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

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Moonrise - Belieka Tik Laukti... demo '99

I think I have enough time to post & review one short demo. Moonrise was a band from Vilnius, Lithuania formed in '96 and what I'm sharing is their first demo tape. After this demo, band released best of/compilation titled 1996-2005 which contains this demo, various rehearsals and an unreleased demo Naujo Pasaulio Vizija from 2001. The last demo Moonrise released was demo 2008 titled Final Attack on Heavenly Kingdom.

The demo is (like I said) short, it has 3 songs on it with complete length of ~16 minutes. I'd say style on this demo is melodic pagan black metal. The music is nice, but I'm not really enjoying the vocals which aren't really bad, but I just think it could had been done better. It's mid-tempo black with enjoyable melodic guitar riffs with lyrics on band's native language. Oh, and the drums are programmed but it doesn't sound bad.

There's a small mistake in second song titled Belieka Tik Laukti... - right after the first 30 seconds the volume drops for a second, but I don't think it's a big deal. I don't feel like trying to edit or fix it, and I am too tired to think how to do it so I'll just leave it as it is; I'm not sure if that mistake is present on all the copies or just on my copy of the tape.

Anyway, I bought this tape from one Ukraninan seller on Discogs who sells so much good stuff, I definitely plan to order from him several times again. He told me most of what he's selling comes from Oriana Music & Kolovrat Productions old distro stock.

The tape is regular TDK, it's single-sided, and the cover is excellent - thicker glossy paper printed on both sides. It was released by Fiasko Zone distro, I'm not sure about the limitation of the tape because it's not hand-numbered.

The demo is quite enjoyable but nothing special. It's still better than most crap bands release these days! Oh, and I think the cover artwork is beautiful.
I'd recommend this if you enjoy melodic pagan black metal.

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

Ctharagorod - Eternal Punishment demo '08

I couldn't really decide which tape to rip today, so I decided why not this one - it's relatively new, it's not a lousy 90's dub which will most likely give me a headache, it lasts pretty short, and it hasn't leaked on web yet. I'm already regretting the decision and haven't even finished ripping it.

Ctharagorod is a mysterious Austrian raw black metal band which only ever released this demo tape. By mysterious I mean - I don't know the line-up or if it's a one-man band, I don't know the lyrical themes or the year of formation, or the exact location where band is from.

Tape was released by Galgenstrick Records and it's limited to 66 hand-numbered copies. The tape's black and the cover is simple xerox paper printed on both sides. I don't know where from or why I bought this tape anymore.

The demo lasts for ~35 minutes and there are 8 songs on it, including an intro, an ambient instrumental in the middle of the demo (song Journey to Transylvania) and an outro. The style is very boring raw black metal and I think EmptinessCycle would probably be better at reviewing this demo than me, as he likes that sort of stuff and I really don't.

I'm not good at writing negative reviews, I prefer not to waste time or words on things that I don't like, or I always try to write what's good about something and what I liked instead of what's bad and what I've disliked.

I didn't enjoy this demo at all, but it doesn't mean it's a demo which nobody will like - listen to it and see for yourself. For me - it's just boring raw crap, sorry. Maybe it expresses true darkness or evil or there's something I'm not seeing or hearing, but for me the only thing this demo expresses is lack of talent. "Eternal Punishment"? Well, I'm glad the demo isn't eternal, and I don't feel punished, I just feel bored and a bit disgusted.

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

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Solanum - Spheres of Time demo '98

Let's continue a bit longer with ambient music, shall we? Solanum was a project from B. Schmidt from Depressive Silence, the other Depressive Silence member was Ral who had his own side project called Gothmog, and he also played in Mightiest. I am a huge fan of all of these bands/projects and it is in my opinion some of the best music ever made on this planet.
I know there were some dungeon synth/fantasy scenes, but I am still in the slow process of learning about this music and discovering bands and projects. So far, what I've enjoyed the most from music that can be related to this was some Greek projects and some music released by Elven Witchcraft which was mostly black metal but none of it can compare to Depressive Silence, Gothmog and Solanum, they just sound and feel so different from everything I've heard, so unique and special.

I don't feel like the right person to introduce anyone to Depressive Silence/Gothmog/Solanum and I believe most of my readers already know about them so there's really no need. I would just like to use this opportunity to express my eternal gratitude and respect to Velkaarn whose blog made me discover so much perfect music, and without whom it would most likely be impossible for many people to hear these obscurities.

I don't really feel like reviewing Solanum's demo either because - well, when I enjoy and love something too much, as much as Solanum, I don't feel like kind of ruining it with too many words because even a wall of text can't express the divinity of this "music".

I have this demo for years and I no longer remember where I bought it. It is a hand-numbered cassette released by Chanteloup Creations, tape is regular and cover is cheap photocopied paper printed on one side only. The entire thing looks very simple and cheap but to me it's priceless and I consider it an extremely valuable piece of my tape collection. The sound is very good so I didn't really have that much editing to do with the rip, I just removed a bit of hissing noise which was pretty loud and cut it into tracks, added titles and tags (the regular stuff).

Finally, of course I would recommend it. And the rip Velkaarn posted on his blog had few seconds missing - that's now fixed. :)

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

Apeiron - Stardust demo '97

It's time for something a bit different. Apeiron is an ambient project from Dreamlord. First Apeiron demo is titled A Separate Reality and was self-released as a tape in '95. In the same year Apeiron released a split cassette with Golden Dawn which I'd love to own someday even though I know it will cost me a lot of money, but I think it's worth it. After that, Apeiron released Stardust demo tape in '97, and there's also another release listed on Discogs, a CD titled Music For Astral Projection which was released this year by label Hollow Myths.

I ripped Stardust from my own original copy. It was officially distributed by Chanteloup Creations (which is also mentioned on the cover scan I provided).
I'm kind of glad it wasn't a true Chanteloup release - if it were, it would sound much worse than it sounds because it would be a dub of 10th generation probably. It actually surprises me how easy it was to rip this, I expected challenges like very loud hissing sound and a lot of noise, different volume through various parts of the tape, music dubbed on very low volume and even much worse things - but I'm happy because the sound of this tape is very good and clean, so much better than Chanteloup Creations dubs I have to work with which sometimes drive me crazy.

