sunnuntai 7. toukokuuta 2017

Endoki Forest - Demo '95 + Rehearsal '96


Endoki Forest - An Evil of Nordic Frost demo 1995
1) I
2) II
3) III
4) IV
5) V
6) VI
7) VI
Rehearsal for Upcoming Album '96
1) Advance I
2) Advance II

Mediafire / Depositfiles

More non metal, this is a contribution I actually received quite long ago but it has been a bit troublesome, delaying its time to appear on the altar. This is Endoki Forest from the United States and the (only) demo from 1995 plus a bonus of two rehearsal/advance tracks that were planned to appear on a full length album scheduled for 1996. As far as I know, it was not completed after all. Endoki Forest remains active to this day, or possibly more accurately re-activated a few years ago releasing a compilation also named "An Evil of Nordic Frost" in digital format (only, I think) which was not this demo redone but rather a compilation of material from different years and more recently a full length album "Black Sorcerers Fortress" on Darker Than Black. Unfortunately I can't check the details on the compilation anymore since it appears Bandcamp has either purged Faunus Amadeus Loki out or he has chosen to diminish his online presence. Whatever the case, his former email is not working either so I could not get hold of him to check facts. I could've probably pestered DTB with it but decided against that and just went with what I got.

Why would Bandcamp give master Loki the boot you wonder? Well, he was and is somewhat notorious for his NS associated projects like Berzerker and label of old Black Sorcerers which released tapes around mid-90s... I should actually have a flyer or maybe two somewhere but I didn't find them on my admittedly hasty and careless search. I probably find them the next time I look for something else. DTB has released also a CD from his other, more recent project Herrenvolk which I believe is slightly better known and from what I've heard more in the martial industrial/ambient vein while Endoki Forest falls, in my humble opinion, into the dungeon synth category on the old material and more in dark ambient vein on the new album.

Cover image from Discogs entry!

So much text and quite little on this actual item so far! Right, to the issues I mentioned right in the beginning: first off, no cover or tracklisting. Apparently my contributor had gotten this tape dubbed by F.A.L. and instead of a cover he had sent the pic seen cropped way up there decorating the post and slightly reduced down below in its whole while Discogs entry gives a different sort of cover which you may see above this paragraph but fails to deliver a tracklisting either. So I went with good old Roman numerals, as usual, and divided the rip into what I believe to be seven tracks. Most have easy to spot breaks between them but the last one was a little tricky. Secondly, the rip was unfortunately not very good, being done slightly too loud and then converted to low bitrate as coup de grâce. This leads to a major thing to point out in the download; there are two folders within, one labeled "Scott" and one "Velkaarn" which contain two versions of the demo. Mine is practically unedited, just chopped up into tracks and slightly adjusted the volume while "Scott" is more heavily reworked, courtesy of master Scott, formerly known from December Wolves, later Serpent Eclipse and nowadays an audio editor and a fine sportsman. Thanks for taking time to fiddle with this and the other thing! Scott's version... well, I'll just quote him: "I cleaned up some of the noise where it was distracting from the music, balanced the L/R channels, restored some of the low frequencies, and most importantly I added back some of the dynamics so that the synth has room to breathe." So yes, it has notably less of the brickwall effect of a too loud rip, less hiss and generally sounds more "airy" while retaining the necesssary desolation. Unfortunately the tradeoff is the usual issue with noise reduction causing certain "fraying" of the sound especially on the high end, most audible on the storm sound effects on track... was it 4? You'll notice. But it can't be helped, it's the best we could manage with the material for now.
The full picture scaled down, original scan is huge.

To the music itself, half an hour of somewhat cold and grim dungeon synth with that slightly crude sound that fits the music perfectly. It's not fully instrumental, II features some appropriately sinister hisses, whispers and shrieks that actually fit very well so for once I'm not complaining. V has more vocals, this time odd echoing, almost moany "singing" that again sounds surprisingly suitable before metamorphosing to the form familiar from second part. Among top 3 dungeon synth vocals! Aside from that there's the storm and rain samples and if you listen to the unpurified version you can think of the hiss as additional sound effect? The moods the tracks paint vary from witnessing clandestine rituals under the cold full moon to carefully navigating old dungeonscapes of stone, cobwebs and dust to picnic in the Carpathians with the Lamentation crew. Think whatever you will of master Loki's other works, politics, belief systems, orientation and favourite foods, I don't care, this is a good demo and I'd really like to find an original copy of it! Or a good dub would do. I forgot to talk about the bonus tracks! Well, they're similar to the demo material. Recommended for all into old school dungeon synth sounds.

5 kommenttia:

Draco Fenrirsson kirjoitti...

My failing memory seems to serve the idea that I have a split demo of Endoki Forest (with...?) somewhere, but it's probably around 20 years since I heard it. Herrenvolk (or at least the first album) was, as I recall again, a progression of Endoki Forest. Faunus also played in a little known DM/BM band called Mastema a while before that though. As I seem to recall, he became a tad sick of the metal scene of the late 1990's (which was, to be honest, not the most intellectually stimulating period of the genre), and moved to whiter, I mean GREENER, pastures to lay. I'm pretty sure that Hendrik spent some time and effort trying to get him to release things in physical format again, although the question of a receptive audience leaves me wondering...

Why do I think that I should really start finding missing time and ripping tapes again?

Velkaarn kirjoitti...

@Fenrirsson:

Could it have been with Berzerker? I have extremely vague recollection of some mention of a split too but I can't quite put a finger on where I saw one and who it really was with. I know of Mastema and am very interested to hear it, did you have that demo too?

It would be great if you came across a time vault of some sort and could do some ripping, I am always glad to hear elusive recordings. But don't sweat it!

Eugene kirjoitti...

Sorry for being a little offtopic, but do you have any idea where to find Funerary Call ‎– Unearthed (2003) tape? You posted their A Comselh De Ors demo 1994 back in 2011 ascoven.blogspot.ru/2011/11/funerary-call-comselh-de-ors-demo-1994.html). Me and my friend are looking for more now, any help?

Velkaarn kirjoitti...

@Eugene:

Well, it's easily found on Discogs, starting at 3,5€ but knowing that seller it will be a dub with xerox cover. Obviously does not affact music! I have the first six tracks aka "Damnation's Journey" but not the EP's. Don't think I've come across a rip of the tape or at least I don't have it.

Draco Fenrirsson kirjoitti...

Ahhh Berzerker, that's the one... I have a fair idea that some "free" time is coming my way to take care of those things that I've neglectfully placed on hold for some time. I seem to recall that Endoki Forest was the progression of Berzerker, with Herrenvolk being the trump? I'm happy to state the I'd agree (from memory at least of those 2 particular incarnations), and the first track from the Herrenvolk album sure does have some catchy sing along parts.

And yes, I have that Mastema demo too (which is presently held in that area which is called "somewhere"). I remember it being pretty third rate though, whatever that might mean.

"Damnation's Journey" is for me the best Funerary Call material of that era. One seems to forget that Harlow played in Cremation for a while, as well as being that elusive unnamed bassist of Conqueror.