Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Grausamkeit - Hellgoat album '00

Grausamkeit is my favorite German black metal band. I love many German black metal bands, German scene is and always was one of my favorite scenes, but Grausamkeit has, with time, become my favorite German band of all time. I don't normally like bands with big discographies, I prefer bands who only released a couple of demos or full-lengths - don't ask me why, it's just always been like this; And, even though Grausamkeit has so many material released, I still can never get enough of it. I just worship this band, and everything B.S.o.D. ever created. I think he is one of the most talented people in black metal, and whatever he makes is unique and interesting to me. There were always many rumors and a lot of mystery surrounding Grausamkeit and B.S.o.D. - I remember at one point people even believed he died. I don't really care for such things, what I am interested in is the music - and I think it's a fact that this man makes fucking excellent music. Perhaps Grausamkeit is one of those bands that people either love and worship, or dislike - maybe even hate. I am one of the Grausamkeit/B.S.o.D. worshippers and I really believe if you don't enjoy or at least appreciate Grausamkeit, there's something wrong with you or you didn't even give it a real chance.

I remember when I first discovered Grausamkeit many years ago, I had pretty negative (and lazy) attitude about it, I remember thinking "oh, it's one of those boring kvlt bands that so many people like for no reason, it's overrated shit that's only popular because of the bullshit B.S.o.D. did and rumors and mysteries surrounding it". Yep, I was one of those people. I don't even remember anymore when I started liking Grausamkeit, but now - it's one of my most favorite bands. If somebody asked me which 5 band's music would I take to desert island on which I'll be trapped for years or maybe for the rest of my life, Grausamkeit would be one of the 5 bands. The other 4 would probably be Veles, Forgotten Woods, Summoning and Beherit.

Hellgoat album was released both as a CD by Dominance of Darkness Records, and as a tape by Chanteloup Creations. Chanteloup tapes are my personal fetish, I don't think I can explain why; Chanteloup tapes are very old school and poorly made, you just get a xeroxed cover and a regular tape (sometimes black tape) and that's it, all very simple-looking. But the thing is, I don't think Chanteloup ever released a bad album, all the Chanteloup releases are excellent above average black metal or dark ambient, often very unique - so maybe that's the reason. When something was released by Chanteloup - to me it means it's good music. I started collecting Chanteloup tapes years ago, I don't even know anymore how many of them I have in my collection now but not as many as I will have with time. Maybe I love Chanteloup because it's kind of like my personal life philosophy, everything very simple but with good content. Also, most Chanteloup tapes are pretty cheap - so that's another bonus, because I don't really make much money. :)

I've had this tape for so many years that I no longer remember when I bought it or who I bought it from. I always thought this is the demo version for some reason, and today I felt like ripping something short so I saw that Hellgoat demo only lasts for 15 minutes and thought why not rip that. Boy, was I surprised when I saw there are actually 9 tracks on this! I talked to one of my best friends (another B.S.o.D. worshipper) about it, and he made me realize that what I have is a full-length which hasn't even leaked on web until now. Yeah, that made me feel pretty stupid and happy too, because as I said I've always thought this tape I have is the Hellgoat demo I've listened to on my PC milions of times so I never properly listened to this full-length before.

What we have here are 9 tracks including intro and outro. Most of these tracks have previoulsy appeared on other releases but in different versions. Abyss of Filth, Resurrection of War and Hellgoat appeared on the Hellgoat promo demo '99, Satanic Pestering and Ewiger Holokaust both appeared on the split with Blod Besvimelse (which is his ex-wife's band, R.I.P), Unendlichkeit der Depressionen was the last track on '97 demo Angeldestruction, and Vergebliches Leben seems to be a new track for this album because I don't see any track with that name in the rest of the Grausamkeit discography. It could be some old track which previously had different title, but to me this song doesn't sound familiar.

I don't really know how to review this album. I love it and it's typical Grausamkeit goodness. I don't feel like I need to describe it really, the style is like the rest of Grausamkeit material, but unique in its own way like every Grausamkeit release is. What I do have to mention is that even though Hellgoat is a full-length album, it only lasts for 24 minutes, like a demo. Another thing I have to mention is that the tape is recorded on extremely low volume and the production is bad, there's even a mention of it on metal archives in additional info of the album. When I say bad - I mean the worst I've ever heard. I had to make my good friend Ravengod play with the sound to make it even sound listenable - thank you for doing it, Ravengod, you did a great job! If you're interested in hearing the tape rip raw as it was before we made it sound a little bit cleaner, let me know in comments and I can upload that for you - but believe me, it sounded very bad.

Compared to the other Grausamkeit demos, I wouldn't say this is the best but I find that's a matter of personal taste. It's not easy to pick a favorite Grausamkeit demo, for me it's Pink Green 666. I don't really feel I should compare it to other demos because this is more of a compilation which only lasts as short as a demo would, even though the tracks were re-recorded specially for this album. I also can't compare it to other Grausamkeit compilations because each of them has length of over an hour.