I first listened to Apeiron a couple of years ago when brother Velkaarn posted and reviewed Apeiron material on his blog, and I fell in love with it. I haven't listened to that much dungeon synth or ambient, so I don't possess much knowledge about the genres - but I do love to occasionally listen to some dungeon synth (especially from the 90's) and would say it's my favorite genre after black metal, along with doom metal.
For me Apeiron is different from all other dungeon synth music I've heard, it is so much more trippy. I mean, this is not dungeon synth at all really, it's cosmic/astral ambient.

I believe it's useful to describe Apeiron and provide more info by just writing what is written on cover, so here:
Apeiron is not supposed to be music in the ordinary meaning of the word or emphasis is not placed on melodies and harmonies but on sounds, their development and variation.
This demo was performed by Dreamlord (also known from Golden Dawn) on a PC. The sounds were generated by a synthesizing software, a soundcard with wavetable, numerous samples, alienated guitars and voices.
Dreamlord advises to listen to Apeiron alone and in a state of contemplative inner silence.

I've listened to Apeiron and especially Stardust demo a lot and it is just very strange. I fell asleep several times listening to this because it is probably the most relaxing music I've ever heard, and each time I'd have the weirdest dreams and would wake up feeling so relieved, relaxed and extremely calm... The music on this demo is kind of like some drug, at least for me.

When it comes to really describing music, I can't really put it better than Velkaarn has when he reviewed it (here and here), so I'd suggest you to read that. All that I'd like to add is that both songs on this demo are perfect, but the second one is my favorite. It's just so amazingly progressive and hypnotizing!

That's it for now, I hope you'll enjoy it.
P.S. Sorry for the crappy logo at the bottom, but it's the best I managed to find.

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

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Ravendance - Lucienne demo '97

Ravendance is an excellent black metal band from Bavaria, Germany. They released 2 demo tapes and this is the first one, the second demo tape was self-titled and you can listen to it on youtube.

I discovered Ravendance long time ago, but never actually bought anything from them - not because I didn't want to, but because the seller on Discogs didn't sell anything else interesting to me and I somehow never order just one item because I prefer to order few tapes from one person to save on postage. So I was basically just looking at this tape (wanting it and not buying it) for months so eventually my good friend EmptinessCycle bought a copy for me and sent it as a birthday present. It's the best birthday present I ever got, thank you!

Musical style of Ravendance is quite melodic black, and very good and enjoyable - I can't believe this band is so unknown and obscure. The band drew inspiration for their art from literature, to be more precise - Romanticism and that's not something I can say about many bands i know, I actually can't remember any other band whose lyrical themes are focused on German Romanticism.

I love this band and am happy to own a copy of first demo, so I'd suggest you to listen to it, it's great music and has become one of my favorite German 90's black metal bands!

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

Celeste - Nature Dying… demo '97

Today I'm posting a very obscure demo. Celeste was a band from Tampere, Finland and they only ever released this demo. The demo is pretty short, it only lasts for almost 20 minutes and contains 6 songs - first song being an intro.

I bought this tape few months ago from Discogs from some guy who's selling his private collection. What made me buy it is the very nice cover artwork, and metal archives categorizing their style as dark/black metal (I'm always curious about dark/black, especially if it's Finnish!).

It is supposed to be single-sided pro-tape with xerox cover - what I got does have xerox cover, but the tape is regular and the music is recorded over some other band, so it's a dub and not even dubbed on blank tape. The sound is still very good though!

It was self-released by the band so I don't really know if my seller home-dubbed this and sold me a fake/bootleg, or if the band released it like this and metal archives are wrong about it being a pro-tape. It seems likely to me that a band as obscure as this would self-release a regular cassette and also the other obscure tape I got from the same seller was 100% original, so all of it makes me think what I have is the real deal but who knows. I mean, it's obviously a dub, but that's how people used to do it in 90's so... I can also tell you that the xerox cover doesn't look or feel new or fresh, it is definitely old - the kind of wrinkles like it has don't just happen over night.

The style is dark/black as metal archives say, but more dark than it is black, and at some moments the music sounds like melodic death, melodic doom or even gothic. If you read my reviews, you'll remember that I also had problems defining the genre of Mind as Mine demo tape, and yeah, this demo sounds very much like Mind as Mine. The last song sounds a lot like another band I love - Asrafil, but I'm guessing most of you've never even heard of that obscure band. I don't know with which better known band to compare this with. It's melancholic and melodic and overall I'd say this is a good demo if you like that sort of stuff.

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

Friday, February 17, 2017

Ohtar - Deep Wood's demo '01

Today is my birthday so I'd like to make a post which expresses more than just words.
I decided to start with one of my all time favorite bands - Ohtar. I believe Ohtar is well known and I don't need to introduce them. In case I do - well, I'll make it short and just say Ohtar is one of the best Polish black metal bands ever, and was formed in '96 and is still active. Their style is fucking perfect hateful black metal and is one of the very few bands that never disappointed me.

Ohtar was actually one of the first black metal bands in my life! I no longer remeber which I discovered and fell in love with first - Ohtar or Veles, but I guess it was more or less at the same time. I started listening to Graveland, Sacrilegium, Arkona and North at the same period of my life, but didn't fell in love with those bands as much. Sure, I loved Wicher album from Sacrilegium and I still do, but back then it was a bit too melodic for me so I prefered early Ohtar and early Veles. Graveland and North I wasn't that impressed with, I don't remember why I didn't enjoy North that much but I do remember that my first Graveland album I had and listened to was Creed of Iron and I thought back then it was extremely boring. Nocturnal Arkonian Hordes I loved and still do, but it's not as emotionally strong and personal for me as Ohtar or Veles are.

Anyway, the tape I own is Ohtar's promo demo Deep Wood's self-released in 2001. There are 4 tracks on this demo which were also a part of the split with Antisemitex and Woodland Desolation compilation. These songs are some of my all time favorite Ohtar songs so I'm very glad to own the original tape.

