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

11 comments:

  1. I have a dub of Kraina Wiecznego Mrozu - Ziemia ojców and it sound quite different from this making me wonder if it actually is even the same recording. Then again, how can it be if it was released in '99 and recorded '98 as I recall I got it sometime in '97! I had initially just taken the titles from the M.A. entry as my cassette helpfully just said Kraina Wiecznego Mrozu on it. Can't seem to find the note with that tape's tracklisting, I must look harder. The songs are in different order and running times too.

    I suppose the Bitwa fellow would either be a Pole relocated to USA or a descendant of one. There is a sizeable Polish community over there as American TV shows have taught us! :D I've listened through this once and got confused by the KWM part so I don't really have much more to say at this point, must relisten in attentive manner.

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    1. I hope you'll find more info about this '97 demo dub you have. If you don't after some time and you feel like solving that mystery, I can try mailing the rip of the dub to Wened - he'll most likely know more about this! But as I said, we're not close friends so I can't guarantee that he'd even take time to listen to it and reply.

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    2. Ok, I found the original letter with the tracklisting (!) and it matches the order on the split tape; Pruskie.../ Nigdy.../ Wojna / Ziemia... - looks like the Metal Archives entry has either the tracks in wrong order or it is another version with the order switched? Also I remembered wrong; I got it in '99 and it was explicitly titled demo I 98! So perhaps there was a '98 edition with this order of tracks and a '99 re-release with a bit of switcharoo for some reason?

      Still does not explain how different they sound! And I am pretty sure mine is what it should be as I'm quite sure he shrieks "Wojna!" at the beginning of the said tape... then again I could be hearing what I 'want' to hear there.

      Further research and comparison, it's the same tracks in different order or under switched names. Sound differs too and the split versions have longer intros etc.
      My dub:
      I Pruskie... 04:35 / III Wojna on split 05:34
      II Nigdy... 03:12 / IV Ziemia... on split 03:25
      III Wojna 04:27 / II Nigdy... on split 04:49
      IV Ziemie... 02:59 / I Pruskie... on split 03:15
      What the hell. I wonder how this came to be. Wanna compare yourself?

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    3. Metal archives has are wrong because the version of this demo that leaked on web was by zuchu666 who got it from some contributor and this version had wrong song titles, and I was the one who added his version/rip of the demo to metalarea but after a while, when ripping this split I noticed there are mistakes.
      https://metalarea.org/forum/index.php?showtopic=279740
      I corrected my first demo topic as much as I could - gave songs their correct names but as I don't have a scan of the first demo, I don't know if tracks were in same order as on split so I tried to make them in order like on metal archives... :/

      Is that of any help or is your dub still different from my corrected version on metal area that I got from zuchu666's blog?

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    4. Well, the major differences are as stated the sound, track lenghts and that the titles and order are mismatched:
      My dub:
      I Pruskie... 04:35 / III Wojna on split 05:34
      II Nigdy... 03:12 / IV Ziemia... on split 03:25
      III Wojna 04:27 / II Nigdy... on split 04:49
      IV Ziemie... 02:59 / I Pruskie... on split 03:15

      Meaning first track is my dub and after slash is which track it matches on the split. As you see it's totally different also from the wrong order of zuchu's. I'll up it with the Vornat scans and toss you a link "right after I make some coffee" (=hopefully still tonight unless something derails my attention again!)

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    5. I downloaded your rip (and scans) but I will look into it as soon as I have more time which will be this weekend and will write then.

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    6. Wow, you were right! I've compared your rip, my rip of split, my corrected version of what zuchu666 shared, and original ("mistitled") zuchu666's version. Here are my conclusions:
      1) It looks like you have early version of this demo which was re-recorded and also samples/ambience (wolves, crows/ravens, wind and such sounds) were added in songs so that's why zuchu666's demo/my demo on split versions are longer.
      2) your tracklist fits perfectly with what I downloaded from zuchu666's blog before I corrected titles to make them match with what's on original split cassette; sure, his version is re-recorded and includes ambience and stuff, but tracklist fits to your rip; well, not completely, songs are in different order but titles fit with your titles, those are the same songs which I believed to be mistitled.
      3) I believed your/zuchu666's titles are wrong because they don't fit the split and tracklist given on split layout, but in song Wojna on your rip he indeed does say/scream Wojna at start of the song! And also the song Ziemia ojców on your rip - it makes sense it would be about patriotic stuff because even though I don't hear him sing "Ziemia ojców" term in any part of the song, I hear him singing on polish (which is similar to Croatian) words that would translate to brothers, our home and similar, I can hear the song is about love for homeland so the title it has on your rip fits perfectly (Ziemia ojców on Polish=Zemlja očeva on Croatian=Fatherland).

      Conclusion is - you have different version without samples/ambience, and your track titles are correct, so is zuchu666's version... and Werewolf Promotion label made a mistake! That doesn't happen that often but it's obvious he fucked up for whatever reason.

      Here's the version zuchu666 posted on his blog with tracks in different order than on split and on your rip, but with song titles matching titles on your rip : https://yadi.sk/d/97XyXFUO3Egi3V

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    7. Thanks for the conclusions, seems legit to me and I agree this being most likely an early version. It was very clearly marked as demo I 1998 while the whatwasitagain 'zine version that's on MA is 1999.

      I'll compare to the zuchu666 rip personally too, thanks for the link. Do you think I ought to make a post of the '98 version of mine?

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    8. You could make a post about your promo version.
      I'm just a little confused about what am I supposed to do - change the tracklist of my rip of split? Somehow that doesn't seem like a good idea. Then again, I don't like how vocalist is singing "Wojna!" on track titled Nigdy Się Nie Poddam. HAH! Damn tapes!

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    9. I don't think you need to go change the tracklisting and reupload it - it's Werewolf who printed it like that. Just make a note of it?

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    10. Ok, I made a note here and in additional info on metalarea and I also corrected the topic of the first demo on metalarea, edited track lengths and removed download link of my corrected version of demo from zuchu666's blog, replaced it with download link of zuchu666's version which has correct titles like your rip.

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