Friday, June 2, 2017

Goetia - Wolfthorn EP '99


You guys are probably wondering why I'm not really active on this blog anymore - I kind of lost inspiration to write. I still want to share music and I enjoy doing that, but it kind of became difficult to write reviews lately because I always either feel like I'm wasting words pointing out what's obvious, or am just repeating myself over and over and being boring. Because of all of this, I'll just make it short and write most important stuff about this release.

Goetia is Polish band formed in '96, the band has released 2 EPs, 2 demos and 1 full-length album and it is not clear if the band is still active, they probably aren't considering their last EP was released in 2011 but who knows. This EP is their second release, it's very good but also very short - it only lasts for 17 minutes. There are 5 songs on this EP, the first one being a short intro. The style is very good true black metal, mostly fast-paced with raw wolfish vocals and melodic guitar riffs - it's kind of like listening to Behexen with vocals that sound kind of like Ohtar. I really have nothing else interesting to say about this, so I'll just finish this with saying that I'd recommend this to people who appreciate real black metal.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Hegemon - Still Raping After All These Years demo '98


Hegemon was formed in '96 in France and they released their first demo tape titled Rape the Banner of Light in '97. Still Raping After All These Years is their second demo and it was released in '98. This demo contains entire first demo plus 3 additional songs.

Band's line-up is quite interesting: vocalist Nicolas Blachier was also vocalist in one of my favorite French bands Your Shapeless Beauty, and he was the owner of French label Chanteloup Creations which is the label that released first two Hegemon demo tapes. I think I've read somewhere that Rape the Banner of Light, Hegemon's first demo, was the first ever tape released by Chanteloup but as I can't find proof of that now, I can't say for sure if my memory fools me or if I actually remember it correctly. Drummer on this (and the first) demo was Krzys, member of The Black Legions, known for being Mütiilation drummer in '94 and '95, and for having his own project Belathuzur. Bassist is also member of Diamond Eyed Princess, which is a great French black metal band and I highly recommend listening to them if you haven't already.

There are 7 songs on Still Raping After All These Years demo with complete length of 26 minutes. First 4 songs on this demo are, like I said, from band's first demo and these 4 tracks are in my opinion best part of the demo. The style is mid to fast paced black metal with high pitched vocals and melodic guitar riffs and pretty loud bass lines. I'd say the style of black metal present here is like a mix between Bekhira and Funeral - so it's basically epic sounding old school melodic black metal with raw sound.
I have to mention that the production isn't great, but that's pretty normal for black metal demo tapes from the 90's, especially the ones released by Chanteloup. The last 3 songs actually have even worse production so they sound even more raw but don't get me wrong, this is in no way raw black metal - if you are able to tolerate poor noisy production, you'll notice it's actually very good epic/true black metal.

I quite like this demo and Hegemon in general, so I would recommend listening to this - just don't expect anything you haven't heard before. This is recommended to people who enjoy second wave black metal, French black metal, and raw rehearsal sound.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Wyrd - Unchained Heathen Wrath demo '00


Today I'm sharing another one of my all time favorite demos. I believe everybody knows this band, but in case you don't - here's short introduction: Wyrd comes from Finland, the band was formed in 1997 under the band name Hellkult and in 1998 they changed name to Wyrd. Band features members from many other well known Finnish bands such as Azaghal, Lathspell, Oath and Valar (just to name a few). Unchained Heathen Wrath is band's first demo released under the band name Wyrd, it was released in 2000 by Chanteloup Creations as a tape limited to 200 copies. It was also released as a CD by Dragonthrone Productions.

There are 7 tracks on this demo tape with total length of around 30 minutes, and the style is pretty unique mix of black/doom and raw black metal. It is kind of like a unique mix between Forgotten Woods and Ildjarn. My favorite song on this demo is third track titled Hel which sounds like some Viking black/doom metal and is one of the most memorizable songs in black metal, riffs are truly amazing with very strange singing vocals and loud, amazing bass lines. If you find yourself enjoying this song, I'd recommend you to listen to Rautavaris - their style is quite similar to this song and it's a very good Finnish black metal band.

Conclusion is - this demo has already leaked on web long ago in high quality, but I'm sharing my rip today because I really love this demo and would recommend you to listen to it.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Titan Mountain - Above Fangs of Majestic Stonetitans album '99


Titan Mountain was a Polish symphonic black metal band from Biłgoraj formed in 1995 under the band name Forest of Pride Slavs. Band changed name to Titan Mountain in 1997 and released 3 demos prior to releasing this full-length album I'm sharing today.
It's only member was Nazgrim who also played in many other very obscure Polish bands; The only band from those that I managed to find to download is death/doom band called Immortal Visions who released one demo tape in 1993 titled Aquaritia. I've listened to this demo and it's not bad.

Titan Mountain had many releases (just look at their discography on metal archives!) but the only rip that leaked on web was/is from this full-length. I tried to find more Titan Mountain material, but had no luck so far... I mean, there's Screams of Shadows demo '97 circulating the web, but that's completely fake, it's nothing but a track taken from this album. I would definitely like to hear more from this band.

This album was originally released as a tape by Nawia Productions in '99, then in 2006 it was re-released with different cover artwork as a tape limited to 200 copies by Strigoi Records, and finally it was re-released once again in 2014 as a CD limited to 500 copies by Hell is Here Production. What I have is the first press by Nawia Productions, I've no idea how limited it is because it is not hand-numbered.

There are 3 songs on side A of this tape album and those were recorded in 1999. I can't say I enjoy them because there is too much going on in music, too much keyboards and too much of very annoying programmed drums. To me it all sounds somehow exaggerated, it's like listening to two different bands at the same time, or actually more like listening to some epic black metal band while playing 90's video games - these keyboards sometimes remind me of some old video games...
The side B contains 4 songs recorded in 1997 and those are a bit better - but the drum machine is still pretty annoying. If it wasn't for those programmed drums, these 4 tracks on side B would actually be pretty good sympho black with good vocals - vocals on side B of the tape are actually pretty good and that's what I like the most about the entire album.