I could write about how perfect Ohtar is and what I love about this band for hours, but there's probably no point so I will just try to summarize it. Ohtar's music is hateful, pure and honest, and also melodic. Their sound is unique and I chose not to compare them with any band.

One of the things that make Ohtar's sound unique for me are the vocals which are almost inhuman, it's like listening to howls and growls of some fox/wolf mutant creature, desolated and alone, abandoned and alienated from the world having only darkness and forest to keep it company. Really, Ohtar is so much more than music for me and I admire this band greatly. Ohtar and Veles, being the first Polish bands I liked, are actually what made me first realize where my life passion lays. Long time ago, I didn't know that much about black metal, and I had listened to and enjoyed many black metal bands, but Ohtar was special and made me feel like I've found exactly what I love. With time that hasn't changed, I only started to discover and love Polish second wave black metal more.

What I love the most about Polish black and Ohtar is how it's the way black metal should be in my opinion: on top of it all, it is strong! Black metal isn't music for weak humans and I despise people who turn black into something that expresses their emotional instability or weakness and I believe that emo shit should not be called black metal at all - black metal is for proud and strong people who keep their darkness and hatred as flames burning inside forever! Black metal is not ment to express human superficial flaws and weaknesses even though we are all humans and have those flaws.
For me - black metal isn't human, it's deeper, and it's eternal so even though real black metal spirit is considered dead - I believe it can never die! That's why I can't just review Ohtar normally, commenting on what it sounds like and is it enjoyable or not. Ohtar isn't music for me and I respect it too much to comment on them like their music is just sound. Ohtar is hatred, darkness, strength and pride and I know most people into black metal can't feel it, it only makes me more proud because I can. Ohtar is like a big "fuck you!" spit in the face to everyone who simply don't get it, and I agree with this and respect it. Most of you are too weak to feel the true hatred, agony and darkness anyway...

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

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Noctis - Demo '98 - Out of the Shadow Of Legend

Noctis was a French melodic black metal band active in the 90's. They released two demos, first one titled Glorious Times and released in '97, and the second demo was titled Demo '98 - Out of the Shadow of Legend. In 2001 Out of the Shadow of Legend best of/compilation was released, and it compiles both demos.

First demo was self-released as a cassette limited to 200 hand-numbered copies. Second demo, this one, was released by Aura Mystique Productions as a tape limited to 300 hand-numbered copies. Out of the Shadow of Legend compilation was released as a CD by Adipocere Records.

Noctis members were also involved in another great French obscurity - Enimon Ni, and this band only ever released one excellent demo titled Blasphemes Chapitre Premier - Sombres Presages. This demo was also released as a tape by Aura Mystique, just like the demo I'm posting.

I bought this tape from the same person I bought Machiavel demo from, the person behind Funebre Inferi. It's a white tape (well, it's beige now, because it's very old; or maybe the tape was originally beige - I don't know) with stickers on both sides, and it comes with xerox layout printed on one side, hand-numbered on the other side. If you're interested in ordering a copy of this demo tape, people are still selling it on Discogs. Just be careful not to buy a dub of it as one person is selling the dub instead of the original.

Noctis style can be described as very interesting melodic black metal.
First song on this demo titled On the Ruins of Ancient Beliefs is a short intro played on keyboards and is a very good piece of instrumental music, and if it was the first song I ever heard from Noctis, I'd already know this will be a good demo.
The second song lasts for almost 5 minutes and is, in my opinion, excellent. It's titled And Gods Servants Created Hell on Earth, its main characteristics are great guitar riffs and atmospheric synths in the background exactly on right places. This song is very well composed and interesting to listen to, there is a short acoustic part in the middle of the song which is followed by guitar riffs that remind me of viking black metal.
The third song titled Beyond Misty Horizons of Time is even more in viking style, the melodies are very catchy and I can hear clean male voice singing along with the main melody in my head which is typical for most viking black, even though it isn't there and the vocals are still in pure black metal style. I have to mention the second part of this song, which is slow and different from the rest of it, and oh so beautiful! The song structures Noctis made is just so briliant! And yes, finally, here's the man singing the main melodies in viking style just as I've expected, this is exactly what this song was missing!
The next song titled Those Who Rot in the Shadows is the longest song on the demo - it lasts over 7 minutes. It's slow to mid tempo black with epic sound which progresses to melodic fast paced black metal with very nice guitar and bass lines, and excellent keyboards that follow it all appropriately. After the first 4 minutes of this song comes my favorite part of the album - melodic black metal gets replaced by nostalgic sounding keyboards which soon gets replaced by acoustic viking folk part which then progresses to true vikingness! Oh this is so damn good, I just can't get enough of it - I won't even waste words trying to describe it, perfection can't be put to words, that's why art and music as part of art exists, to express the beauty and feelings. Well, yeah I know there's poetry but I'm not a poet :)
Finally, the last song is a very short outro - ambient wind-sounds mixed with acoustic guitar which complete the album perfectly.

This is one of the best demos I've heard. The way it's all structured and composed is so impressive to me, everything is exactly the way it should be. This kind of stuff is why I love melodic black metal way more than I love raw black or orthodox black.

I mean, black metal genre isn't just music in which one can express darkness and lust, or one's admiration of different things such as Devil-worship, mythology, national patriotic pride and nostalgia for the pagan/heathen times, or Tolkien's Middle Earth worship. Black metal can be and often is very musically and artistically complex, and I don't mean technical complexity by it; I mean how sometimes in black metal you can find such musical artistic talent, such amazing things expressed in unique ways which even make classical music seem boring and uninteresting. That is exactly what I love black metal, and why I prefer different types and subgenres of melodic black metal over the orthodox black or raw Satanic black.

Back to the subject, this Noctis demo reminds me of old Himinbjorg. Himinbjorg was actually one of the very first bands I've discovered in my life and fell in love with. Where Ravens Fly is one of my all time favorite albums!

For the end of this review, all I can say is listen to this demo and the first one as well, or the '01 compilation. Noctis is an amazing band.