I also think it's funny how metal archives categorize Grausamkeit's music as black metal/ambient. I don't know if I agree with that, for me Grausamkeit is lo-fi raw melodic black metal.

Well, I have nothing more to say about it. If you're a fan of Grausamkeit, you'll enjoy it. If you're not, then I don't know what's wrong with you.

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

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Hegemoon - Bogobójca EP '16

I was recently ordering from Polish label Putrid Cult, saw they're selling this and decided to buy it. It's a limited pro-tape, and the price was very cheap, and as I love all things Polish - I thought why not buying it?

Hegemoon is Polish pagan black metal band formed in 2000 and so far they've released 2 full-length albums, 4 splits, 1 promo demo and this EP which was released as a split CD with Neoheresy, and as a cassette EP. The tape is nice, pro cover + pro tape, it was released by Polish label Total War and limited to 55 copies. The EP contains 5 tracks and lasts for 23 minutes.

I've been listening to quite a lot of Hegemoon today because I wanted to see if this EP is better or worse compared to the rest of their material, and I also wanted to see if maybe there's a reason why I'm not a big fan of this band. I hoped maybe I'll like Hegemoon a bit more after I listen to them for a couple of hours. So, let me try to express my opinion about it all.

The music Hegemoon makes is pretty typical fast paced melodic black metal. I feel like I've heard bands who sound like Hegemoon too many times, it's really nothing original or interesting. I mean, it's a good band but their music is just a bit too boring to me.
Which band would I compare Hegemoon's music to? I really don't know, first band that comes to mind is Arkona, and I guess I could compare them with many other pretty standard fast paced melodic/pagan black metal bands, but usually when a band sounds so standard and heard-before, I just forget I even listened to them so I can't even remember which other bands I'd compare this to. I could probably compare them with Besatt - I get equally bored listening to both bands.

The music on EP is maybe a bit better than the rest of the discography, everything is tiny bit more melodic and the bass is louder than on other albums. It's a good EP if you just want to listen to some standard Polish pagan black metal, or if you're a fan of this band. I personally don't like it or dislike it, for me it's just "meh".

That's all I have to say about this EP. I'd say - listen to it and you'll probably enjoy it. I enjoyed it, I'm just not impressed enough to write a very long review about it.

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

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Nordwind - Walk to the Woods demo '96

Nordwind was a melodic black metal band from Germany. They released 3 demos prior to changing their name to Nocti Vagus, then they released a full-length album (as Nocti Vagus) in '98 and never anything else under that name. There is also a Nordwind compilation released as a vinyl and as a CD which includes their first demo '96 (this one) and their third demo '98.

The members of Nordwind are quite famous for their work with other black metal bands, such as Graven, Korgonthurus, Horna, Die Pest and Nordlys, Totenreich and Vargsang (just to name a few that I like, they were involved with some other bands too).

This demo contains 7 songs, 3 of them being an intro, an outro and an interlude song in the middle of the demo. The entire demo is very short, only lasts for 20 minutes. The outro track is really good and reminds me a bit of Burzum's Tuistos Herz from Hliðskjálf album, and a bit of Nokturnal Mortum on their Twilightfall demo - not on any track specifically, it just sounds to me like something that would fit well on that demo. The intro track is more like something you'd expect from old Dimmu Borgir. The short song in the middle of the demo is called Dark Dream (hehe, Veles has a song with very similar name, not that it matters) which is like an interlude into the second part of the demo, just keyboards and I like it a lot. This song is very cold and winterly...

...Does it mean this isn't symphonic black/doom as I thought but black metal/ambient? I think it's atmospheric black metal even though it's probably all of it.

The entire demo is very atmospheric and relaxing. I'd say the style of this demo is melancholic black/doom. It reminds me of two bands, first of them being Nagelfar, and the other is much newer band but the music is just so similar - Balnasar. I fucking love Nagelfar, and I think Balnasar is pretty damn good too so obviously - I'm really enjoying this Nordwind demo. It's basically just symphonic synths everywhere combined with melodic guitars, with bass and drums that simply follow it appropriately. Well, to be honest, the bass parts are much better than I gave them credit for in last sentence, actually every instrument is played very well on this demo. Except for Nagelfar and Balnasar, this band reminds me very much of Crimson Evenfall too.

I don't like depressive black metal, but I do think this could be considered true depressive atmospheric black.
The vocals - I don't really like them. I mean, they're fine but very Moonbloody and vocals like that fit better in some grim black which is more raw than this. If I could change one thing on this demo, it would be the vocals - they just sound somehow empty and boring. The vocals that I'd love to hear with this music would be much more honest and interesting and emotional - I'd love to hear burzum-like weepings combined with speaking in deep voice, some whispering and yelling out of despair, helplessness and frustration. Eh, I'm pretty sure I've just described what Nagelfar sounds like. :)
Maybe it's good this band has it's own sound, even if I think vocals don't fit in perfectly (but - they fit in well enough!). I still can't decide if I like Nocti Vagus vocals more than this - maybe I dislike both of them, but they both fit the music well, it's just a matter of my personal pickiness.