All in all, I'm quite disappointed with this album - it's obvious band had some potential, but it's like Nazgrim had too many ideas and decided to mix all of them together even when they don't fit. I think this would sound a lot better if it was made more simple; and I think sympho black should have good atmosphere, but this album somehow doesn't have atmophere even though there are plenty of synths. I'd recommend it if you're curious and/or would like to hear something a bit unusual.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Great Vast Forest - Where the Warriors Ride... demo '99


Great Vast Forest is atmospheric pagan black metal band formed in 1995 in Brazil and this is their third demo tape. The band is still active and they've released a compilation CD of their early work in 2015 - I'd appreciate if someone would rip it and share it on web as I've never been able to find and listen most of their early material that's on it.

The tape was bought from some Ukranian seller on Discogs months ago for pretty cheap and fair price, there are still copies left if you want to purchase one - I think it's worth the money because the band is very good and the tape looks beautiful too.

The demo is very short, there are 3 songs on it with complete length of ~12 minutes only. I'd recommend to check out this demo if you like atmospheric/pagan/melodic black metal with keyboards and if you do like it - check out Malkuth, Hecate, Songe d'Enfer and Satanaquia too because the style is quite similar.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Apoplexy / Acoasma - Golden Era split '13


Today I'm sharing something a bit unusual - a death metal split. I'm not a huge fan of the genre, as you know my favorite genres are black metal and doom metal, but I do occasionally listen to some death metal too. Even though I'm not an expert when it comes to this genre, I noticed that there used to be a very interesting scene in Slovakia in 90's with very good and underrated bands and two of those underrated obscure bands are Apoplexy and Acoasma.

Apoplexy was formed in 1993 and they've released their first demo titled Dysmorphophobia the same year, and after that they released two full-lengths: Tears of the Unborn in '95 and Monarchy of Damned in '99.
Acoasma was formed in 1994 and released 2 demo tapes in '96 - first demo was titled Eyes Full of Blood (the rip of it is still impossible for me to find), and the second demo titled Lost in Personal Hell. This split tape was released in 2013 by Slovak label Akne Productions and it contains Apoplexy's Dysmorphophobia demo '93 and Acoasma's Lost in Personal Hell demo '96.

Acoasma's side of the split is pretty good pure old school death metal: not too brutal, pretty dark, with some nice melodies here and there. There are 5 Acoasma tracks on split and complete length of all of them is 20 minutes.
Apoplexy's side of the split is better in my opinion: 7 tracks and 34 minutes of really good death metal with plenty of melodies, mid to doomy tempo. Their sound is quite unique, it's definitely not some angry brutal fast paced death metal, it's actually quite dark, atmospheric and even melancholic death metal at moments so I'd say the genre is old school death with doom/death, melodic death and atmospheric death influences. All I can say is that I really enjoy this Apoplexy's demo, it's actually one of my all time favorite death metal demos.

If you find yourself enjoying this split, I'd like to recommend a few other Slovak 90's death metal bands for you to check out: Aphranya - an obscure atmospheric death band which only released one demo in '97 titled Black Our Days, Daybreak - an excellent melodic death metal band, Decay - very unique old school death band which released one of the best demos in Slovak 90's metal underground titled The Planet of AnimalsInsepultus with their amazing old school death metal sound - really a great band worth checking out, and Amorbital - one of my personally favorite Slovak death metal bands.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Fight - United and Strong demo '94


Fight was a one-man band from Poland formed in '94 whose only member also played in North, Grom and My Infinite Kingdom and this is Fight's only demo. I've had this demo for long time and I don't remember where I bought it, but I think it was probably from Werewolf Promotion Distro.
This tape was self-released in '94 and re-released in 2000 by Majestat Nocy Promotion (the tape I own is a re-release). United and Strong is a short demo, it lasts for only 17 minutes and contains 4 songs of Polish hateful black metal.

What I like the most about this tape is the cover artwork, it's beautiful and just looking at it one might expect the music to be some sort of Pagan black or even atmospheric black/doom but it isn't - it's pretty disappointing old school raw black. The sound production is as expected, pretty silent and unclear, vocals are too loud and sound like some wolfish growls, the guitar riffs are very simple Darkthrone-worship. And the drums... what to say about that? Drums are programmed and sound like annoying loops, and make the entire demo sound like some bedroom black metal. There is really nothing about this music that makes it special. It's all too simple and too boring, and sounds like it was created and recorded the same day - it probably was, this is a rehearsal demo afterall.

I believe that the first song titled Our Fight and the third song titled My Fatherland are different rehearsal versions of the same song, because the guitar riffs are the same and there's even some sort of evil laughter near the end of both songs so they are either the same song, or just sound like that because the artist lacked inspiration.
Last track on the demo is cover of Mayhem's Freezing Moon which I'm tired of hearing because too many bands have covered it. There's a printing mistake on layout, so this song is titled The Freezing Moon instead of Freezing Moon, but that's not a big deal, I just thought I'd mention that as I really have nothing else to say about this demo.

Conclusion is - it's not a very good demo but I'd still rather listen to bands like this, simple and pure old school second wave black metal, than most new black metal music because even though it's pretty boring, when I consider this was made in '94 - it kind of makes it better.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Sphera Lunae - Lunar Empire: The Gloomy Fable demo '98


Sphera Lunae was an obscure band from Italy formed in 1997 which only ever released one demo tape before splitting up. Their style is gothic black metal. I came across this band's metal archives page many months ago while studying Italian 90's scene and thought they seem interesting so I bought the tape.

This demo tape was released by Mexican label Witchcraft Records and it is pro-tape with beautiful big, thick, glossy layout. I quite like the cover artwork, it is definitely unusual.

