDr but I might be mistaken (remaster was, original was on tape so 50/50).

The first track starts with an odd glitchy sound which I'm certain is not part of the experience before moving unto soft tolling sounds followed by an extremely familiar bit which is stolen borrowed sampled(?) from somewhere very well known but I can't remember it now damn this is frustrating!!! Help me out someone less demented and I'll edit this later (it was Dimmu Borgir's Master of Disharmony, 1996 EP version! Thanks Eugene!). Right, it goes on for quite long, repetitive as expected, but effective despite the nagging familiarity (is it from a soundtrack? I know this damn it!) with some additional elements tossed in like slightly pompous sounding accented voices. The second track goes on with the same dramatic, soundtrackesque dungeon synth feel and most likely as a residual trauma from the first track I find myself wondering if I've encountered these sounds somewhere before. Third song, surprisingly... uh, mellow, despite its name allows me to shake of the mental shackle and enjoy the cheese. Last song re-introduces the vocals, one a normal spoken voice and the other a malicious black metal style hiss. My initial frown quickly softens as the voices are used very sparingly and well enough. To my surprise the track suddenly ends, almost prematurely and the demo itself with it, leaving me feeling a mite peckish. This is actually better than I remembered from the original, extensive two playthroughs session back whenever. Apparently another one that is best listened to at least twice in row. Standout track: number three.

UPDATE: It appears this might be incomplete which would explain how it felt too short. Comrade Eugene sent me a full version of seven tracks with an inlay, appearently the cover is from a 2005 remastered version. I wonder if it is expanded also or was the copy zargonath had just weirdly incomplete. Priests are now investigating, please wait warmly... 

UPDATE II: After a brief yet vigorous inquisition it appears the remastered seven song version sent by Eugene does sound a bit different and the songs seem slightly longer. Perhaps the speed is a wee bit different (it was a brief and vigorous not thorough inquisiton after all!). It is still uncertain to me if the original demo was really just four songs and the remaster is an expanded version or if it actually managed to miss three songs scattered in between the rest! For now I've decided to have both available, personally I like the fuzzier, more dungeony original sound better and haven't really had time to properly listen to the additional new content, so to say. Oh yeah, apparently the bio crap I picked up elsewhere (U-tube) was a pile of pig entrails as the remaster cover's linear notes seem to contradict them (ol' Tenebro's passing was not of the permanent sort for starters and he hogs all credit there, no mention of Silvins in sight). Odour of kvlt turns to sour reek of falsehood.

tiistai 16. elokuuta 2016

Sirrah - Acme demo '95

Sirrah - Acme demo II 1995
1) Acme
2) Passover 1944
3) On the Verge
4) A.U.Tomb
5) Iridium
6) Pillbox Impressions
7) Panacea
8) Bitter Seas

RGhost / Mediafire

Some of you might not be too impressed with today's post, sure, it's not a TTF-relic dug from a sealed tomb but hey, at least we're in Poland again! Yup, it's melodic death/doom with touches of gothic, think stuff like earlier Paradise Lost (not "Lost Paradise" or demos early!) or perhaps more accurately bands inspired by their "Gothic" album? Anyways, Sirrah from Poland released two demos, two albums (first of which was a re-recording/-arrangement of this demo) and an EP on their few years of activity around the mid-90s, to apparently re-emerge in 2013 with two new songs released so far. And this is the demo II, though I think I saw it referred as cassette album too. The running time would allow it to qualify and sound is not at all bad either. Much better than certain economically produced albums. Some of the songs date back to the first demo from '93 already so they've taken their time to refine 'em.

I haven't actually even heard the re-recorded album version, though it did catch some attention being released by Music for Nations. Or actually I might've heard it whilst drinking at certain associate's place, pretty sure he had it. Well, whatever, I wasn't really into them after all back then, I had originally come across this tape while looking for replacements for Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride and Tiamat whom I considered to have wimped out, become all girly and/or sold out, to differing degrees. This must've been early '96 or so. I already knew several more or less exotic alternatives such as Dissolving of Prodigy, Silent Stream of Godless Elegy and Love History to mention a few Czech examples but sought more. For various reasons I didn't like this tape, possibly something as seemingly trivial as the odd song titles, can't be certain anymore. Now it doesn't sound bad at all, even the always difficult clean vocals work ok. The song Iridium is a bit annoying though. Too modern-metallish if you know what I mean. Might be about time I gave their albums a chance too. If you enjoy the bands mentioned so far you could do worse than giving this a listen. The rip was made from a traded copy so imperfections are inevitable. Pretty good overall and it features tasteful, artistic nudity on the cover so obviously it has a redeeming quality even if gothic doom isn't your bag.