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

Monday, February 13, 2017

Night's Blood / Bitwa / Kraina Wiecznego Mrozu - Słowiańskie Miecze Gromu split tape '13

After posting all those demos, it's time for a split, don't you think? What I'm sharing is a split album between three bands: Night's Blood, Bitwa and Kraina Wiecznego Mrozu.

Night's Blood is Polish black metal band formed in 2011 and this band only has, as far as I know, a promo recorded in 2012 titled Into the Infinity of Grim Night.
Bitwa is also a relatively new band, formed in 2010 and according to metal archives it's a one-man band that comes from Washington, USA. Bitwa's lyrical themes are "Battle, Slavic Paganism, Hatred, Death" which is quite strange for an American band. This band released a demo in 2012 titled Glory to Swietowit.
Kraina Wiecznego Mrozu is also from Poland, the name translates to Land of Eternal Frost. That's a nice name. It's an old band formed 20 years ago, back in '97. Kraina Wiecznego Mrozu had a demo tape Ziemia Ojców recorded in '98 and released in '99.

The split I'm sharing contains all three of these demos, so it lasts quite long - over an hour. It was released as a cassette limited to 500 copies in 2013 by Polish label Werewolf Promotion. I ordered the tape from Putrid Cult few months ago, but recently I realized I actually own this tape already, I must had purchased it back in '14 or sometime back then... So now I have two copies of it. It's the same situation with Zuarasiz Pogańskie płomienie zaświatów demo '11 tape released by Werewolf Promotion, I have 2 copies as well. I would like to trade both of them for something I don't own so if you're interested or have something you'd like to get rid of, let me know in the comments.

Night's Blood is raw/pagan black in vein of 90's Polish bands, quite melodic and grim. Perfect mix of melody, melancholy and rawness just how I like it.
Bitwa is much more hateful and dark, atmosphere is very cold and it somehow reminds me of the way Striborg's Nefaria / A Tragic Journey Towards the Light felt. I'm enjoying Bitwa's part of the split more than I enjoyed Night's Blood songs. It feels very primitive and astral, dreamy.
Kraina Wiecznego Mrozu is the highlight of the split. It brings the atmosphere of Polish 90's black, the sound production is not great but that doesn't bother me. It's raw and pagan and you'll enjoy it if you're a fan of TTF.

My favorite part of this split album is Bitwa's outro instrumental Under the Pagan Night Skies. Why? I love Veles, I love Veles more than any other band probably. And if you're a Veles fan, you'll know why this is my favorite song on the split. No, of course, it's not a Veles cover. But one of the things that make me love Veles is their acoustic parts and keyboard parts and samples. Veles was able to create such heavy and dark ambient music which made their sound a true mind journey... A True soundtrack to the Black Flame always peacefully burning within, the feeling of having this powerful, immortal, ancient, wise spirit inside you... Bitwa was able to re-create that in this song. That's why it's my favorite part of the split album, because it's more than music.

I enjoy this split and can recommend it if you enjoy raw black metal, pagan black metal, the way Slavic black bands sounded like in the 90's. Enjoy!

update: Velkaarn recently ripped his dubbed tape of Kraina Wiecznego Mrozu's Ziemia ojców demo and came to conclusion that what he has is actually a promo version of the demo released before the first demo. It featured the same songs as the demo (and as this split), but different versions of them - versions without samples and ambient/acoustic parts.
Anyway, we both compared the rip he made with Kraina Wiecznego Mrozu's demo I downloaded months ago from zuchu666's blog, and with band's demo featured on this split I posted. We came to conclusion that Werewolf Promotion made a mistake with tracklist when releasing this split, so Kraina Wiecznego Mrozu's demo songs on this split have wrong titles. To be precise - songs are mixed up, so for example song Wojna is called Nigdy się nie poddam on this split.
I didn't really make any mistake, I just ripped this split and added the titles and tags like they are listed on cover layout, therefore I'm going to keep it like that - because it is a mistake made by publisher of the split - Werewolf Promotion. If you're curious, you can read more info in the comments of this post. Velkaarn, thank you for noticing it!

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

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Trivial Thorn - Beyond Nothing demo '97

Today I'm posting a demo from very obscure Polish black metal band Trivial Thorn.
This band was formed back in '94, released their first demo titled Zaothra in '96 which is buried in the past and impossible to find. After that, they released their second demo Beyond Nothing in '97 and their third demo Ravenousness in 2001, which I managed to download and listen to. The fourth demo titled Zero Tolerance was recorded in 2005, but never released accoring to metal archives.
Mocar and Simon, Trivial Thorn guitarist and vocalist were also in Polish obscure band Thorn which released two demos: My Journey demo '94 and Slavonic Hordes demo '99. Thorn's drummer also played in Empire, another excellent obscure Polish band which only released Eternaly Dreaming demo '93.

I love Thorn and Empire so I was curious to hear Trivial Thorn. Well, to be completely honest, Empire is more of my own personal cult even though the music isn't extremely good. Thorn's music, on the other hand, was amazing.

I first got Ravenousness demo rip months ago and liked what I heard but that demo is pretty short, to me that wasn't enough to satisfy my curiosity so I decided to order another demo, this one.

Beyond Nothing demo '97 was self-released as a regular tape with xerox cover printed on both sides of the layout. Trivial Thorn's line-up on this demo did not include Thorn members, they joined Trivial Thorn after this demo and played on Ravenousness demo '01.

Later, it is unknown when exactly, this demo was re-released by Polish label Moonshine Productions. Moonshine was short lived label who also released some other very interesting demo tapes, such as Dagor's Songs of the Slav Ground demo '95, Eternal Fear's Ancient Woods demo '95 and Gontyna Kry's Welowie demo '97. I would recommend you to listen all three of these demos, even though Eternal Fear's not black metal but dark pagan dungeon synth (and it shouldn't even be listed on metal archives). Anyway, Moonshine's version of the demo included the same tracklist as the original self-released version, but with new cover artwork:
Anyway, what I have is the first self-released tape and that's what I'm sharing. I'm glad to own it, I always prefer first press over re-released versions.