The music is keyboard driven melodic/symphonic black/doom with gothic atmosphere and when listening to it for the first couple of times, I didn't like it because I found it to be too melodic for my taste. But now, when listening to it again for probably fifth or sixth time, it sounds better and more enjoyable, it just took me a while to get used to how melodic this is. The entire demo only lasts for 16 minutes which is kind of sad - if this band had more material, I'd probably end up liking them.
Each of the 4 songs lasts for ~4 minutes and each song is pretty good and interesting, but I think one part of the music which just makes me not enjoy it completely are the vocals. They aren't bad, just somehow too melodic and too boring.

Sphera Lunae's vocalist was also vocalist of another very melodic Italian band called Macbeth and I can't really say that much about Macbeth as I've only ever listened to their demo tape titled Nocturnal Embrace and Sphera Lunae's vocalist wasn't present on that demo, he joined later in 2000. My opinion about Macbeth's tape is that music is too melodic for my taste: very good music but bad vocals which I somehow just can't enjoy (and there are also female vocals on Macbeth's demo which makes me like it all even less). The style of Sphera Lunae's demo and Macbeth's first demo is pretty similar (Macbeth is even more melodic and gothic than Sphera Lunae) so if you enjoy this demo I'm sharing, check out Macbeth too. If I enjoyed the vocals, this would actually be pretty good.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Centurion Centauri - Centurion Centauri is Dead demo '00


Centurion Centauri is a black metal band from France formed in 1997. It is a one-man band by person who calls himself Mist and he also played in Deviant, a band I remember enjoying. Centurion Centauri released 2 demo tapes, one full-length and a split tape with ThyLord.

Centurion Centauri is Dead demo tape was released in 2000 by Chanteloup Creations and I bought this tape years ago. Some days ago I noticed it hasn't leaked on web yet in good quality, even though the entire demo can be listened on YouTube, so I decided to rip it and share it.
It is a simple xerox cover with regular tape, and the demo is short - contains 5 songs including an intro and lasts for 20 minutes. The style is raw (boring) black metal, vocals sound like some sort of terrible noise, the drum machine can barely be heard and just adds more random noise to already noisy music, guitar riffs are simple and boring, and the bass - I can barely hear it. It's all really simple and unoriginal, and for me the demo is a disappointment. I cannot think of anything else I'd like to say so I'm going to end it here - I'm sharing this demo so people who are or might be interested in this band can listen to it, but I would not recommend it and I don't like it.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Gonfanon - Dux Bellorum demo '03


Gonfanon comes from France and plays black metal/dark ambient. It was formed in 2000 under the name Cythraul, released one demo under that name and then changed name to Gonfanon. This band is still active and so far they've released 2 splits, 1 ep and 3 demos.

Dux Bellorum is the second Gonfanon demo and it was released by Inspire Hate Records as a tape limited to 400 copies. The tape's pretty nice to have in collection, cassette is regular TDK and the layout is professionally made glossy paper printed on one side only. There are still copies available for purchasing on Discogs, in case you want one, and the price is cheap too.

First thing that's noticeable when listening to this demo is very bad production - the entire demo sounds as if it was recorded underwater. Except for that, few more things I feel like saying about this demo is that it is short - there are 5 songs on it, first and last being an intro and an outro and the entire demo lasts for only 14 minutes.

The first song which comes after the short intro is titled Camulos Horde and for some reason it reminds me of a band I love very much - Xasthur. The guitar riffs and keyboards in the background are very much like Xasthur (especially how Xasthur sounded back in early 2000's), but with worse production. The track which comes next, titled Combat, is a really nice short track, with beautiful and sad synths, I'm really enjoying this. On fourth track titled Gods Return I'm once again reminded of Xasthur (which is a good thing of course) except the vocals which are pretty hysterical.
All the tracks are keyboard driven black metal, very atmospheric and even eerie in a way. I think the entire "underwater" sound did a favour to this demo, it added to the heaviness of it all, it makes the demo more trippy and intense. Outro song contains weird chanting and beastly noises and growls and it's so weird, it's like listening to something made in some other dimension.

I don't know if I should say Gonfanon plays pagan black metal, seeing what's written on layout - that this demo is dedicated to the memory of his (artist's) Pagan ancestors, or if I should say it's atmospheric black metal because the music really is very atmospheric, or if band's style is black metal/dark ambient like metal archives say or if it's actually dungeon synth/black metal. I guess it's all of it, I just wish the demo was a bit longer. Would I recommend listening to the demo? Yeah! I'd recommend buying it, afterall it does cost only ~5€. If you enjoy dark and atmospheric (and unusual!) music, you'll enjoy this!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Mithotyn - Nidhogg demo '95


Mithotyn is a Swedish Viking/black metal band formed in 1992 under the name Cerberus and this is their third demo which was a self-released cassette. I got this tape from my friend thenecromancer, and what I have is a dub - not the original which is absolutely fine by me, because I got it very cheap while the original would probably cost me at least 25€ and I wouldn't really pay that much for this band's demo. I'm just not a fan even though I enjoy having such old demo tapes in my physical collection.

Unfortunately, the tape is dubbed pretty bad, on single channel only - sorry for that but it is what it is and I decided to share the rip of it anyway.

