Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Great Vast Forest - Where the Warriors Ride... demo '99

Great Vast Forest is atmospheric pagan black metal band formed in 1995 in Brazil and this is their third demo tape. The band is still active and they've released a compilation CD of their early work in 2015 - I'd appreciate if someone would rip it and share it on web as I've never been able to find and listen most of their early material that's on it.

The tape was bought from some Ukranian seller on Discogs months ago for pretty cheap and fair price, there are still copies left if you want to purchase one - I think it's worth the money because the band is very good and the tape looks beautiful too.

The demo is very short, there are 3 songs on it with complete length of ~12 minutes only. I'd recommend to check out this demo if you like atmospheric/pagan/melodic black metal with keyboards and if you do like it - check out Malkuth, Hecate, Songe d'Enfer and Satanaquia too because the style is quite similar.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Apoplexy / Acoasma - Golden Era split '13

Today I'm sharing something a bit unusual - a death metal split. I'm not a huge fan of the genre, as you know my favorite genres are black metal and doom metal, but I do occasionally listen to some death metal too. Even though I'm not an expert when it comes to this genre, I noticed that there used to be a very interesting scene in Slovakia in 90's with very good and underrated bands and two of those underrated obscure bands are Apoplexy and Acoasma.

Apoplexy was formed in 1993 and they've released their first demo titled Dysmorphophobia the same year, and after that they released two full-lengths: Tears of the Unborn in '95 and Monarchy of Damned in '99.
Acoasma was formed in 1994 and released 2 demo tapes in '96 - first demo was titled Eyes Full of Blood (the rip of it is still impossible for me to find), and the second demo titled Lost in Personal Hell. This split tape was released in 2013 by Slovak label Akne Productions and it contains Apoplexy's Dysmorphophobia demo '93 and Acoasma's Lost in Personal Hell demo '96.

Acoasma's side of the split is pretty good pure old school death metal: not too brutal, pretty dark, with some nice melodies here and there. There are 5 Acoasma tracks on split and complete length of all of them is 20 minutes.
Apoplexy's side of the split is better in my opinion: 7 tracks and 34 minutes of really good death metal with plenty of melodies, mid to doomy tempo. Their sound is quite unique, it's definitely not some angry brutal fast paced death metal, it's actually quite dark, atmospheric and even melancholic death metal at moments so I'd say the genre is old school death with doom/death, melodic death and atmospheric death influences. All I can say is that I really enjoy this Apoplexy's demo, it's actually one of my all time favorite death metal demos.

If you find yourself enjoying this split, I'd like to recommend a few other Slovak 90's death metal bands for you to check out: Aphranya - an obscure atmospheric death band which only released one demo in '97 titled Black Our Days, Daybreak - an excellent melodic death metal band, Decay - very unique old school death band which released one of the best demos in Slovak 90's metal underground titled The Planet of AnimalsInsepultus with their amazing old school death metal sound - really a great band worth checking out, and Amorbital - one of my personally favorite Slovak death metal bands.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Fight - United and Strong demo '94

Fight was a one-man band from Poland formed in '94 whose only member also played in North, Grom and My Infinite Kingdom and this is Fight's only demo. I've had this demo for long time and I don't remember where I bought it, but I think it was probably from Werewolf Promotion Distro.
This tape was self-released in '94 and re-released in 2000 by Majestat Nocy Promotion (the tape I own is a re-release). United and Strong is a short demo, it lasts for only 17 minutes and contains 4 songs of Polish hateful black metal.

What I like the most about this tape is the cover artwork, it's beautiful and just looking at it one might expect the music to be some sort of Pagan black or even atmospheric black/doom but it isn't - it's pretty disappointing old school raw black. The sound production is as expected, pretty silent and unclear, vocals are too loud and sound like some wolfish growls, the guitar riffs are very simple Darkthrone-worship. And the drums... what to say about that? Drums are programmed and sound like annoying loops, and make the entire demo sound like some bedroom black metal. There is really nothing about this music that makes it special. It's all too simple and too boring, and sounds like it was created and recorded the same day - it probably was, this is a rehearsal demo afterall.