The style is great melodic black metal, quite similar to what Thorn sounded like, only much, much better. It can also be compared to the way some Scandinavian melodic black metal bands sounded like in the 90's, like Mactätus for example. If I had to compare the music to some Polish band, I'd say it's quite similar to what Veles sounded like on their The Black Ravens Flew Again album.
It basically sounds like early Thunderbolt would sound if they were Swedish. Or maybe how Vinterland would sound like if they were Polish. Hehe. :)

It's needless to say that I absolutely love this demo and it sounds better to me than the Ravenousness demo. Hope you'll enjoy it too!

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

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Carpathian Forest - Rehearsal 1992 demo

I believe everyone is familiar with Carpathian Forest so there's no need to introduce them. What I'm sharing today is their rehearsal recorded in 1992, it was circulating among tape traders back in the 90's, and my good friend thenecromancer had it so he sent it to me - thank you!
He was confused about what it actually was because he doesn't have any tracklist, he just had this rehearsal dubbed on one side of his tape, on the other side is the Mortuary Drape live concert (one of their many live concert recordings from early 90's). He can't rip so he sent his dubbed tape to me so I can properly study it and figure out what it is, and is it the Rehearsal Outtake demo '92 which was also a part of '97 compilation titled Bloodlust and Perversion. So let's get to it and solve the mystery!

First of all, the Rehearsal Outtake rip which is circulating the web is nothing but part of the compilation '97, it is not a proper source rip of the Rehearsal Outtake cassette. Second of all, notice the term "Outtake" in the title. This is the definition of the word "Outtake":
"a short part of a film or television programme or music recording that was removed and not included, usually because it contains mistakes".
Yep. So this basically means there was a rehearsal 1992 which was edited and cut short and then named Rehearsal Outtake. What I am sharing today is the uncut unedited rehearsal 1992, the rehearsal which later became Rehearsal Outtake demo. This is not a bootleg, it is the actual rehearsal '92 from which Rehearsal Outtake was made.

I noticed a couple of things while ripping this rehearsal tape. I noticed that the tracklist of Rehearsal Outtake on metal archives (and most likely on original Rehearsal Outtake tape) is incorrect. Also, as this demo was a part of the '97 compilation, the tracklist is incorrect on that compilation as well. What I'm saying is - it's not just another metal archives fail like it's usually the case; This time, the label who released the compilation '97 is to blame for incorrect song titles. The first version of this '97 compilation was either self released or a bootleg - that is still unclear, check the Discogs. I don't know if this mistake happened because Rehearsal Outtake demo which was circulating at that time had wrong song titles but I'm guessing that was the case.

So what's the mistake I'm talking about? There are two mistakes. First is, third track is called Return of the Freezing Winds but that's not Return of the Freezing Winds, that's actually rehearsal of Bloodlust and Perversion song which was on the first demo. Return of the Freezing Winds is a part of this rehearsal but most of it was cut out when Rehearsal Outtake was made. Return of the Freezing Winds comes after the last song, Warhead (Venom cover), and on Rehearsal Outtake demo and on compilation '97 is included only the first few riffs of this song at the end of Warhead. On real uncut rehearsal '92, Return of the Freezing Winds was included as the last, sixth track. Rehearsal Outtake only had 5 tracks.

So, to summarize it all, this is the rehearsal made in 1992 which was later cut and edited into Rehearsal Outtake demo and featured on '97 compilation Bloodlust and Perversion. I have added the correct song titles so this is the correct tracklist of this rehearsal:
01. Carpathian Forest [03:42]
02. Call from the Grave (Bathory cover) [05:05]
03. Bloodlust and Perversion [04:31]
04. In the Circle of Ravens [06:49]
05. Warhead (Venom cover) [04:14]
06. Return of the Freezing Winds [04:53]

Ok, so now that's explained, so I only have few more things to say. First, this is a dubbed tape so the sound isn't very good or clear (but I think it's good enough, I've definitely listened to worse). And second, I, of course, don't have the scans of it. What I got is, like I mentioned, a dubbed tape which contains both Carpathian Forest rehearsal and Mortuary Drape live on side B. So, no scans or pictures this time.

And finally the conclusion: download this if you're Carpathian Forest fan, or fan of Norwegian black metal, or you enjoy doomy black and rehearsals from 90's. I sure do enjoy it, I find Carpathian Forest to be one of the best Norwegian black metal bands. I'm going to just finish it here, because if I write Rehearsal Outtake one more time, I'm gonna have a stroke.

                                  Download my tape rip (mp3@CBR320kbps) @ yadi.sk

Friday, February 10, 2017

Marhoth - W imieniu Marhoth... compilation '15

You can't even imagine how happy I am to review Marhoth's best of compilation! As some of you know, I worship and live for Polish 90's black metal and even though there are so many Polish bands I love, Marhoth is one of my few Polish all time favorites.

I don't know how well known or if well known at all Marhoth is considered, I guess they are still pretty obscure because they only released 2 short demos in 90's and an amazing split with North and Grom. The first Marhoth demo is called Wolfmoon and it was released in '95, the second demo Szkarłatna kropla rosy was released in '96, and the two songs from this demo appeared on the split with Grom and North which is titled Sovereigns of Northernlands and was released in '98 by Astral Wings Records.

Marhoth members were also involved in another obscure Polish 90's black metal band called Nox Lunaris, and the drummer also played in Christ Agony and Sacrilegium.

W imieniu Marhoth... compilation was released as a pro-tape and as a CD by both Witches Sabbath Records and Eastside, tape is limited to 100 copies and CD to 500. I bought my tape a month ago from Discogs. The tape is beautiful and I'm very happy to own it, now I just need to someday buy the split with North and Grom too (but that'll have to wait because unfortunately this split tape is very expensive on Discogs). This compilation contains first two demos and a bonus track which is Kat cover. I have to mention that the second demo rip (Szkarłatna kropla rosy) which is circulating the web is completely fake, and nothing but first demo with incorrect song titles (which means metal archives are wrong about the track lengths too). My favorite songs on this compilation are the first ...and My Hand Won't Shudder, and the fourth Wilczy księżyc, and the two of these songs are some of my all time favorite songs in black metal. It's hard to even pick a favorite song(s), all of them are perfect. Mgła nad bagnami is a pagan metal masterpiece, dreamy beyond belief, and so sad. And the vocals in Korona Marhoth are so honest and emotional, it really touches my soul deeply.