I didn't buy this demo yet, unfortunately. I would but it's fucking extremely expensive!! One guy on discogs is selling it for 35€, and the only other guy on discogs who's selling it wants 39€ for it. I really think that's too much money for 20 minutes of music, even if the music is great. Next time I buy an expensive tape, it won't be this one - I'll rather buy the legendary Nagelfar demo Jagd for 22€; It's cheaper, and better (to me at least). I do plan to buy it someday, but who knows when that'll happen.
I have a source rip of it in best quality though, and after noticing there's only low bitrate version of it on web, I decided to share what I have. So - no pictures or scans this time (except for the picture which is on discogs), sorry.

The demo is very good and I like it so I would definitely recommend it to you, especially if you like German black, black/doom and keyboards.

                                              Download mp3@CBR320kbps from yadi.sk

Mind as Mine - Author of Your Dreams demo '97

A couple of years ago, I got my hands on very underground and obscure Various Artists compilation that included several bands from Iceland. I can no longer remember how or why I downloaded it on Soulseek, I'm going to take a guess and say it was because I was downloading all the Sólstafir that I could find. I fell completely in love with that compilation (back then it wasn't even listed on metal archives)! I listened to it over and over again, it really impressed me and, up to this day, it stayed one of my all time favorite Various Artists compilations. I tried to find all the demos from bands on this compilation, and with time I managed to find Mind as Mine demo in VBR quality - and I liked it, so recently - I bought the tape.

Mind as Mine was formed in '95, the line-up of this band is unknown - all that's known is that the vocalist was Sólstafir and Potentiam drummer Gummi who also had one-man band called Hólókaust 2001. I really don't know what to say about the label which released this demo - it says on metal archives that all Mind as Mine releases was self-released, and it says on Discogs this tape was released by label called Deep Cave Communications. I also noticed that on discogs this is the only release by this label. I think the case here is - this label was led by Solstafir drummer, and he self-released it through his label. It seems likely, because I don't think there were two pressings of this demo tape. Or maybe this label was led by one of his friends? I wonder if Deep Cave Communications ever released anything else. Who knows.

Anyway, Mind as Mine only ever released two demo tapes: Author of Your Dreams in '97 and I Am God Now in '99. Two out of three songs from their first demo appeared on the Various Artists compilation - but in completely different versions.

Author of Your Dreams lasts for a bit over 20 minutes. The music on this demo is unique, I can say I've never really listened to a band that sounds like this. It draws elements from dark/melancholic doom metal, melodic death metal, some black/doom metal and some depressive rock. As for the genre, I'd say it's a mix of melodic death/doom and black/doom metal.

This demo is so strange. It's strange how guitar parts here just follow the bass, and the bass guitar is responsable for the melody. The guitar sound is so weird, it's almost like some sort of noise that completes the music - sort of takes the role of keyboards, if you think about it. I mean, the guitar sounds like some sort of rustle. Don't get me wrong, it's not like that on all songs, there are some very nice guitar melodies here too, but also plenty of bass guitar melodies.

Oh, and the vocals are so strange too! I don't even know how to describe them - maybe if I say that it sounds like some guy speaking and yelling with some sort of microphone effects? I don't really like the vocals but I have to say they somehow fit perfectly with the music. The mood is melancholic and nostalgic, sad and peaceful.

As you can see on my scans, the layout has lyrics on them. I've read them and these are some of the best lyrics I've ever read. No Satanic stuff here, as metal archives say - lyrical themes are philosophy. The lyrics are wise and personal, dreamy and deep. I am more impressed by Mind as Mine than I can put into words. Such an obscure and unknown band, yet - such divineness!

The conclusion is - this is one of my all time favorite demos. It is melodic, it has character, it is personal, emotional and deep. It sounds unique. There's a lot of talent behind it, a lot of mystery too. I truly respect this demo and I hope to someday find the second Mind as Mine demo too. And I just don't know to whom would I recommend it - all I'm going to say is that if you're expecting some grim, hateful black - just skip this. I guess I can say I would recommend this demo to open minded and curious, and to people who enjoy melodic and melancholic doom/death metal and doom/black

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

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Norns - Pazuzu EP '16

Norns is an excellent band from Finland formed in 2005. So far they have released a demo '05 called In Fog They Appear, split with Kathaarian called Satanic Mentality in 2007, and this Pazuzu EP last year. The band members are quite famous for their work in some other great bands - the mastermind behind Norns is Behemoth from Aske, he was also bassist of Azazel and Vornat; the other Norns members also play in pretty good Finnish black band called Nattfog. Norns style can be described as pretty typical Finnish pure black - which means mid tempo with excellent melodic guitar  riffs in vein of Kadotus, Warloghe, Satanic Warmaster and Vornat.