lauantai 13. elokuuta 2016

Naked Whipper - Sado Grind Metal (2000)

Naked Whipper - Sado Grind Metal compilation tape 2000
Naked Whipper 7"EP 1993
1) Pagan Pussy Gore Intruder
2) Hyperincest
3) Anal Queen
Moloch: Acid Orgy 12"MLP 1995
4) Enjoy the Act of Sodomy
5) Gorelash (Make the Women Whores)
6) Mass Excess (The Experience in Excrements)
7) Mushrooms
8) Enchristianization
9) Rape 'n Ride

Zippyshare / Yandex

Something different today, here's an unofficial tape compilation by Germany's Naked Whipper, considered a cult band by some and crap by others, released by... well, someone, around 2000. Ripped by yours truly from a dub I got the other year. I was supplied with a fancy colour print of the covers as well so scanned that too. They've a neat logo, always liked that. This tape compiles the '93 self-titled seven inch EP, all five minutes of it, and the mini-album released in '95 and limited to 300 copies, which was also the last Naked Whipper release. Now if you dig up a copy of the "Painstreaks" album you have the full discography for your pain/pleasure. Painsure? Pleain?

The name of the compilation pretty much sums N.W. up. I used to think of them as sort of poor man's (early) Impaled Nazarene back in the day, which depending on various factors may or may not do them justice. To be honest, old Beherit or Blasphemy is a closer comparison. I'm actually reminded of their country mates Lacerated Gods too, both by the black'n'grind sound and the vague misogyny presented by certain song titles. To the music: the first three tracks are all fast and short numbers that put more emphasis on the grind part of their formula, the second one being probably the best of the lot with most variation and cool Beheritic whispering voices tossed in. The 1995 part starts with a number borrowed from Peter Jackson's "Meet the Feebles" (1989) followed by the original content. Sound is slightly cleaner and pace not as frantic as on the EP tracks. This part also sounds more like I.N. (circa "Sadogoat"/"Ugra-Karma") than Blasphemy/Tireheb. Must say now as I listen to through it repeatedly that it's not as intense and the longest song Mass Excess sounds a bit dragged out. Now I want to give "Painstreaks" a go next, I'm off to do that and you may judge this for yourselves.

tiistai 9. elokuuta 2016

Blackthorn - Ancient demo '94

Blackthorn - Ancient rehearsal demo II 1994
1) Ponad krainą cieni
2) Rogaty wojownik
3) Gniew
4) Ponad krainą cieni (rehearsal)
5) Rogaty wojownik (rehearsal)
6) Gniew (rehearsal)

Mega / Rusfolder

Black metal from Poland once again and here we continue, with the assistance of comrade LKS who provided the rip, from where we left off in May. This is Blackthorn's second tape and it is a rehearsal demo also dating to 1994. Interestingly, this version features the same tracks as, uh, rehearsal versions. On a rehearsal demo. Yo dawg... no, not going there. No cover scans so as usual an image from the Metal Archives was used. See the entry for the first demo for more background on Blackthorn. Or the Chors post.

Three songs, with titles and lyrics this time in their native tongue, offered and they're all quite long (over 5½ minutes) while the first demo had both various short numbers and a longer black metal song. The alternative rehearsal takes that follow are all much longer still. Sound is kind of thin and sharp, with no discernible bass and distant, faraway percussion. No synths either. Bloodfreezing shrieks add to the cold atmosphere, tempo varies from frantic pace to slow and contemplative within each song. It's essentially a very simple and tried formula but nevertheless enjoyable and I like this sort of "poor" sound personally. I'm not saying this would sound like Burzum but... I guess I already kind of did by dropping the name, didn't I? Not to mention the write-up to the first demo. The third song Gniew has a shift in sound, to kind of worse as it heavily shifts to favour one side, as well as in vocals which are dominated by even sharper, hysterical screams. It also has a riff in the beginning that sounds extremely familiar. Translating the song titles we see the topics would seem to fit the TTF formula well  ("Above the Land of Shadows", "Horned Warrior" and "Anger" if you've not heard of Google translator) and continue from the first demo.

