sunnuntai 30. syyskuuta 2012

Skumju Akmeņi - Skumju Akmeņi (1996)

Skumju Akmeņi - Skumju Akmeņi Cassette album 1996
1) Skumju akmeņi
2) Krustceles
3) Nav tumša upe lāpas staros
4) Inūtilis
5) Stāsts par meiteni
6) Mums pietrūka smieklu
7) Atlantīda
8) Debess straumes
9) Pēc septiņiem vienatnē gadiem
10) Es vēlos palikt...
11) Pāri ilgām pelēkām dienām
12) Man pieder ceļš
13) Mūžīgā miera iela
14) Mēma zemes skumjā balss


I noticed I've posted quite a bit of black metal recently. So I guess it's about time for a seemingly random "different" post again. Here's a non-metal item for change, a cassette album from Latvian band Skumju Akmeņi I ripped on a whim some months ago. I suppose I call them gothic rock like people at seem to do... though I guess indie rock would be a closer call? Their vocalist Helēna Kozlova seems to be very well known in her native land as a singer-songwriter. I bought this tape when I happened to see the band live, oddly enough, in a rock bar in my hometown around 1996/97, can't remember exactly when it was. Anyways, I recall enjoying the gig and when I listened to the tape later being quite dissappointed with it. I can't really remember anymore but I guess it was a bit wilder live. Scans of the cover enclosed.

Ripped from an original tape the quality is good, though there is a little wear in some places. Musically they're playing something with touches of gothic rock but I'd say gearing more towards indie rock though it is quite moody and melancholic. Some (very scarce) Baltic folk elements can also be heard. Helēna's vocals remind me of someone I can't seem to name right now... you know those female singer-songwriters, one of 'em. That's going to help. She sounds a bit husky, with a quite low voice and actually does some rough vocals too for spice. As you probably noticed from the tracklisting, all lyrics are in Latvian which is not my strongest language. They gave me an English lyric sheet with the tape but I don't seem to be able to find it now. If I come across it later I'll scan it. I remember the band name meant "sorrowful stones" or something like that. Pretty light stuff with some nice bits but lasting almost 55 minutes it feels too long and in general isn't really my chalice of poison. For open-minded readers, fans of the genre and/or the vocalist.

perjantai 28. syyskuuta 2012

Amon Sul - Goat Mit Uns demo 1994

Amon Sul - Goat Mit Uns demo 1994
1) War Prophet
2) Even the Sun Is Red
3) Saltus Heathen Toad
4) Goat mit uns


Here's another item sent me by Fenrirsson, this time black metal from France. "Goat mit uns" was the only demo of Amon Sul who had apparently been playing without a name from 1992 and released only this one demo. Metal Archives seems to have the demo as a 1995 release whereas comrade Fenrirsson dated it to 1994. I'm trusting him on this one. Scans of the cover and insert (with lyrics) are included.

If you're expecting melodic, atmospheric black metal you can forget about it here. You're not exactly getting Les Légions Noires-style rawness either though this certainly has spades that quality to it. "War Prophet" starts off with a curious martial quality to it and maintains a certain aura of... well, mixing martial industrial/ambient with raw lo-fi black metal style through its duration. Must be due the cold production, electronics and mechanical percussion. The second track blasts away without much ado and the frantic buzzing of the guitars strongly reminds me off Norsemen Helheim - The Helheim Society that is, not the norsecore vikings. Things go on similar manner for the rest, slowing down a notch or two for "Saltus Heathen Toad" and picking up again and actually changing the sound a bit for the title track. Somehow this keeps growing on me the more I listen to it, which is almost universally a good sign. Interesting demo, not really for everyone I suppose.

tiistai 25. syyskuuta 2012

Selbstmord - Rehearsal 21.10.1999

Selbstmord (pol) - Rehearsal 21st October 1999
1) I
2) II
3) III
4) The Sign of Lie


Ok another case of "help needed" here and an item I got already long ago but sort of forgot. I was contributed this recording around the same time as the other Selbstmord rehearsal and similar items but as it had no tracklisting and I'm not familiar enough with the material I decided to wait if the contributor would figure out the rest of it. Well, he did not, time passed and here we finally are. There certainly isn't cover for this, I just made that for my amusement.