For me, Marhoth's music is unique and it's not easy to compare them with other Polish bands. If I had to do it, I'd say early Sacrilegium meets early Behemoth. I'd also compare it to few other very obscure bands like Cherem, Chors, Grom, Fornost, Agalirept, Forkador, Fortision, early Anaboth, Majestat... There were many bands like these which could be considered similar, but what makes me love Polish black so much is how even though all these bands played very similar style, all of them were original and unique and had a sound of their own.

The music is so much more than just music for me, and every part of it is so perfect that I can't imagine it being any better. The keyboards are just outstanding, the guitar parts are melancholic and melodic but sound raw, the drums and bass are just so fucking awesome, especially in the first song where bass lines are so playful and intense, and the vocals are so pure and honest, so angry and alive - listening to Marhoth gives me shivers down my spine! The melodic guitar parts also remind me of that weird guitar sound Egaheer had.

For me, this is the best album I've ever posted on my blog, and to me this tape is one of very few most precious tapes I own. This is the essence of Polish black metal.

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

Stygian Temple - In the Sign of the Five Angles album '16

Stygian Temple is a black metal band from Germany whose line-up is unknown, and so far this full-length album is all the band has released. I got this tape for free when I ordered Norns tape from Penetration Hammer label, before that I didn't even know about this band. The cassette and cover/layout are both professionally made and limited to 200 copies. The album was recently re-relesed as a CD with different cover artwork limited to 500 copies by German label Sol Records.
In the Sign of the Five Angles contains 7 tracks, first one being an intro, and the entire album lasts for 41 minutes. I wonder if the title was supposed to be Angels instead of Angles, because that would make sense. The style is Satanic black metal in its pure form, like bands used to make in the 90's. I find myself reminded of Mayhem, Setherial, Dark Funeral and Tsjuder.

I've read what people have to say about this album on NWN forum and on youtube, and it looks like many people overly appreciate this album and some people were so impressed with it to call it the album of the year. I even read somewhere someone saying that if you don't really enjoy this album, worship it and admire it, you're a wimp who doesn't know what real black metal is. All of it made me wonder is there something wrong with me, it also made me feel a bit confused and feeling guilty for not being all excited about the album and in love with it. Sure, the production is good, and sure - this is pure unholy black metal, and sure, if I was forced to listen to some 2016 album I'd rather listen to this album than many others released in the last year. I also have to give it credit for being better than, for example, new Bethor album which got me so disappointed. But, all in all, I'm not impressed at all. For me, the album is mediocre and boring. My favorite song was the last one - because, well, it's was the last one and it ment the disappointment and annoyance I felt while listening to it was over.

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

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Durthang - Gathering in Dol Guldur album '15

Today I'm sharing and reviewing a band which I love very much - Croatian Durthang! This one-man band comes from small town in Eastern Croatia called Beli Manastir, it was formed in 2014 and so far Durthang has released a demo called Isengard Unleashed in 2014 and a full-length album titled Gathering in Dol Guldur in 2015. New album is going to be released soon and there are already some tracks from this upcoming album available for listening on band's Bandcamp. Morgoth, the only member of Durthang, is also vocalist in Wasteland, pagan black band from my country.

Isengard Unleashed demo was released digitally on Bandcamp and self-released as a CD, it included 3 songs which also appear on this full-length album. Gathering in Dol Guldur was released digitally on Bandcamp, as a CD by Winterwolf Records, and as a cassette limited to only 50 copies by Austrian label Schwarz Klang Produktionen.

I discovered Durthang and didn't expect much from it, I listened and I was so fucking surprised. I could not believe how good the album was when I first heard it! Yes, it's nothing new or original, just Tolkien and Summoning/Caladan Brood/Elffor worship, but I didn't really see it that way, as just another clone. I just really enjoyed it and ended up listening to Durthang over and over again as time passed. After few months, I noticed the Gathering in Dol Guldur album was not only released as a CD, but also as a very limited cassette. I knew I have to get it! I contacted Morgoth over a month ago, asked him if he has any copies of the tape left and he did so I bought. The tape is beautiful, it's a regular tape with sticker on both sides as you can see on pictures I provided in the arhive, and the cover layout is glossy thin cardboard/pro-cover printed on both sides in color. My copy is 4/50 and I am truly happy to own it and would recommend you to buy one (you can get it directly from Morgoth, just contact him on facebook).

This album contains 6 tracks and lasts for 42 minutes, I'd say it's more like epic Tolkien music than black metal, but I guess metal archives who are listing Durthang as atmospheric epic black metal are correct. I wouldn't really call Durthang's style black metal, it's more like Greek Erevos, style is somewhere in between dungeon synth and black metal, but definitely more synth than it is metal.

First song lasts for 9 minutes and it's perfect, the programmed drums aren't annoying to listen to at all, and the synths are just amazing; The tempo is slow and epic.
The second song starts with synths combined with Saruman's speech from the LoTR movie combined with beautiful melody on keyboards.
I'm a huge fan of Tolkien: I've read all books few times on English and translated on my native Croatian language, and LoTR are the movies I've watched so many times it can probably be considered unhealthy. So naturally, I recognized the speech on second Durthang song immediately, it's from the scene in The Two Towers, when Grima comes to Saruman's Orthanc and Saruman has his army and tells them to attack Helm's Deep. This scene gives me chills every time I watch it. Isengard Unleashed song is truly perfect, I don't think words can describe how epic it is, the atmosphere is like the calm before the storm.
The third song called Fall of the King is just as epic and to be completely honest, this entire album is too good for me to review it. I'm trying but I don't feel like it's going very well. I'd like not to write a wall of text every time I review something I really like, but it's like mission impossible because every song is literally better than the previous one. So I've decided to cut this short even though I'm so impressed with the album that I could write a book about it. I really could. I just have to mention that the last track is Summoning's South Away cover and it's glorious (but it will never even compare with Summoning's version, nothing ever will). I also have to say most of the songs on this album are instrumental.