I discovered Norns probably 10 years ago, I managed to get In Fog They Appear demo and I fell in love with it, it's still one of my all time favorite demos. Few months ago when I saw Norns had finally released new material, I had to buy it and was so excited to finally hear it.

Pazuzu was recorded in 2015, released as a CD limited to 500 copies by Deviant Records and as a cassette limited to 150 copies by German label Penetration Hammer in 2016. I ordered the tape directly from Penetration Hammer month ago, and to my surprise I even got one tape for free for no reason - Stygian Temple album '16! Thank you very much for sending me that tape for free, good Sir.
I have to say this German label makes such good high quality tapes - both tapes that I've received have beautiful glossy layout and the tapes are black and professionally made without sticker, but with band logos printed on them. I really love tapes like these!!

This EP is pretty short, 19 minutes divided into 4 tracks. There's no intro or outro, just 4 songs that last 4-5 minutes each. I am not going to describe each song, even though each song is very unique; The best part about it are the guitar riffs which are so damn good and I'd dare to say what we have here are 4 melancholic true black metal hymns.
My favorite song on this short EP is second track Pazuzu which reminds me so much of Absurd's song Werewolf! The riffs at beginning of the song are so similar! This song is so good, it's just perfect! Actually, it is hard to even pick a favorite song on this short EP as each of them is perfect - I really haven't listened to such good demo/EP from the ones that were recently released.

I expected it to be good, but it's even better than I hoped it will be. I love the new Aske demo Vuohi, but this is just better than it, if those two can even compare - maybe I should not compare the two because the mood on Aske is very evil, and the mood on Pazuzu is very nostalgic and melancholic. Actually, both demos are equally good - first few times when I listened to Aske demo I really loved it, but the more I listen to it the more and more I love it, it's an excellent demo as well.

I am just glad I bought this demo! It is one of those albums that can be listened many times over and over, sort of like Diaboli's Mesmerized by Darkness, and each song is so good that it's hard to pick the best song, I just keep changing my mind the more I listen to it. If Norns first demo wasn't so damn good, I'd say this is their best work so far. But I can't decide which of the two I enjoy more - I like how long the songs are on In Fog They Appear, but I also feel that the shorter songs on this EP are exactly as they should be - it wouldn't feel right if they were any longer than they are.

I'm just going to say it: this could be the best short album (demo or EP) released in 2016. It's just too perfect and now I love Norns even more. What a band! This is why I love black metal, this is why I live for it, this is just... wow!!!

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

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Ancient Sign Glorify - Thy Unholy Celebration demo '95

I was going to post something Finnish today, but I've decided to post this demo instead. Afterall, I did make a mention of it in my previous post so I think it's appropriate.

Ancient Sign Glorify was a very obscure, underrated and forgotten band from Brazil which only ever released a couple of demos: the live tape '95 called Live in Garage which I desperately want to find (but had no luck so far), this demo and the '97 demo simply called Hail Satan.

I discovered this band years ago, when I had a phase of studying Brazilian 90's underground black bands and it's been one of my favorite bands ever since.

As I mentioned in my last post, I ordered this demo from Drakkar. I was very surprised to see they sell this, as I've never seen it anywhere else - it's not even on Discogs. I just had to buy it, and I'm happy to have bough it not only for fair price (I don't think the price is fair to be completely honest), but fucking cheap - I paid 5€ for it! Only 5€! I think Drakkar boss doesn't know how precious and obscure this demo is; The fair price would be 15€ at least! This is a true rarity! I've also mentioned the tape wasn't in best shape, even if it works properly. I'll tell you more about the problem. Maybe it's easier if I show you.
The tape layout was like this when I got it, and also if you enlarge the picture you'll see the tape sticker says this is Ancient Sing Glorify :)
I don't really know what to think. If you look at metal archives you'll see what I mean. There's a different version of it on archives with black & white cover and more tracks... Anyway, I got what I got and I hope you'll enjoy it.
I was going to share with you rip I've already made days ago, but now after listening to it again I came to conclusion it's ripped on very low volume and I don't like it so I'm ripping it again as I'm writing this.

Anyway, important thing to say here is that even though there are 4 tracks listed on metal archives, there are only 2 tracks on my tape. And I have a friend from France who knows many things about Drakkar and I've told him about this tape and he said Drakkar boss is famous for making bootlegs, and for releasing tapes without band's permission. My friend said the same thing happened to him with Drakkar tapes, and he even confronted Drakkar about it and Drakkar just had nothing to say about it. I don't think it's ok to rip demos from one's personal collection and to make tapes with new cover artwork out of it and sell those...

