Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Hegemon - Still Raping After All These Years demo '98

Hegemon was formed in '96 in France and they released their first demo tape titled Rape the Banner of Light in '97. Still Raping After All These Years is their second demo and it was released in '98. This demo contains entire first demo plus 3 additional songs.

Band's line-up is quite interesting: vocalist Nicolas Blachier was also vocalist in one of my favorite French bands Your Shapeless Beauty, and he was the owner of French label Chanteloup Creations which is the label that released first two Hegemon demo tapes. I think I've read somewhere that Rape the Banner of Light, Hegemon's first demo, was the first ever tape released by Chanteloup but as I can't find proof of that now, I can't say for sure if my memory fools me or if I actually remember it correctly. Drummer on this (and the first) demo was Krzys, member of The Black Legions, known for being Mütiilation drummer in '94 and '95, and for having his own project Belathuzur. Bassist is also member of Diamond Eyed Princess, which is a great French black metal band and I highly recommend listening to them if you haven't already.

There are 7 songs on Still Raping After All These Years demo with complete length of 26 minutes. First 4 songs on this demo are, like I said, from band's first demo and these 4 tracks are in my opinion best part of the demo. The style is mid to fast paced black metal with high pitched vocals and melodic guitar riffs and pretty loud bass lines. I'd say the style of black metal present here is like a mix between Bekhira and Funeral - so it's basically epic sounding old school melodic black metal with raw sound.
I have to mention that the production isn't great, but that's pretty normal for black metal demo tapes from the 90's, especially the ones released by Chanteloup. The last 3 songs actually have even worse production so they sound even more raw but don't get me wrong, this is in no way raw black metal - if you are able to tolerate poor noisy production, you'll notice it's actually very good epic/true black metal.

I quite like this demo and Hegemon in general, so I would recommend listening to this - just don't expect anything you haven't heard before. This is recommended to people who enjoy second wave black metal, French black metal, and raw rehearsal sound.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Wyrd - Unchained Heathen Wrath demo '00

Today I'm sharing another one of my all time favorite demos. I believe everybody knows this band, but in case you don't - here's short introduction: Wyrd comes from Finland, the band was formed in 1997 under the band name Hellkult and in 1998 they changed name to Wyrd. Band features members from many other well known Finnish bands such as Azaghal, Lathspell, Oath and Valar (just to name a few). Unchained Heathen Wrath is band's first demo released under the band name Wyrd, it was released in 2000 by Chanteloup Creations as a tape limited to 200 copies. It was also released as a CD by Dragonthrone Productions.

There are 7 tracks on this demo tape with total length of around 30 minutes, and the style is pretty unique mix of black/doom and raw black metal. It is kind of like a unique mix between Forgotten Woods and Ildjarn. My favorite song on this demo is third track titled Hel which sounds like some Viking black/doom metal and is one of the most memorizable songs in black metal, riffs are truly amazing with very strange singing vocals and loud, amazing bass lines. If you find yourself enjoying this song, I'd recommend you to listen to Rautavaris - their style is quite similar to this song and it's a very good Finnish black metal band.

Conclusion is - this demo has already leaked on web long ago in high quality, but I'm sharing my rip today because I really love this demo and would recommend you to listen to it.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Titan Mountain - Above Fangs of Majestic Stonetitans album '99

Titan Mountain was a Polish symphonic black metal band from Biłgoraj formed in 1995 under the band name Forest of Pride Slavs. Band changed name to Titan Mountain in 1997 and released 3 demos prior to releasing this full-length album I'm sharing today.
It's only member was Nazgrim who also played in many other very obscure Polish bands; The only band from those that I managed to find to download is death/doom band called Immortal Visions who released one demo tape in 1993 titled Aquaritia. I've listened to this demo and it's not bad.

Titan Mountain had many releases (just look at their discography on metal archives!) but the only rip that leaked on web was/is from this full-length. I tried to find more Titan Mountain material, but had no luck so far... I mean, there's Screams of Shadows demo '97 circulating the web, but that's completely fake, it's nothing but a track taken from this album. I would definitely like to hear more from this band.

This album was originally released as a tape by Nawia Productions in '99, then in 2006 it was re-released with different cover artwork as a tape limited to 200 copies by Strigoi Records, and finally it was re-released once again in 2014 as a CD limited to 500 copies by Hell is Here Production. What I have is the first press by Nawia Productions, I've no idea how limited it is because it is not hand-numbered.

There are 3 songs on side A of this tape album and those were recorded in 1999. I can't say I enjoy them because there is too much going on in music, too much keyboards and too much of very annoying programmed drums. To me it all sounds somehow exaggerated, it's like listening to two different bands at the same time, or actually more like listening to some epic black metal band while playing 90's video games - these keyboards sometimes remind me of some old video games...
The side B contains 4 songs recorded in 1997 and those are a bit better - but the drum machine is still pretty annoying. If it wasn't for those programmed drums, these 4 tracks on side B would actually be pretty good sympho black with good vocals - vocals on side B of the tape are actually pretty good and that's what I like the most about the entire album.

All in all, I'm quite disappointed with this album - it's obvious band had some potential, but it's like Nazgrim had too many ideas and decided to mix all of them together even when they don't fit. I think this would sound a lot better if it was made more simple; and I think sympho black should have good atmosphere, but this album somehow doesn't have atmophere even though there are plenty of synths. I'd recommend it if you're curious and/or would like to hear something a bit unusual.