The only remark I have is the incorrect spelling of the fourth track called The Shadows Lies upon His Tomb. It's not grammatically correct.

So let's just jump to conclusion which is - what's my opinion about the album. My opinion is that Durthang is by far the best Croatian black metal band from the bands that are currently active, and it makes me proud to be Croatian. I even think Summoning members would be proud of the work Morgoth did and does, if they'd listen to it. The conclusion is that Durthang is truly underrated and has extreme potential. Listen to it and enjoy as I truly am. And if you're a fan of Tolkien and Summoning, buy the original album.

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

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Entwertung - Formel der Fäulnis demo '00 & Karma des Untergang demo '01

After making a huge post about Castrum earlier today, I don't feel like writing that much but I do feel like sharing more so this will be pretty short.

Some of you know that Grausamkeit's member B.S.o.D. was involved in many bands and projects and Entwertung was one of them. This project isn't on metal archives because the music isn't metal, I don't really know how to properly describe the music except calling it darkwave. There are 5 Entwertung releases listed on Discogs, but there were probably more. All of them were released as tapes, 2 by Fucking Armageddon Productions, one by Dominance Of Darkness Records and 2 by Chanteloup Creations. I have the two Chanteloup tapes so I decided to rip them and share.

I noticed some Entwertung rips on web are completely fake, there's even a GRAVEWISH Scene rip which isn't even Entwertung but German Ravenclaw's material. I think it's helpful for everyone if I share what I have, at least there's nothing fake about it.

Both tapes are demos and together they last for less than 30 minutes.
Formel der Fäulnis was probably released in 2000, it contains 9 tracks and complete length is only almost 11 minutes. Karma des Untergang contains 11 tracks which last almost 18 minutes. Both are in the same weird style which I don't even know how to properly categorize - for me this is darkwave with some synth/goth and EBM? I really don't know, this is not my area of expertise.

I like it, I always thought B.S.o.D. is an excellent keyboardist, and playing lo-fi black metal didn't do much justice to his talents. With Entwerung he managed to express himself much better in my opinion. Entwertung is very unique and fun to listen to, very interesting music and I'd recommend it.

Here's an unnecessary fun fact for the end of this review: the second song on Formel der Fäulnis is a cover of 80's Beverly Hills Cop theme song.

                                                   Formel der Fäulnis demo '00
                       Download my tape rip (mp3@CBR320kbps + pics and scans) @ yadi.sk

                                                 Karma des Untergang demo '01
                      Download my tape rip (mp3@CBR320kbps + pics and scans) @ yadi.sk

Castrum - Black Silhouette Enfolded in Sunrise promo '97

Where do I start? Do I tell the whole story about me and Castrum chronologically or...? I think that's what I'll do.

There used to be a store in Zagreb, called Kovač. I was maybe 13 years old, I had a doctor here in Zagreb even though I didn't live here back then (I do now), so I went to Zagreb only occasionally, maybe once a month. Zagreb is pretty far from my home city, probably ~500km. Anyway, back then, which was probably in 2004 or sometime then up to the next couple of years, every time I'd go to Zagreb I'd bring money I had saved and spend it in record shops.

Anyway, this Kovač store was nothing but a simple camping trailer located between couple of streets, in backyard of some buildings in center of Zagreb, it pretty much looked like this and back then, they had awesome stuff inside, from CDs and tapes and vinyls, to boots, gothic jewlery, leather jackets, flags, posters, and 'zines. It was awesome! I'm pretty sure Kovač still exists, but last time I went there, it was crap - not much music, mostly just art and gothic clothes and boring shit.

So, once I went to Zagreb maybe 12 or more years ago, and I bought this Croatian Various Artists compilation CD that looked interesting to me, and on my way back home to Labin I listened to it on my discman and track #5 was Castrum - A Symphony in Moonlight and Nightmares Opus II. I don't think I can even remember or describe how crazy in love I was with it... I remember hearing that short song while travelling back home in car with my dad, looking at booklet, there's a page that has info about Castrum and even a nice picture:
I just stared, put the song on repeat, listened million times over and over and I remember thinking "wow, these guys did this, in my coutry back then! In Rijeka!". Rijeka is located somewhere between my home city Labin and Zagreb, maybe 60km away from Labin, near to the sea. I've been to Rijeka so many times, it's practically home. And this thought just blew my mind, they recorded this, made this music right here! I will never forget driving through Rijeka while listening to the same song on repeat over and over! I was insanely impressed! I loved it, I was so... happy!

Anyway, as I got home, after a few days I think I contacted my music seller. Yep, back then I had a guy from Croatian United Forces 'zine who had music, and every now and then I'd call him on phone, tell him what I want to order and I've been buying albums as mp3 on DVDs from him for a while, so this time I called him and asked him if he can maybe get more Castrum for me. And he did, I bought an original full length CD and a CD promo version of this album. And I've been listening to Castrum ever since.
I don't have those CDs anymore unfortunately. I plan to buy both original CDs sometime soon again, as I really want them in my collection.

I've recently recommended Castrum to my friend Ron, he usually loves all I recommend, but - he downloaded Castrum, listened and said it's a disgusting Cradle of Filth copy. I don't know if it is, as it was formed pretty damn early, I have no idea if Castrum were influenced by CoF back then or if they just made their own thing that ended up sounding like CoF.

Anyhow, now we can finally get to the point. Castrum was the first ever Croatian Black Metal band. They made a demo and two full-length albums, and this (first) full-length was released (as I believed for my entire life) as a promotional CD and as a full-length CD with different cover artwork and tracklist. But recently, I came across a Discogs page where one guy was selling the tape promo version of this album. I contacted him and it turns up he's from Zagreb where I live, so we met and he gave me this cassette in person.