This would seem to be four tracks of which the first three are currently unidentified. They are also quite long, between 6:48 and 8:40, and so much longer than the old Selbstmord tracks were. The sound is very good for a rehearsal, I just simply don't know the material well enough to go guessing. As this is a fully instrumental session, the difficulty level for correct identification is somewhat higher. Looking at the durations and comparing them to the lengths of the tracks on the debut demo I can't help but wonder if these actually are medleys of the demo songs? If you are exceptionally talented at recognizing untitled rehearsal tracks please lend me your skill and check this recording out!

maanantai 24. syyskuuta 2012

Nergal - Live in Greece 7.5.1994

Nergal (gre) - Live in Next Club, Athens Greece 7th May 1994
1) Track I
2) Track II
3) Track III
4) Track IV


Today's item is something I need help with. One of my traders back in the day dubbed me this recording which is supposed to be the Greek Nergal playing live (probably) in Greece at either 7th May or 5th July - not 100% certain about that either. (Research & comment confirmed it was May). No tracklisting but it's four tracks. I'm not really familiar enough with the old Nergal material to identify them... though they had recorded so far something like four tracks plus intros and whatever was on that 1991 demo Metal Archives mentions, so this ought be most of them and despite lasting only about 14 minutes might be their full set... it seems to start with the first track already in progress so I think it is missing something. As you should be able to guess that up there's not a real cover.

So I'd appreciate if I could get following things:
A) confirm it actually is Nergal (though it does sound awful lot like them) - Done, it is Nergal, playing with Rotting Christ and Samael
B) confirm the date and venue - Did research, confirmed venue, reuploaded with corrected date, confirmed by an eyewitness source too
C) last but certainly not least, tracklisting

The recording itself has a very decent sound, it's clear and you can clearly make out all the instruments. Music is mostly quite slow definitely Greek style black metal with emphasis on atmosphere and abundant synth presence. Vocals are a combination of harsh black metal growls, clear half-spoken ones and whispers. The third track is almost fully instrumental and basically just percussion and synths, quite ritualistic and sounds actually more than a little improvised. This is probably an audience recording, there's some babbling in what might be Greek but as I'm by no means an expert it could just as well be Portuguese as it's not that loud or clear and the person recording seems to have enough sense to shut the hell up. It's quite good if you like old, atmospheric Southern style black metal and even better if I get the info I need!

PS: After my research I would like to get the rest of the event as well, that is Rotting Christ's and Samael's sets. RC should be about 30 minutes. Let me know if you got them!

tiistai 18. syyskuuta 2012

Vama Marg - Initiation of the Dark Path demo 1992

Vama Marg - Initiation of the Dark Path demo 1992
1) Evokation, the Poet (Intro)
2) Initiation of the Dark Path
3) Iron Justice

Mediafire / Depositfiles

We stick to the letter "V" and Finnish black metal for one more post, the other day I was contacted by comrade Drowned of old Lockjaw fame and he sent me this obscure demo. He had ripped the tape at the request of an old band member willing to hear it again and this gives us the opportunity to do so as well. Thanks! No covers, or pretty much anything of the sort and not sure if one exists in the first place. UPDATE: A cover does exist as Drowned was asked if he had a copy. So if anyone reading happens to have it, get in touch (as usual)!

Like Drowned warned me in his email, the sound is very raw due this having been recorded on a 4 tracker in their rehearsal room. It's crude, barbaric, murky and filthy. There is background hissy noise present throughout the rip (coming from trying to clean the sound I suppose) and you can barely tell anything apart. Combined with the sluggish pace of the first proper track the effect is wonderfully demented and at times brings old Beherit and from more recent times Ride For Revenge to mind. I don't know really anything about the band apart from what D mentioned so I can't say if they have recorded anything else than this short (less than nine minutes) outburst of blasphemy but if they have I would be very interested to hear it. I can't really recommend this to all the readers but madmen into brutally crude sounding black metal should brave this. Delightfully horrid!

maanantai 17. syyskuuta 2012

Vornat - Gjotnejm demo 1996

Vornat - Gjotnejm demo II 1996
1) Prelude for Hate
2) Into the Nightly Sky
3) Sword of a Thousand Funerals
4) Grim


Breath of Pestilence

The second Vornat demo, courtesy of unholydeath like mentioned in the previous post. Thank you! With cover scan included again and a vastly superior rip compared to the 128 kbps version that's been around since forever.