The alternative rehearsal takes actually have a slightly fuller and more balanced sound, with more audible drumming. They also feature false starts and all sorts of unedited glorious mishaps. Hard to say which I prefer more, the desolate chill of the "demo" tracks has its own charm for sure, but why choose when we have both? Recommended for those who enjoyed the first demo, Chors and old Polish black metal in general.

lauantai 6. elokuuta 2016

Moonstruck - Under Her Burning Wings demo '96

Moonstruck - Under Her Burning Wings demo III 1996
1) Under Her Burning Wings
2) Falling Through Silent Skies
3) Where Hope Lies Dying

Sendspace / Mediafire

Melodic death metal from Sweden,  mid-90s. Hey, come back, we're not done yet! Ok, in case someone stayed let's continue. Moonstruck were a less known death metal band hailing from Bjärred, apparently formed back in '93 and this is their third demo, recorded in October '96 and released... somehow I'm thinking it was actually released early '97 but the present public opinion seems to favour 1996 so let's just go with that. Anyways, I got this while tape-trading in the olden days and can't really remember why I picked it, seeing as I wasn't into melodic death metal at that time (either). Probably liked the name or some similar well established and researched reason. No cover, I've borrowed the small image from their Metal Archives entry. Released by Supremacy Records, which I suspect was their own label, the cover was all shiny and fancy. Or so I recall from a flyer I had (possibly still have).

Besides the quasi-professional look, the sound is also quite polished. Compared to the average German rehearsal room recording of the era at least. Anyways, it still sounds obviously like a demo recording while you can hear they have some experience under their belts by this time. Music is, uh, melodic death metal. Made by Swedes. In Sweden. So you know, it sounds like that. Though I do imagine hearing traces of more Finnish sort of melodeath on the first track now as I listen to it through second time today. Slightly folky tones, don't make me drop the obvious name. Still active, name starts with an 'A'... Right, this isn't going to lead anywhere; it has become a well known fact that I can't say anything clever when it's melodeath, but I know there's an audience for this material and I was quite surprised not to find a rip of this at higher bitrates. They made an album too in '99 so pick that up if you like this demo. Not that I'd actually heard it, but they did record all of these songs for it too so I presume it continues in similar vein.

tiistai 2. elokuuta 2016

Realm - Dark Winds of Asuras demo '97

Realm - Dark Winds of Asuras demo I August 1997
1) Fallen Skies
2) Blood of the Imperial Night
3) Kingdom of Nightfall
4) Master of Centuries Black

4shared / Yandex

I thought I'd start August off with something slightly more exotic again and I must say I love that yellow cover! So sunny and summerlike feeling! Maybe it's quite inappropriate for a black metal band's demo, but one must admit it is very striking. And it's not even any sort of druggy wanna-be-industrial sort of thing, no, this is Realm of Singapore who play pure & honest black metal. This was again contributed by our easternmost cohort Morbid Chanter, rip and cover. It seems like this was the only demo released under this monicker as the mastermind of the project Night changed the name to Netherealm quite soon after the demo was released and the recording line-up fell apart.

Pretty good, loud sound. Not very clear perhaps, but it's not a negative thing. Pound-pound-pounding drums that sound almost tribal at times, grating and ever-so-slightly buzzy guitar, bass very much audible but firmly on the sidelines and good, raw vocals almost "properly" sung and supported by slightly dirtier, lewd screams and raspy howls plus a smattering of clean (spoken) session vocals on the final song. Acoustic passages and atmospheric breaks mix things up. This is one of those pieces that are somewhat more metal than black while remaining black metal if you know what I mean? And they manage it naturally, not sounding retro-this or old school-that for the sake of hooking up with Osmose or who had you back then releasing all that neothrash. It's quite long for a four song demo, over 25 minutes, much of which is taken by the epic last track. I like this, more than the split made with Austrian Seraph that followed, as Netherealm. That one suffered from the lack of a full line-up I believe. Recommended even if you can't stand yellow!