The demo is 23 minutes long, contains 6 songs and the style is melodic folkish Viking black, nothing too exceptional really. The sound is way too bad for me to really enjoy this, even though the music is okay. There are even some female vocals which is something I really dislike, something which made me enjoy this demo even less.
The single song I enjoy the most on this demo is second, titled In the Forest of Moonlight and I think I like it because of the very good keyboards and pretty loud, enjoable bass in the background and also pretty standard black vocals which fit the music well. The third song is 2 minutes short acoustic instrumental which is also very nice and makes a nice midtro (that's an intro that's in the middle!) to the demo. The next two songs, A Whining Winterwind and Into the Bloodshaded Horizon are both pretty good, with nice guitar melodies and at some moments all of this reminds me a bit of Meadow in Silence which isn't surprising considering the person who played guitars and keyboards in Mithotyn also played in Meadow in Silence. But I still like Meadow in Silence a lot more than early Mithotyn! The last song is the two minutes long outro titled In the Arms of Valkyries which is probably my most favorite part of this entire demo.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Nefarius - 1st Demo '95


This is the tape that I've been searching for ages and some weeks ago, someone finally decided to sell their copy on Discogs so, as soon as I saw it, I bought it. I paid 30€ + shipping for it and would do so again, I don't regret spending that much on it. I always had a feeling this band was good, and my curiosity was eating me alive for years so I'm glad to have finally listened to it and even more glad to own it, it's probably one of the most rare tapes in my entire tape collection. Nefarius only ever had this one tape and it was self-released. It is single-sided regular tape but the cover layout is quite interesting: simple piece of paper with thicker, glossy picture glued on front. I don't own any other tape that has a layout like that.

Demo is very short: it only contains 2 songs, each lasting for around 5 minutes and that's it. But the music is better than I expected. The production is pretty raw, I can personally hear and feel it's Austrian as early Austrian bands just somehow sounded like this, it's much different sound and feeling than let's say German underground black from the same era/period. First thing that I notice while listening to this is very raw guitar sound, riffs are overall melodic, even remind me of Burzum. Second thing I notice are vocals which is one thing that I got surprised by the most when it comes to this band - vocals are fucking sick! And excellent -  abyssmal yowls, cries, screams - whatever you wish to call that, it's epic, sounds almost unhuman! And there are also keyboard parts (at some moments they remind me of early Sigh from their Requiem for Fools ep which everyone into black metal should listen at some point as it's a masterpiece!). Really, both songs are perfect: both raw and primitive melodic black metal, oh how I wish there were more songs on this demo, or if at least Nefarius made any other demo because surely this is extremely enjoyable for me. I really hate it when stuff like this happens - I discover an obscure band and the band only has a couple of songs and I'm doomed to enjoy that and hunger for more for the eternity of my being! :(

Anyway, at first I wasn't even sure if I should share this rip or not. Considering how rare the thing is. But my opinion is that a tape doesn't stop being rare and hard-to-find once rip of it leaks. Even now when I've leaked it on web, it's still an obscure and unknown underground band, and a tape almost completely impossible to find for purchase. And I do enjoy sharing and writing, especially about stuff I enjoy and am interested in. So - here you go, I'm giving you my rip of Nefarius and hopefully, you'll appreciate it because it truly deserves it.

Grausamkeit/Corneus split '00, Grausamkeit/Old Pagan split '00 and Corneus - Teufelschmand demo '00


It's time to finish what I've started! Today I'm posting the rest of B.S.o.D.-related music ripped from my own collection even though I don't feel like it anymore. I mean, I did feel like listening to that music and I have listened to it A LOT these last few days, but I'm getting tired of it all...
Looking out the window, it's all sunny and warm outside, it's spring so my need for black metal got extinguished, while my hunger for doom metal keeps growing.

And now a few words about what I'm sharing today!
- Grausamkeit/Corneus is really good split and I'd recommend listening to it. I bought the tape years ago and it was released by Chanteloup Creations. The seventh Corneus track titled In the Middle Ages is listed on cover but doesn't appear on tape for some reason. Also, interesting thing to mention would be how one of the Grausamkeit's tracks is called Barbaric Rebellion Part 3 even though it's in fact Barbaric Rebellion Part 2, the same song which is first track of Grausamkeit's Seelenschwund demo. Heh, I don't know who's worse - B.S.o.D. or Chanteloup owner. They are both messy and made million mistakes while releasing through their own labels, it doesn't surprise me how Grausamkeit found Chanteloup owner and two of them worked together. Their style of work is extremely similar - simple and cheap quality, recklessness. :)
- Grausamkeit/Old Pagan split is fucking epic, both bands performed perfectly and it's very enjoyable 22 minutes short split to listen to! The tape is released by Vargulf Productions and cover's hand-numbered (my copy is 147/166).
- And finally, the Corneus demo tape titled Teufelschmand: it contains 6 songs and complete length is only 16:30 minutes. Style is more experimental than Grausamkeit but still very interesting and enjoyable, at least to me. Interesting fact: there's actually a guest vocalist present on this demo! A dog named Arko who's also credited on layout as "guest growler"! And I really do like his growls and barks, it fits music. Heheheh. I have nothing more to add about that, I mean black metal with dog as vocalist - you got to respect the originality.

Grausamkeit/Old Pagan split '00

Grausamkeit/Corneus split '00

Corneus - Teufelschmand demo '00

Friday, March 24, 2017

Grausamkeit - 5 demo tape rips


I've already written about Grausamkeit and B.S.o.D. recently when I posted and reviewed Grausamkeit's Hellgoat album and Entwertung tapes, so I see no need or point to repeat myself. I just decided to rip and share some other Grausamkeit tapes I own so here I am doing that. I've already said that I love all music B.S.o.D. made, and I enjoy all of these demos a lot and am happy to own them.
Each of these demos is very short, even for a demo, and each has that Grausamkeit trademark which is - bad production. I didn't edit anything as I wanted it all to be raw. Yes, I did edit the last Grausamkeit I posted - Hellgoat album - but that is because I had to, if I haven't done that it wouldn't even be listenable. However, unlike Hellgoat album tape, all of these 5 tapes have better sound and the music can actually be heard (instead of noise) so in my opinion editing wasn't necessary. Tapes are dubbed on pretty low volume so I ripped them on higher volume than I usually do, and that's basically the only thing I did differently while making rips this time.
Rips of all of these tapes have been circulating on web in various different bitrates, so if you're a Grausamkeit fan - chances are you've already listened to all of these, but I just wanted to share my own rips with scans and pictures.
Oh, and also in case you enjoy these tapes, grab rips of Entwertung tapes and Grausamkeit's Hellgoat full-length I posted earlier here and here. Hail Satan.