Okay, so what do I have to say about the tape? It's a normal TDK tape + very nice cardboard layout; It isn't handnumbered, but I've asked Insanus (who played guitars and keyboards for Castrum) how limited this tape is, and he said only 50 copies or less were made.
I guess what I should have said in this review, instead of all the peronal stuff, is what the tape sounds like? Well, you know, maybe Ron was right, maybe Castrum were influenced by old CoF. I've forgot to ask Insanus if they were. In any case, I'm not a fan of CoF, I don't really know what they sounded like back in the 90's. I only know what Castrum sounded like. So I choose not to compare. Maybe it is better to listen to this completely open minded. It's sympho melodic black metal, with very enjoyable high pitched vocals, dominating keyboards and strong guitar melodies. I think it's perfect and epic and would truly recommend this to everyone, every song's catchy and special in it's own way. The atmosphere is very vampiric/gothic and dark, the production's maybe even too good for 90's standards. It really feels like listening to some better known band, not an obscurity as Castrum is.

I have to mention few really atmospheric masterpieces before I finish this review, Tears of Piano and last track called For Those Wistful Moments in the Mist which is something even Summoning would be proud of! Tears of Piano is played so fucking perfectly, sensitively, delicately, it's orgasm for my soul. So sad. So gentle. So evil but good. So hopeful. So personal. It's like looking at a big tsunami, the end of your world approaching, and you're just standing there, knowing you're done, seeing your life and everything truly as it is for the first time, accepting, feeling those are last moments you have and just kind of grasping every feeling with your soul, every touch, the feel of wind and cold, the sight of panic and hopelessness around you, while turning into a rock, a memory, a thought until you finally are done - you end, you disappear, and noone cares, and only a small symphony is left... nothing else.

Yeah so basically, I'd recommend Castrum even if they weren't from my country. I really would. I see this band as one of the most tallented bands in the 90's. I'm glad to have the original cassette and a CD too soon. I don't really think you'll be able to order this tape as it's so limited.

Also, I think cover artwork is beautiful and I have to say it kind of reminds me of another one of my all time favorite sympho Black Metal albums -  For all Tid by Dimmu Borgir, I guess because of the colors.

I've already wrote far too much, so nothing else to say than I hope you'll appreciate this.

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

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Sadokist - first demo '08 and Rehearsal demo tape '12

Sadokist is probably my favorite new black/thrash band. They come from Finland, and so far they've released all kind of releases: 4 demos, 1 split, 2 compilations, 1 full-length and 1 live album. Their style is black/thrash, pretty old school and pretty raw too.

I decided to rip the two tapes that I have from Sadokist, and share with you. I've had them for years, and no longer remember where I bought them. I thought I have more Sadokist tapes, but somehow I only have these two. I plan to buy more with time. I actually wanted to order their latest Live in Perkele tape, but these tapes were sold out very, very quickly so now - I'm just hoping Sadokist will re-release that live tape, as Sadist Stalker told me they plan to.

What I love about Sadokist and what makes this band special for me is the energy, they just have that special something that can be felt listening to their music, a charisma. They aren't too original, but still they stand out from the crowd of new black/thrash bands for me. I can feel they love what they do and do what is fun for them - other newer bands who play the same style of black mostly make me bored or amused for short period of time, but Sadokist is a band I keep coming back to because their music just feels right. It's evil, thrashy, talented, straight-to-your-face Satanic madness! It's powerful and I just worship Sadokist because all of that. I also watched all their videos/live concerts that are on youtube and they are the most perfect band when performing live. It's too bad I'll never get to see them live.
I know this band is not that well known, it's still pretty underground, but I always rather listen to their music than some better known band - for so many reasons, most important being the music and the feeling - it's just so pure, filthy and evil, yet so simple, I just really love it. What I love the most are guitar riffs and vocals, which once again aren't too original but somehow all of it has that special vibe for me. Last time I enjoyed thrash/black this much was when I listened to mighty Japanese White Hell.

I've ripped their first demo called Evil Sado Fuckin' Metal and their Rehearsal Tape demo.
Evil Sado Fuckin' Metal was self-released in 2008 as a CD limited to 100 copies, and year later in 2009 it was also released as a tape limited to 150 copies by my beloved Wolfsvuur Records. This demo contains 4 songs and entire demo lasts for 12 and a half minutes. My favorite song on this short demo is second song called Demonic Bitch. I love this song because it's so thrashy and punky and black at the same time, so dirty and powerful.
Rehearsal Tape was released only as a tape (well...duh!) limited to 60 copies by Wolfsvuur Records and this tape lasts a bit longer, over 21 minutes. There are 6 tracks on it, each song lasts around 3 minutes and it sounds great but I do have one small remark - vocals and guitar are so loud, you can barely hear the drums. Drums should definitely be louder. My favorite song on this demo is The Hellfucker, I love the wild rhythm of it and powerful vocals, especially in the chorus where 2 types of vocals can be heard. It even has the short Sabbat-like guitar solo which fits great in the song.

I have to say I really love Sadist Stalker's vocals, that's one of the things that makes Sadokist so great. His vocals aren't empty and boring and predictive like the case is with too many other bands, I can just feel he's a fucking evil bastard who doesn't give a fuck just by listening to him. I don't mean it as an insult of course, he's a nice guy, but so very passionate about what he does which is excellent! I admire it! Most music that I listen to leaves me feeling empty, even when it impresses me, but not Sadokist. This band just affects me, it is too powerful and real. It's like a drug to me. I really envy everyone who get to see this band live. Maybe it's good I won't see them live, as I'd probably break my neck headbanging.

Well, that's all I have to say. I'm giving you two rips of my Sadokist cassettes, and if you like black/thrash or old school black, evil black, powerful black, download and enjoy it and in my opinion, it's worth buying for sure. This band is a masterpiece.

                                                     Evil Sado Fuckin' Metal demo '08
                   Download my tape rip (mp3@CBR320kbps + pics and scans) @ Mediafire.com

                                                            Rehearsal Tape demo '12
                        Download my tape rip (mp3@CBR320kbps + pics and scans) @ yadi.sk