I believe that the first song titled Our Fight and the third song titled My Fatherland are different rehearsal versions of the same song, because the guitar riffs are the same and there's even some sort of evil laughter near the end of both songs so they are either the same song, or just sound like that because the artist lacked inspiration.
Last track on the demo is cover of Mayhem's Freezing Moon which I'm tired of hearing because too many bands have covered it. There's a printing mistake on layout, so this song is titled The Freezing Moon instead of Freezing Moon, but that's not a big deal, I just thought I'd mention that as I really have nothing else to say about this demo.

Conclusion is - it's not a very good demo but I'd still rather listen to bands like this, simple and pure old school second wave black metal, than most new black metal music because even though it's pretty boring, when I consider this was made in '94 - it kind of makes it better.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Sphera Lunae - Lunar Empire: The Gloomy Fable demo '98

Sphera Lunae was an obscure band from Italy formed in 1997 which only ever released one demo tape before splitting up. Their style is gothic black metal. I came across this band's metal archives page many months ago while studying Italian 90's scene and thought they seem interesting so I bought the tape.

This demo tape was released by Mexican label Witchcraft Records and it is pro-tape with beautiful big, thick, glossy layout. I quite like the cover artwork, it is definitely unusual.

The music is keyboard driven melodic/symphonic black/doom with gothic atmosphere and when listening to it for the first couple of times, I didn't like it because I found it to be too melodic for my taste. But now, when listening to it again for probably fifth or sixth time, it sounds better and more enjoyable, it just took me a while to get used to how melodic this is. The entire demo only lasts for 16 minutes which is kind of sad - if this band had more material, I'd probably end up liking them.
Each of the 4 songs lasts for ~4 minutes and each song is pretty good and interesting, but I think one part of the music which just makes me not enjoy it completely are the vocals. They aren't bad, just somehow too melodic and too boring.

Sphera Lunae's vocalist was also vocalist of another very melodic Italian band called Macbeth and I can't really say that much about Macbeth as I've only ever listened to their demo tape titled Nocturnal Embrace and Sphera Lunae's vocalist wasn't present on that demo, he joined later in 2000. My opinion about Macbeth's tape is that music is too melodic for my taste: very good music but bad vocals which I somehow just can't enjoy (and there are also female vocals on Macbeth's demo which makes me like it all even less). The style of Sphera Lunae's demo and Macbeth's first demo is pretty similar (Macbeth is even more melodic and gothic than Sphera Lunae) so if you enjoy this demo I'm sharing, check out Macbeth too. If I enjoyed the vocals, this would actually be pretty good.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Centurion Centauri - Centurion Centauri is Dead demo '00

Centurion Centauri is a black metal band from France formed in 1997. It is a one-man band by person who calls himself Mist and he also played in Deviant, a band I remember enjoying. Centurion Centauri released 2 demo tapes, one full-length and a split tape with ThyLord.

Centurion Centauri is Dead demo tape was released in 2000 by Chanteloup Creations and I bought this tape years ago. Some days ago I noticed it hasn't leaked on web yet in good quality, even though the entire demo can be listened on YouTube, so I decided to rip it and share it.
It is a simple xerox cover with regular tape, and the demo is short - contains 5 songs including an intro and lasts for 20 minutes. The style is raw (boring) black metal, vocals sound like some sort of terrible noise, the drum machine can barely be heard and just adds more random noise to already noisy music, guitar riffs are simple and boring, and the bass - I can barely hear it. It's all really simple and unoriginal, and for me the demo is a disappointment. I cannot think of anything else I'd like to say so I'm going to end it here - I'm sharing this demo so people who are or might be interested in this band can listen to it, but I would not recommend it and I don't like it.