Bischmisheiman Pagan Madness demo '96

Fucking Goat Horness! demo '96

Hellgoat Promo '99

Stardust Promo '99

Seelenschwund demo '00

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Hornagest - Blask Pioruna demo '98


Today I am, once again, sharing with you rip of another one of my all time favorite tapes/demos and it is, once again, from Polish band. Hornagest was formed in 1996 in Kościerzyna, Poland and members weren't involved in many other bands, the ones they were involved with that I know of and have actually enjoyed at some point of my life would be very obscure melodic black metal band Angrenost and excellent death metal band Calvaria (I don't often enjoy death metal, but even considering that - I still must admit Calvaria is very enjoyable for me).

Hornagest only released two demos, and I've been after the first demo tape titled Z krainy zapomnienia... for many years but it was released in only 50 copies so it's very hard to get. The songs which are on this demo are also on that first Hornagest demo, but different versions of them which were (obviously) recorded in '97 and not in early '98 like Blask Pioruna demo was.

Hehe, I am starting to annoy myself writing similar stuff so many times, I really feel like I've already wrote "this is an excellent melodic black metal" million times, but I can't help it - I love melodic black and black metal Polish people created is and was more often melodic than not and that may be one of the reasons why I love that country as much as I do.

The thing is, I don't know how else to describe it without saying it's excellent or/and melodic because it is. I, once again, enjoy each and every part of this 36 minutes long demo, vocals and guitar riffs are great, and there's enough rawness in music to make me enjoy instead of cringe (yes, even though I love melodic black, I'm picky so if it's too melodic I don't like it at all). I think black metal should be brutal and extreme music, so there should always be some rawness in it if it's good, but too melodic is bad to me just like too brutal is. I have nothing against orthodox raw sounding bands like Bael for example, I enjoy that too, but raw black metal/ritual/noise and such is something which just bores me to death. Good and talented musicians will, in my opinion, almost always end up making melodic music because it is not easy/simple and it's much more of a challenge to express yourself through melodic and technical music, than to just make simple, raw black metal which basically has 2 main riffs in each song. From my perspective, intelligent and talented artists just can't help not to make their music melodic - and I do recognize the effort, time and talent behind such black metal music and that would be why I love more melodic side of black metal rather than orthodox even though orthodox is often technical too. Ah... I could go on about this for hours, but the point is - it's one of the reasons I love black metal - genre is so complex and there's at least a little bit of beauty in so many different styles while melodic is just more enjoable to me personally.

The tape was bought from Greek seller I mentioned several times before in my reviews, I paid 10€ for it and would pay even more if I had to because it's worth it. The glossy layout is colorful and pretty big with so much info, and I even got a sticker with it. The tape is regular with sticker. The shape or condition is good enough, but I can feel it's aged and I like that. I'm truly proud to have this demo tape in my physical collection and will never trade it or sell it (it's mine, my own, my preciousssss!). Hehe.

I feel time has come to end this review, I know I haven't said much even though I've wrote plenty but eh, I'm not really a philosopher, reviewer or poet so the conclusion is - this is one of the best Polish demos I've heard and I think most of people should like it. See for yourself if you enjoy it.

                      Download my tape rip (mp3@CBR320kbps + pics and scans) @ yadi.sk

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Sarkel - The Last Glory demo '98


Sarkel was Polish pagan black metal band active in mid to late 90's and The Last Glory was the only demo they officially released until recently in 2016 when a compilation CD simply titled 1994-2002 was released by Hell is Here Production. This compilation contains all Sarkel material: this demo and other previously unreleased rehearsals. Unfortunately I haven't bought this CD yet, and rip of it hasn't leaked on web either so for now we only have this demo '98 to enjoy.

The Last Glory was originally self-released as cassette in '98, and then re-released by Nawia Productions (also as a tape) in 2000. What I have is the re-release which is regular tape with pro cover. I don't like cover artwork that much, it's kind of too boring and too normal. Also, tape's not hand-numbered so I've no idea how rare it actually is. People still sell this re-release on Discogs, and the price is low so grab it if you like it!

The demo contains 8 songs and lasts for almost 31 minutes including a short intro and an outro. The music is really enjoyable mid tempo keyboard driven black metal. Single thing I like the most about this demo is how loud the bass is, I wonder if it's only me always paying so much attention to bass sound and bass lines; maybe the result of that is me thinking bass sounds louder here than on most other black metal demos - but I can hardly even notice the vocals, 80% of what my brain registers while listening to this demo are bass and keyboards. It may be because I used to, long ago, play both of those instruments, who knows?
I also can't single out anything that's bad about the demo - for me, everything is exactly on it's place.

Let's just make conclusions even though I could write about this demo for another hour, I do feel very inspired by it. So - what we have here is interesting atmospheric black metal mixed with pagan black metal and it's obvious that Sarkel had lots of potential - song structures are interesting, little bit complex and technical which makes me able to listen to this demo many times again and again without getting bored. Each instrument is very well played - especially keyboards which just proves Sarkel wasn't some forgotten band which released one boring demo with simple unoriginal music like many other bands obsure as Sarkel sometimes are... I really think there's nothing that could had been done better here, everything is very good and even though this isn't one of my all time favorite Polish demos, that's not because the demo isn't good enough but because Polish people just make so much amazing music. Recommended!

Edit: I've just found the 2016 Sarkel compilation to download in flac, I will add it to web this evening, but I won't be reviewing it on my blog. If you're registered on metalarea site, you will be able to download it from there after I add it. :)

                      Download my tape rip (mp3@CBR320kbps + pics and scans) @ yadi.sk

Thursday, March 16, 2017

De Occulta Philosophia - Obscura Simphonia demo '95


De Occulta Philosophia was a symphonic black metal band from Milan, Italy formed in 1994 and this demo is their only release. I discovered this band years ago thanks to Velkaarn's blog, I really enjoyed it and recently a seller I was ordering some other tapes from was selling this demo too and for very fair price so I just couldn't resist not buying it!