But you know what? Whatever the case is, I don't want to be negative. The tape is what it is! I accepted it, and so should you! I tried to make the best rip of it that I could, and I've included scan and pictures too. And I don't know what's the truth - did this demo have 4 songs or 2 as I have on my tape? Did it have black & white cover or did it have the cover as I got with my tape? I can't know that but I can tell you what I believe. I believe Drakkar boss had this demo in his collection, complete or incomplete - I can't say for sure, and he made a tape out of it with new cover artwork. I have a strong feeling Drakkar boss doesn't know Ancient Sign Glorify members, and those people perhaps don't know their tape came out and is in stock of some distro with a very different cover artwork. I can't prove it, as I can't get the '95 tape directly from the band. So it's just going to stay a theory and my personal hunch.

Ahhh this is once again getting to be way longer review than what I had planned. And I haven't even said anything about the genre yet! I'd say this is pure unholy 90's black, very good and with a lot of potential. The two tracks last a little bit less than 9 minutes, there's no intro that appears on the low bitrate version of this demo that's listed on metal archives and that was previously available for downloading on web and p2p applications which is a shame because I love that intro. But it's okay, because the same intro appears on Hail Satan demo. Both tracks on demo last a bit longer than 4 minutes, they both have pretty catchy riffs - guitar is dominating, but I like how the bass can also be heard very well which is not always the case with black metal. Tempo is mid to (s)low, just like pure black should be. Vocals are awesome, evil-sounding and grim.

Sorry for not making another post today as I had planned, I guess you'll have to wait for it for few more days. I just don't want to force myself to do anything, it should all come naturally. Quality over quantity. This demo is excellent and recommended, I love it!

Update: I was contacted by Ancient Sign Glorify vocalist and he explained that this demo tape that I ripped and posted is the second version, a re-release of the first demo which was recorded in December '94. First press version contained Intro + 3 songs and had black & white cover layout; This demo was also re-released once again, for the third time, this time titled Hail Satan. Also, Live in Garage tape mentioned on metal archives that I was looking for is on youtube, you can listen to it here.

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

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Nocturnal Prophecy - Murderous Ancestral Ritual demo '02

Today is the day for some evil, dirty black! Yesterday I have started listening to Blood Storm discography, a very interesting band from United States. And then in the middle of listening their first demos, I got the urge to listen to some old Absu (well, not early death metal Absu, I felt like listening to The Third Storm of Cythrául). After that I was curious and started listening to Bloody Harvest, but couldn't finish listening to it because it pretty much sucked and it made me want to listen to Moonblood. Before I even started listening to some old Moonblood, I had another urge - for some old Skyforger. And all this listening session did to me, is that it reminded me how much I've missed listening to brutal, grim black. Lately, I ended up really prefering melodic black, and all of it's subgenres and mid to low tempo black. And I ended up just listening to such bands. And after all of this, I have to say Nocturnal Prophecy really reminded me how much I've been missing fast brutal angry evil black.

Nocturnal Prophecy is a band from France, formed in 1998. So far, they've released 2 demos. According to metal archives, the band is still active so maybe they'll release more in future. First demo was released in '99 and is pretty short, 20 minutes of fast hateful raw black, and the cover artwork is most likely one of the most overused covers in history of black. Second demo, this one I'm posting today, was released in 2002 and prior to this, never even leaked digitally on web. Also, I think it's maybe worth mentioning that band members (according to metal archives) weren't in any other bands, except for the drummer who also played in Anwynn, another French band I like. Anwynn was pretty good.
Ok, so lets finally get to the main subject here which is Murderous Ancestral Ritual demo. First of all, why did I buy it and how have I discovered it? Well, I was spying on what people are selling on Discogs few weeks ago, and came across it. To be honest, I've never even heard of this band prior to this happening. I saw this tape on sale on Discogs and I also saw that one of my closest friends, EmptinessCycle, has it in his Discogs wishlist. Then, I went to see if it's perhaps on metalarea, so I can download it and listen to it and - only their first demo was there, but I saw few of my Russian friends really loved the first demo so I added this demo to my Discogs wishlist. And after some time, I was ordering stuff from Drakkar, and saw they have this tape in stock so I thought why not buying it too, with the other tapes I bought from them? So I did.
I have to say Drakkar is pretty good seller, I'm satisfied. The prices of tapes are on spot, 5€ no matter how old, or how new, or how limited, pro or regular tape. The ordering process is painless - I didn't even need to spend days exchanging emails with sellers like it usually goes, it was all very simple and pleasant experience. My package arrived very fast, in couple of days and the only problem with it was that my Ancient Sign Glorify demo I ordered wasn't in best shape. You'll see that when I make a post about this legendary Brazilian band soon. The tape works fine, but the cover layout and sticker on tape is confusing and in pretty weird condition. Nonetheless, I'd recommend Drakkar as a good seller.

I've listened to Nocturnal Prophecy's first demo, the low bitrate version that I was able to find and download, and it sounded great, maybe only a bit too loud, especially compared to my rip. I think my rip of the second demo that I'm sharing now is satisfying enough, even with the bad ripping equipment that I currently have, but it's ripped on much lower volume than the first demo.

