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


  1. Ok, like I told you I wrote a pretty long comment here some days ago but somehow managed to lose it while previewing and editing. Which was as you may imagine frustrating. I think I pretty much closed the damn browser and went to sulk on the sofa. But enough of that, this is a very good demo like you also say.

    With the compilation I don't think there's really any reason to pay oneself silly for a tape copy as there's no difference in the content whatsoever. Oh, as far as I know there were only two Nordwind demos, this and the s/t, I guess the "Secrets of the Moon" mentioned on M-A is just some sort of confusion. A. at least never mentioned that one, I'm pretty sure we discussed these and some other demos of his back few years ago at Hammer. I should probably ask the next time I bump into him.

    Not sure if I agree this to be very depressive, or that doomy either. I've always thought the first half especially is quite laid-back, with a certain feeling of nostalgia, the self-titled track is pretty upbeat in a way. Title track is quite melancholic, gotta agree with that. Second half then is a bit more aggressive. I think the vocals are fine as they are, no excessive gimmicks though a few shrieks here and there would be fine. Oh and finally listened to the Nocti Vagus album the other day. Initial reaction: didn't like it. :/ Should give it another listen I suppose. I guess I must grudgingly agree to Nagelfar being a bit better though I've always thought them somewhat overrated. I suppose I should now take cover!

    1. I'd really buy this tape, the cover is so nice even if I can imagine the original tape looks poor and cheap. But it's just not worth the money people ask for it on Discogs. 35€? No way.

      Ah metal-archives is wrong once again, nothing new.

      I didn't say it's very depressive. It's not, it's slightly melancholic and nostalgic. But when it comes to true depressive bm the way I see this genre, not the new nowadays modern emo bullshit, I do think the style of this band can be considered mostly atmospheric with a bit of true depressive bm. When i say "true", i don't mean "really" depressive, I mean old school real depressive bm from 90's, which wasn't about self loathing or being weak, it was just sad and moody and melancholic.

      I didn't like Nocti Vagus either. I mean, it's not bad. It's just not impressive for me at all. Their vocalist was also in Totalselfhatred which is a band that I really dislike.

      "I guess I must grudgingly agree to Nagelfar being a bit better though I've always thought them somewhat overrated. I suppose I should now take cover!"
      Oh come on Velkaarn!
      Did you even listen to Jagd demo? The last long track is one of the best songs in entire BM genre!