Everything about this demo and this band is just the way I like it - from the colorful cover artwork, band's funny picture on metal archives (just looking at pictures like this one makes me feel warm around my heart), also the band being obscure mid 90's Italian sympho black which in my world translates to "interesting and potentially amazing", and the music itself is just my cup of tea - it is very melodic with dominating keyboards and very good enjoyable vocals.
This tape was released by label called  Beyond... Productions as a pro cover + pro tape but it's not hand numbered so I've no idea how limited it is. I noticed that the band, on the layout, thanks to bands which inspired them: Cradle of Filth, Slayer and Rotting Christ. I do like Rotting Christ! But this demo, for me, is much more enjoyable than Cradle of Filth and I don't really get reminded that much of Cradle of Filth listening to this demo. I am reminded of Evol though, and I really love Evol. I'm even somehow reminded of legendary Mortuary Drape at some parts, which is of course a good thing!

Anyway, rip of this demo has been circulating the web thanks to brother Velkaarn, so some of you may have heard it before, and today I'm just sharing my own rip of it - afterall, I never said my blog is only about sharing demo rips that haven't leaked before, I said it's about music I enjoy and I enjoy this demo a lot. Even though the band is obscure and has only released one half-hour long demo tape, De Occulta Philosophia has a special place in my heart so I'd really recommend listening to this, especially if you enjoy melodic black metal.

                     Download my tape rip (mp3@CBR320kbps + pics and scans) @ yadi.sk

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Skoll - Through the Mist We Come Back album '99


Skoll is in my opinion one of the best Italian black metal bands. Band was formed in '94 under the name Ragnarok, changed name to Skoll in '95 and released first demo in '96. Members were involved in many other bands, you can check all of them on metal archives so I won't talk about that too much, I'll just say that from all the bands members were involved with, Huginn is my favorite and you should check that band out!

Skoll is still active and so far they've released 4 full-length albums, 3 compilations, 1 ep, 2 splits and 2 demos. What I'm sharing is their first full-length album and it was self-released as a CD and as hand-numbered tape limited to 300 copies by French Chanteloup Creations. What I have of course is the tape, and it's the usual Chanteloup tape - regular dubbed cassette and glossy cover printed on one side only. Plenty of people are still selling this tape on Discogs, and it's cheap so buy it if you enjoy it.

The rip of this first full-length hasn't leaked on web until now, and on it Skoll still sounds the way they did before they changed their style later in 2000s. Skoll now, actually for over a decade, plays viking black metal but their early style was much better in my opinion.
Whenever I listen to Skoll, I listen to old stuff from them so I'm really not an expert when it comes to their newer work as I haven't listened to it properly, maybe only once. I probably should have listened to entire discography again before writing this review but I just didn't feel like it.

The first full-length album continues and kind of completes the first demo which you must listen. Oh, ...in the Mist I Saw... demo is truly pure perfection; I've heard many good 90's demos but that one is one of those that I keep coming back to, and never get tired of. Each moment of the first demo is so good, so fucking enjoyable and interesting and so, so beautiful, the keyboards are so playful and gloomy! Seriously, listen to that demo.

There are 7 songs on this album and it (only) lasts for a bit over 30 minutes. The style is keyboard driven atmospheric dark black metal. 
Vocals are in pretty raw black metal style, mixed with some cleaner speaking parts, nothing too exceptional and too special but they fit the music very well. 
The music is what's special about this album, I haven't heard such good, dark and melodic music in long time: from programmed drums which aren't annoying or bad at all, to excellent guitar riffs and powerful and loud bass lines. I love it when bass is actually louder than guitar, and it doesn't happen often but it happened on this album and I'm glad it did.
The synths are what makes this album as good as it is, and - I know I'll probably never say this again but - synths remind of Grausamkeit. Grausamkeit is very unique band and that's mostly due to synths, and I've never really heard a band which has such similar synths to Grausamkeit as Skoll does. It's just the style of playing, the melodies, they are done the way Grausamkeit used to make. The production is, of course, much better than Grausamkeit. Except of Grausamkeit, synths also remind me of very obscure band from Brazil called Evocation which released one demo which became one of my all time favorite demos because it is extremely powerful and atmospheric.

My favorite part of the album is the last song A Vision of War Through the Mist which is too perfect to even try to describe. The combination of fast paced black metal and excellent riffs with mid-tempo atmospheric parts on synths just makes this song one of my favorite, if not the favorite, Skoll song.

The conclusion is - Skoll is a very good band, but their early material was the best by far and I really recommend listening to this album and the first demo because they are both excellent.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Lukemborg - Forau demo '97


Lukemborg was a Swedish black metal band formed in 1995, they released 3 demos before splitting-up in 1999. I'm sharing my rip of their first demo so people can listen to this band. I've also listened to other two demos and they were short but sounded okay, probably enjoyed them more than this first demo.

Forau tape I got is a dub of the original tape, so it's not an actual original like I believed when I was ordering it. The cover layout I got is good, so I scanned it and took pictures of the tape and included in the archive I'm sharing, like I normally do. The main problem is - the tape (once again) plays on one channel only, I'm sorry for that. If you have a rip of this demo which plays on both channels, please let me know.

The style is pure Swedish black metal, pretty standard and heard-before-million-times kind of black metal, but still okay and pleasant to listen to. The production is okay-ish, vocals are actually better than average, the tempo is mostly fast-paced with some slower parts, guitar parts are pretty melodic in usual Swedish 90's way, and even the bass is loud enough to be noticeable. Song structures are interesting and each song doesn't sound like the previous one which makes this an okay demo, especially if you like your black metal pure and cold.