This demo is not as brutal and as angry as the first demo was, which I really like. It's still mid tempo to high tempo raw black, pretty standard for the genre. The vocals are great, the riffs are great, the bass is pretty noticeable and loud which I really enjoy. The drums are also very very good - that's one skilled drummer right there! I don't really feel the need to compare the sound of Nocturnal Prophecy on this demo with other bands as it's so typical and standard, I could compare it to too many bands. What's important is that it's good. Or it's not, it's evil. Which is good. :)

So, the conclusion is that I'm enjoying this, it's very good, and I'm glad to have this tape. But I'm not impressed enough to think of Nocturnal Prophecy as one of my all time favorite bands. It is good enough to consider them as one of the good underrated 90's black bands. The demo doesn't sound like it was made in 2002 to me, it sounds more like it was made in the very late 90's. And when it comes to this specific subgenre, I'd say it's a bit better than average. So this is recommended to people who enjoy raw black and pure black metal and French scene and of course, second wave/90's stuff.

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

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Skapt av Skog - Skapt av skog EP '13

It's time for some obscure Norwegian black metal! Skapt av Skog were a band from Norway, active in the mid 90's and they only ever recorded one short demo/EP. This demo was circulating the scene, but was never officially released. Fallen Temple released their material (which was recorded back in '96) as a MCD in 2013 - I'm really not sure if it was with of without band's permission. Before Fallen Temple released it, this band wasn't even listed on metal archives. As I'm not sure if Skapt av Skog gave permission to Fallen Temple to release their material, I can't really say if this is a proper EP or maybe a bootleg?

Anyhow, I was recently ordering stuff from some distro and saw they have this CD in stock so I grabbed it and decided to share it with you guys, including pics and scans.

What we have here is typical Norwegian 90's black, nothing too special really. The production is very good, and I like the bass lines - they are pretty noticeable. To be honest, it's been years since I've properly listened to Norwegian bands. I used to listen to them a lot, but then I started studying other scenes and somehow I just ended up not listening to Nowegian bands anymore. They are great and all, especially when I feel nostalgic... and they do have this special sound, but I just somehow got bored of it with time and currently I'm more focused on studying other scenes from 90's like French, Italian, German, Finnish and Polish.

If I had to compare Skapt av Skog with one or two Norwegian bands, I'd compare them with Taake and Ragnarok. Can someone help me with this? I just can't even remember which other bands do Skapt av Skog remind me of! There were so many Norwegian bands back then, and I've listened to most of them but now there's a big mess in my head - somehow it very much resembles Bergen scene even though the band wasn't from Bergen, so maybe I'm just imagining things because of all the mentioned mess in my head. It also reminds me of early Helheim (the viking black from Bergen, not the industrial black from Sarpsborg). Vocals are kind of crazy, and ... oh I think this is going to eat me alive, but I know I've heard these vocals or something extremely similar before and it was from 90's and Norwegian!

From well known bands it definitely compares to mid 90's Taake sound, especially because of the bass lines, structure of songs and production. You can disagree with me in the comments of this post, I'm very curious if you have something to say and/or wish to correct me. With thousands of 90's underground bands that I listen to (or try to find time to listen to), it sometimes gets hard to remember all the right information that's in my head. In any case, Skapt av Skog sound good to me. 3 songs that we have here last only 10 minutes and I really have nothing more to say than that I'm enjoying it.
At the same time, let's just be objective and realistic - this really is typical Norwegian mid 90's to early '00 stuff, and I'll always prefer some more unique bands from that era than this, some band that did their own thing back then, like Mysticum or Forgotten Woods or Strid.
But I'll also be realistic and say there's a hell of a lot potential in this and I'm sad Skapt av Skog didn't release anything else, I'd love to listen to more - 10 minutes isn't really enough.

Conclusion is, I'd recommend this to everyone - if you like 90's black, or Norsk black, pure black, if you're interested in the history of black, if you want to hear underrated band and so on. Just listen to it!
And if you want to order a copy, you can get it from Fallen Temple directly (it won't cost you much) or from other distros who sell it (I'm not sure which distro sells what so check Discogs). I think it's worth buying.

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

Monday, January 16, 2017

Cidium - Izvrnuta Liturgija demo '13

Cidium is a black/death metal band from Croatia formed in 2010 and this is their first demo tape. Prior to Izvrnuta Liturgija, they've digitally released 2 one-track demos.
The style can be decribed as bestial black/death which obviously draws influences from bands such as Von, Black Witchery, Sadistik Exekution, Revenge and Proclamation.

