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


  1. I wonder if it's the source tape or what but like you mention the sound is poor generally and the songs till midway "Satanic Pestering" suffer especially; it's like the tape is not playing properly if you know what I mean? The volume is lower, sound especially crooked and bendy and then it suddenly gets better and seems to remain that way. You've wondered about my dislike for tape format, this is the main reason. They too often fail you and you can't be really sure half the time where the problem is, the tape or source dub or your deck. Ugh.

    As for Grausamkeit, it's of course hard for anyone to take a one-man band artist as profilic as B.S.o.D. - just look at the sheer amount of projects and releases. Most of the time the more releases there are, the worse the quality. Which is why "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..." is perfectly logical. I haven't heard nearly all stuff he has spewed out but it's been generally quite entertaining so far though I still think he could condense a bit. Maybe he has a very strong creative urge, coupled with a total lack of self-criticism? :D

    Anyways, if not for the frustrating sound issue of the first "half" this would be another strike rather than a miss, so thank you for sharing!

    1. It's released by Chanteloup Creations and their tapes are usually dubbed and not very high quality, that's my experience.

      The sound is better on rip than it is on tape, even if it is still terrible. Here is the raw unedited rip so you can hear how terrible it is, I even recorded it in higher volume than I normally do because the tape is so silent: https://yadi.sk/d/-nb2jPuI3D7tAh

      The reason you said why you dislike the tapes is one of the reasons why I like them. Sure, they are or can be problematic, but that gives them character. With CDs it's all very simple. With tapes it's like every tape is a mystery of its own. Sometimes I have to work harder with some tapes to make a decent rip out of it, and listen to it over and over - and very often I end up actually enjoying the music more and hearing it better than I would if I had simply just ripped a CD. Also, I end up learning more and later having better memory of the band and album I was ripping. With CDs it's really not like that, I learn nothing, listen to it once and forget about it - that's what happens most of the time. :)

      You're welcome.

    2. I did some semi-accidental research and came across this thread at Punk in Finland forum; http://www.punkinfinland.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=363973 - written in (very informal) Finnish for your maximum inconvenience! Anyways, the thread starter König undertook a project of "reviewing" as much of B.S.o.D.'s material as possible and he started with Hellgoat. He mentions the wavering like-10th-gen-copy sound and further writes "Saundit parani kesken biisin" which translates as "sound improved midsong". Apparently he also has an original tape so the sound things is a "feature" in this case! I have found peace, mystery solved.

    3. It wasn't much of a mystery to begin with, the tape is really recorded that way - I've listened to it many times trying to improve it and yeah the tracks aren't even recorded on tape on equal sound volume, I also think the first (intro) track is much louder and "cleaner" than what comes after it, and there are other "mistakes". Grausamkeit is lo-fi black, and this is a Chanteloup tape so the two of those combined translates as bad recording quality/poor sound. And there's even a note on metal archives about the sound of the tape, so I knew what to expect even before listening to it for the first time. That's why I said it's the worst sound I've ever heard.
      Anyway, thanks for your interest and comments! :)