Would I recommend this demo? Well, it's not bad, that's for sure. Is it good? Not for me, no. And it's way too short as well, only lasts for 12 minutes. It's average. It's actually exactly what I expected, it sounds the way I had predicted before I even heard it. So, basically, it's okay and that's it. Download it if you're curious and like Swedish black metal.

                       Download my tape rip (mp3@CBR320kbps + pics and scans) @ yadi.sk

Friday, March 3, 2017

My Infinite Kingdom - Ecstasies over Dreaming Lady album '95


Now, this is a band I've always loved! My Infinite Kingdom was a band from Toruń, Poland formed in 1993 and they've only released this full-length album and one rehearsal demo tape before splitting up. Members were involved in various great Polish bands such as North, Neasit, Selossed, Fight and Grom - I've listened to all of these bands many times and really love all of them.

Ecstasies over Dreaming Lady is a truly amazing album. The style is  melancholic melodic/gothic/dark black metal and this album is in my opinion important part of the Polish black metal history. If I had to compare My Infinite Kingdom's music to some bands, I'd say it reminds of Godkiller, Nidhoggr, Love Lies Bleeding and Burzum. The album is atmospheric with plenty of interesting synths and I really can't recommend this enough. It's just a very, very powerful and unique album, and one of my all time favorite albums.

                        Download my tape rip (mp3@CBR320kbps + pics and scans) @ yadi.sk

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Blood Storm - In Howls of Pain and Fury live '98


Alright, I decided to share another tape rip today. But I don't really feel inspired enough to write too many words about this tape so this review is going to be prettty short.

Blood Storm is thrash/black metal band from Pennsylvania, formed in '94 and so far they've released many, many albums and demos and various other things, their discography is pretty big but that's a good thing because this is a great band! There's nothing too special about the style of black metal they play, it's pretty standard evil black thrash, pretty old school and pure. Blood Storm is one of the bands I really love - the band really has charisma, and is (in my opinion) one of the best bands, if not the best, of this subgenre from United States.

The band released their first demo in '95, second demo in '96 and first full-length album in '97 and this tape rip I'm sharing contains their Milwaukee Metal Fest live concert from '97 on which they, of course, performed their early songs.

The demo is short, lasts for 24 minutes and contains 4 songs. First song is titled Iron Flames of Battle and this song was on their first full-length album The Atlantean Wardragon. Second song is Crypts of Sorcery which was released on their '97 demo Death by the Stormwizard, third song is Yuggothian Slavers which appears both on their second demo and first full-length album. Finally, last song is Destroyer from their first demo '95 which was also on band's first full-length.

The tape was released by Chanteloup Creations so it looks very simple, just photocopied paper for cover and dubbed single-sided tape. The sound is not very good, it sounds like it was recorded with a potato but it's still pretty enjoyable for me.

I think Blood Storm is one of the cult American bands, and everyone who loves black metal should know about them so I'd say - check them out if you aren't familiar with the band already, and if you are - well, this is the first time this tape rip is on web so it's something new (or should I say "unheard before"?) from Blood Storm for you to enjoy!

                      Download my tape rip (mp3@CBR320kbps + pics and scans) @ yadi.sk

Eclipse - Promotape '96


Long time ago I had a phase of studying German 90's black metal and one of the bands I discovered back then was Sorcerer, an obscure raw melodic black metal band from Würzburg, Bavaria formed in '92. They only released a couple of rehearsal demo tapes and then in '96 changed name to Eclipse, released this demo and as far as I know, that's the last thing they made. Some members were also involved in Ungod, Baxaxaxa, Pestnebel and Morke.

Years ago, after listening to Sorcerer demo, I managed to find Eclipse demo rip somewhere (can't remember where) and seeing that brother Velkaarn also desired to hear this demo, I sent the rip to him and he reviewed it and shared the rip on his blog.

Recently when I was getting tapes from my Italian friend thenecromancer I noticed he had this demo so I got it from him, I'm just not sure if this tape I got is a dub of demo or an actual original demo - considering 4 songs are on side A and the last, fifth, song is on side B, I'd say it could be a dub but who knows. Tape was self-released so it's possible it was originally made like that by the band. I don't really care if it's a dub or not, the sound is excellent and plays on both channels like a proper original tape should (not like my Ceremony and Carpathian Forest dubs).

This demo lasts for 26 minutes and it's very good, melodic and even gothic. Compared to Sorcerer's demo '94, music is much more melodic even though Sorcerer was pretty melodic too, just not in the gothic or atmospheric way like Eclipse is, more like in raw and epic way. I can't say which demo I prefer or like more: Sorcerer's Finsterland or Eclipse's Promotape '96 - they are so different and both great!

Anyway, even though the demo feels pretty short especially considering most of it are ambience and samples combined with atmospheric synths, I really enjoy it and would highly recommend you to listen to it. Great demo!

                      Download my tape rip (mp3@CBR320kbps + pics and scans) @ yadi.sk

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Ceremony - Ceremony (Black Spells in a Dark Forest) demo '93


Ceremony was the first ever black metal band from Texas that played European style 90's black metal. This band is a true obscurity but I think it should be better known because they are important part of the history of black metal. They only released two demos, first one was Promo '93 demo tape, the rip of it never leaked on web and I'm pretty sure it's impossible to buy original, it's probably almost impossible even to find a dub of it, at least for me. Later in 1993 band released their second demo titled Ceremony (Black Spells in a Dark Forest) and for long time it's been their final release, but recently a CD compilation was released by Winter Solace Productions titled Ceremony of the Goat 1992-1994 and it contains all of their material (demos, promos and unreleased stuff). I've been meaning to buy this CD and I will someday soon, it's just lately I've had so much priorities to order and not enough money. I really can't wait to someday finally listen to this CD compilation, I am a fan of this band, but for now I just can't order it as I'm saving money to order some CDs from Hollow Myths.