I'm really not a fan of bestial black/death, I'm rarely in the mood to listen to this kind of bands - they usually make my head hurt and my ears feel raped. But today, I'm sick, I think I have a flu so my head hurts anyway so why not listen to some Cidium? :)

I got this tape years ago, I think it was when it first came out. I got it from a friend who is friends with the band. My copy isn't the first version of the demo which was self-released and limited to 20 copies, mine is pro tape limited to 100 copies (not handnumbered) released by Gravplass Propaganda, and I have to say I enjoy looking at the tape more than listening to it. It's very nice quality tape: nice pro cover + black pro tape, I really love pro tapes. Everything from cover artwork, to colors that dominate the artwork of the layout and the appearance of the tape itself says it's bestial black/death, and music is just typical for the genre - fast tempo, short songs, hateful Satanic atmosphere with evil sound. 
I've listened to this demo quite a lot lately and I have to say when I first started listening, every song sounded the same, pretty boring and something I've heard a thousand times before. But now, after some time, I think I actually like it. It doesn't really sound like some not well known underground band from my small country, I have a feeling like I'm listening to some USBM, if USBM band had lyrics on Croatian language. Well, it seems not all songs are on Croatian, actually the song which I like the most on this demo is on English, it's called "My Hunger" and has some mid tempo headbanging parts, really really good!

So, the conclusion is - it's really not bad, and if you enjoy bestial black/death - I think you will enjoy this demo.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Nekron - Border of Light and Darkness album '14

Once upon a time, there was a very good Polish black metal band called Immanis back in the mid '90s, it's one of my favorite Polish bands. Immanis only ever released two demos which were both excellent. One of the members of Immanis, called Nekron, who was bassist of Immanis, recently made his one man band - Nekron. Nekron was formed in 2012, released first full-length called Diadra year later, and this album in 2014.

I don't really expect much from new black metal, my passion is 90's metal so I'm always very skeptical and open minded when listening to album recorded in this decade. However, I was pleasantly surprised with this Nekron album, so I decided to write a review and post it on my blog.

Unfortunately, I don't have the first Nekron album Diadre, so I can't compare the two albums. I can't find anywhere online to download it, so I think I'll order it but it will be a while before it arrives so if you have this first album, in any format or bitrate, please share with me, I'll be happy to listen to it. I did read an interesting review of it here, and judging by this great review Diadre is great but Border of Light and Darkness is even better!

I have to say that even though Nekron was in Immanis, his band sounds nothing like Immanis, it really couldn't be more different. What we have here is cold atmospheric black metal/ambient, some may even call it depressive, very much like Lustre, Veldes, Elderwind and such good bands.

It's so cold outside these days, everything is so peacefully frozen, covered in snow, so calm and dreamy. Maybe that's why I found myself enjoying Nekron so much? Its atmosphere fits perfectly with this weather. I really enjoyed reading this review and I dont think I can top it, the author already said everything perfectly and no need to repeat it. Well, I will quote him on this, as I really love how he put it: "It is like a march of souls, draped in a shroud of death; they touch a listener with their penetrating coldness and transfer it to them. Strange, we are not willing to escape from this coldness but we fall into dark sleep which we won’t be able to awake from."
I'd really recommend you to read that review if you want to know what Nekron sounds like before listening to it. I'd also recommend reading the interview with Nekron, it's interesting even though it's badly translated from Polish to English.

This album amazed me so much, just... wow!! Second track Shadows is just so perfect, you know what? I would dare to even compare it to Burzum's Filosofem, which, in my opinion, is one of the best albums ever made. It's just so enjoyable, vocals are perfectly raw and full of despair - just outstandingly good for this type of music.
I must buy this. It's actually pretty cheap - I noticed many Polish distros like Werewolf Promotion, Putrid Cult, Easthate, Heerwegen Tod and Black Death Productions have excellent low prices, many good albums can be bought from them very cheap, so right now - it became my priority to order both albums as soon as I can.
Clearly, I don't have this album as original yet - what I did find is a rip of it in very good quality, but with no scans unfortunately so that's what I'm sharing with you today. When I make a rip of my own, I'll get back to this and update it the way I like to do - archive will include scans and pictures.

That's it for now, I hope you'll enjoy this masterpiece as much as I did.

                                               Download mp3@CBR320kbps from yadi.sk

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Aske - Vuohi demo '16

Aske has always been one of my most favorite black metal bands, ever since I discovered them, which wasn't that long ago - maybe 3 or 4 years ago. I didn't really have access to more underground bands before that, because I had crappy internet, terrible network connection which I'm not even sure I can call "a network connection" so ... yeah, most of the more obscure bands I have discovered pretty recently, 3-5 years ago. I actually didn't have proper network connection until June 2016, prior to that I was connecting to other people's network connections. And before that, I only had mobile internet stick which had very limited traffic, maybe 20GB/month which is nothing. I had to use that as back then I lived in my hometown with my family, and we live on a hill surrounded by kilometers of forests and there's hardly any signal.