What I'm sharing today isn't a true rip of their '93 demo, but a rip of a dubbed tape. Unfortunately, the dub is only recorded on one channel so the sound isn't too good, but it's acceptable. Also, the volume the tape is dubbed at is extremely low so I ripped this on highest possible volume and it's still not very loud.
My friend thenecromancer sent this dub to me, and it included the photocopied cover too so I scanned that and included in archive I uploaded. I can't really complain about owning a dub of the original demo tape instead of the real thing because the real demo would probably be very hard to get, and extremely expensive too.

Anyway, what we have here is a demo which contains 5 songs and only lasts for 18 minutes. The style is cold, grim black metal which resembles Scandinavian 90's black. Actually, you can read a very good review on metal archives here. The demo is really excellent in my opinion, highly enjoyable and if you like true & pure black metal, honest and dirty like it was done in the 90's you should check it out! To me it's just so surprising and impressive that this demo sounds the way it does considering it was made in '93, I'd expect it was recorded in '96 at least - the band really had potential and were ahead of their time which only makes this demo a must-have for all fans of true black metal. Recommended!

                         Download my tape rip (mp3@CBR320kbps + pics and scans) @ yadi.sk

Friday, February 24, 2017

Fortision - Fortision demo '98


Fortision was a Polish underground black metal band active in the late 90's and early '00s. The band probably split up sometime around 2003, maybe 2004. Some members were/are also involved in some other bands such as Holy DeathCaedes Castus and Anima Damnata.
The band only released two demos, the self-titled first demo in '98 and a short demo titled There's No God Except Me in 2000.

I bought this demo years ago from Polish Werewolf Promotion and it's still in stock, cheap too, in case you want to buy it for yourself. It was released by small label called Evil Crow which, as far as I know, only releaed this tape and Shemhamforash demo tape '98.

I'm not sure if I agree with metal archives that this band plays black/thrash metal - I guess one can hear thrash influences in most black metal if one tries hard enough... but to me it sounds like gothic black metal (with maybe some pagan black metal parts?) and I think I wouldn't be wrong if I called this dark black metal. The genre doesn't really matter, what matters is if it's good music or not - and I think it's excellent music, very melancholic too.

Lately, I don't know why, but it started to feel wrong comparing a band to some other bands. There's really no point, even though it probably should be a part of any album review, but I'm not writing for metal archives, I'm writing for me so - things like comparison and categorization/defining the subgenre don't matter that much. What matters is that this is another forgotten Polish gem, obscurity which should be better known. The guitar riffs are memorizable and well thought out, the vocals are really nothing too special but they fit the music, and there are plenty of slow atmospheric ambient/acoustic parts... hey, I just remembered which band I can compare Fortision to! Polish obscurity Empiria, their first rehearsal to be more precise, it's very similar! :) I love Empiria, so if you find yourself enjoying Fortision demo I'm sharing - you should definitely check out Empiria too!

                     Download my tape rip (mp3@CBR320kbps + pics and scans) @ yadi.sk

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Goat Prayers / Dethroned Christ - We are the Fist in the Face of God split tape '97


Dethroned Christ is a black metal band formed in Brazil in 1993 under the name Ethan. They released one rehearsal demo tape under that name and then in 1994 the band changed name to Dethroned Christ. So far, they've released 2 demos, 2 splits, 2 full-lengths and one compilation album. The band is still active.

Goat Prayers was, according to metal archives, formed in '92, but this split is their first official release. After this split, the band has released 2 demos, 2 splits and a best of/compilation album. The compilation was released in 2010, and even though the band hasn't released anything else since then, they are still active. I hope someday they'll make more music because it's a great band!

We are the Fist in the Face of God split tape was released in '97 and (according to metal archives) it was also re-released in 2000. There's something curious and confusing about it - Discogs say this tape was released by Southern Productions and that is correct because I have a copy which was released by them, but there is also a guy selling this tape on Discogs who says his copy has green cover instead of black & white and yeah, there's a green cover on metal archives (which isn't even shaped as a tape cover which only makes it even more strange)... what I don't know for sure is if the green cover version was the one that was released by Godless Records? I mean, most likely it is, but which is the original from '97 - black & white cover released by Southern Productions or the green version by Godless Records? I really can't say that for sure.

I bought my tape from guy from Funere Infebri, so I think what I own is probably the first press from '97 because he sells a lot of rare first press stuff. Also, the tape looks and feels ancient. I'm not saying it's in bad shape, it's not, but - I can just feel that it is very, very old, it even has very strong smell of old paper and the layout is so wrinkled that it could fall apart soon if I don't take good care of it, which I will. It's not bad, I'm very satisfied with the condition of my copy, but layout is just so worn out, especially around the corners. The tape is regular BASF and there's Goat Prayers material on side A and Dethroned Christ on side B.

And now a few words about the music - Goat Prayers is raw melodic/atmospheric black metal with very good guitar riffs and keyboard parts. It is, in my opinion, one of the best bands from Brazil. Their music has excellent dark atmosphere and this is what pure black metal is for me, it doesn't need to be brutal and angry to feel exactly right. The vocals are pretty weird, maybe even funny at some parts but I like them.

I also feel like mentioning that each band made a cover of one Bathory song: Goat Prayers made a cover of 13 Candles, and Dethroned Christ covered In Conspiracy with Satan. That's excellent, I love Bathory so it really made this split even better for me.

The entire tape lasts for 40 minutes and there are 4 tracks from Goat Prayers and 5 tracks from Dethroned Christ. I enjoy both bands as I love old Brazilian stuff, especially these two bands which are not a new discovery for me - I've been a fan of them for years. If I have to pick which side of the tape I enjoy more, it would be side A with Goat Prayers material on it, it's really excellent, especially the long first song titled A Real Nightmare Beyond This Eternal Darkness which lasts for almost 10 minutes and feels very epic and atmospheric.

Enough words for now, recommended! I think this split shows perfectly why Brazilian 90's black metal scene is one of the best black metal scenes ever.

                        Download my tape rip (mp3@CBR320kbps + pics and scans) @ yadi.sk