Now that I've finished explaining something which has nothing to do with Aske, I can continue talking about Aske. Those of you who know me, know very well that my weakness is exactly this kind of bands, '90s, with only a couple of demos released, obscure, espacially if there's a nice looking picture like this on metal archives. Oh, and Finnish, Finnish is definitely my weakness - it really seems Finnish people are great at whatever music they make. From doom/rock/dark stuff, there's Mana Mana which I love even though I don't understand their lyrics. Finnish people also made great doom/death metal like Thergothon and Skepticism and too many to mention. And when it comes to black, it's one of my favorite scenes, probably favorite after Polish black metal. I'm picky with my music, so it's not easy at all to be one of my very few all time favorite Finnish bands. I guess the only finnish black metal bands I worship more are gods Beherit and Barathrum, the bands I worship just as much as Aske are Vornat, Diaboli and Unhola, and bands I worship a tiny bit less are Warloghe and Kadotus. Aske is fucking perfect in every way. I remember downloading and listening Saatan Legio and Goatfuck demos/compilation and it was just IT, it hit the spot, it was perfect. After that I managed to find and download their rehearsal, which was also perfect. I ordered CD compilation years ago, still have it - didn't even know it was also released as tape until recently, and now I wish I had bought the cassette, not the stupid CD. As you continue reading my blog, I'm sure you'll notice me saying over and over I hate CDs. Well, hate's a strong word, I just dislike them. They are big, ugly-looking, they break, they cost more etc, million other reasons.

Anyway, where was I? Well I've been worshipping Aske ever since I discovered this band, and now the new demo came out. If someone told me 3 years ago Aske will make new demo, I don't think I'd believe them. But Aske did it. And last month, probably beginning of December, I was just online and saw on metal archives that Aske has new demo. I freaked out, really! I got obssessed with it. Very close friends will know I talked about ordering it over and over, just couldn't get it out of my head. Contacted Wolfsvuur, and they replied saying they sold all copies and suggested I go look at The Sinister Flame or Astral Temple, I did but I don't really remember what happened. I know I saw Aske tape on one of them, and wanted to order something else too because it's stupid to just order one tape, and didn't find anything else there that I really want. So I didn't order it, and have spent days just watching it on Discogs. And I saw Tour de Garde was selling it, I wanted to order and had to pick more tapes to order with it. And couldnt make up my mind, as Tour de Garde has too many stuffs I want. I'm still in progress of deciding what to order from Tour de Garde.

Anyway (once again), as time was passing, I didn't forget about Aske, it was still my top priority to order it. And one day I was ordering from Drakkar and went to see what other tapes they sell, saw Aske new demo and ordered. I was just going to buy Mind as Mine and Ancient Sign Glorify but it was perfect how they had Aske too! So I bought, it arrived in my mailbox, I ripped, scanned etc.

I was fucking excited to get this demo naturally, and even though the cover paper is just simple photocopied paper as Chanteloup used to make, I had no problem with it. What I did have problems with is that it's so damn short! What the hell, Mr. Behemoth? Why? I just got into it and it's over! only 12 minutes? I want more! I mean, I only managed to get into the element and think if I like it or not, started really enjoying it and then - it's done! I didn't know it was this short when I ordered the tape, I was too crazy and excited to look, so when I listened to it on my cassette player for the first time I ended up pressing FFWD a lot, and through entire B side of tape hoping there's more! How could you do this to me Behemoth? I mean, my friends know I'm a very patient person but... it really feels like when you're starving, somebody gives you big fat delicious juicy pizza, you take a bite and they take it away from you!

I'm honestly a bit scared, I mean it's been almost 2 decades since Aske made new material (prior to making Vuohi) and now what? How long is it gonna be before I get another slice of this perfect pizza? I mean, Behemoth did make new Norns, so that tape will satisfy my hunger for a while. But, but... well, I guess I shouldn't be greedy, I should be grateful. I am. I truly am.

This demo is not as good as the old stuff, vocals are worse in a way, or just different, but it's still very enjoyable for me.

First track is short intro, after that is awesome pure black metal track, pretty short, less than 4 minutes - feels very hateful, normal Finnish black metal kind of like Horna but I enjoy it more knowing it's my precious Aske. Third song is perfect as well, excellent riffs!

I really really love the demo, and as I've said the only problem is that it's too short. If you must know what's my favorite track, it's Horns. And I also think it's fucking sexy how one songs's called Goat Worship - hell yeah!! Worship The Goat until we're all rotten and eaten by worms!!

It's really headbanging BM, like old Diaboli's Mesmerized by Darkness or Vornat's The Unholy Evil One (just not as epic and not as good).

I am not disappointed, demo was enjoyable for me, real pure black metal and I really have nothing else to say except that cassette is limited to 50 copies and my copy (the one i got from Drakkar) is 50/50 so order it while you can. Tour de Garde still has it and probably a few more distros too. I'm guessing it will cost you 5-12 € depending where you order it from + shipping and I think it's worth it. Cheers for now, I'm done.