For this demo Vornat had diminished down to two men, though the bassist Behemoth was already written over as ex-member on the 1st demo cover (at least on some copies) and the previous vocalist Ahriman had also left sometime earlier the same year and he would follow the freezing moon next year. Remaining members Shadow and Thauknifur share the vocals here to a good effect and have managed to improve on just about all fields; the raw sound has more power, the songs are more memorable and so on. Some synths are used to tasteful effect. Enough typing, have a listen yourself.

UPDATE: Breath of Pestilence has released a remastered version of this, demo '94 and '02 sessions on CD, I've added a link up there and very much recommend getting that one. There's also a double vinyl version by Darker Than Black if you must have kvlt vynil. I would recommend the CD version anyways, I was told the mastering is better on that. Naturally you could go for both.

sunnuntai 16. syyskuuta 2012

Vornat - The Flame of Satan demo 1994

Vornat - The Flame of Satan demo I 1994
1) Korppi
2) Azagthoth
3) Self-Mayhem
4) The Flame of Satan
5) The Eighteenth Key


Breath of Pestilence

More Finnish black metal and an item I know well has been around the inter nets for some time but I was recently sent rips of both Vornat demos by comrade unholydeath and as his rips were strictly superior to the ones that have been floating about I decided I'd post them here in the Coven. Not to mention Vornat is good stuff and worth the attention. There have been plans to release a compilation with all (? not sure about this) their material so far so look forward to that if it ever becomes reality. Includes a cover scan.

UPDATE: The compilation came through and was released late '16 by Breath of Pestilence. It has a remastered version of this, demo '95 and '02 sessions, I've added a link above and very much recommend getting it. There's also a double vinyl version by Darker Than Black if you must have kvlt vynil. I would recommend the CD version anyways, I was told the mastering is better on that.

I remember this debut demo gaining quite harsh critique in the 'zines at the time and not having been very impressed by it upon first listen - an opinion possibly influenced by all the bad press. Now that I listen to it, I still agree the sound leaves certainly something to be desired but apparently I'm too jaded by now as I can't call it bad. It's most certainly a demo recording, you can tell that right off the start, a little on the murky side but decent enough to be able make out all the instruments (yes, even the bass can be heard). Ahriman's (who killed himself in 1997) vocals are quite basic black metal screams though they too have a semi-hysteric, urgent edge to them which would be more prominent on the second demo where the remaining two members would share the vocal duties. Very much influenced by their Norwegian peers it's not a celebration of originality but that's hardly an issue for me. I'd compare this to older Horna material. Recommended listening if you're into 90's black metal.

keskiviikko 12. syyskuuta 2012

Unto A Long Glory...2 - Beverina Compilation (1997)

Various Artists - Unto A Long Glory...2 - Beverina Compilation (1997)
1) Dissimulation - Intro / Būk Prakeiktas
2) Apraxia - Freedom
3) Dawn of Gehenna - Dark Side of the Earth
4) Nokturnal Mortum - Perun's Celestial Silver
5) Tharaphita - All Pool Lund Ja Jaad
6) Skyforger - Old Semigallian Warsong
7) Vicious Crusade - Land of Lakes
8) Sunchariot - Voroni
9) Tangrycan - Immortalize Sacrament
10) Mental Home - Into the Realms of Marena
11) Blizzard - Possessed by Hate
12) Alkonost - Shadows of Dark Days


We depart from the realms of NZ death, but if you wish more I suggest you check out raf's with the recent Eviscerate & Mutilated Entrails posts. Our destination today is again the Balkan lands and the surrounding Slavonic domains with the second Beverina compilation, sent by Juris (thanks!) and ripped by me. Cover scans enclosed.

Much of what I wrote on the post for the first Beverina compilation applies here too, the main focus still being on pagan black metal but this time the Slavs outnumber the Balts seven to five. Also, there are no non-metal tracks, unfortunately for some and possibly fortunately for others. Unless you count Skyforger's live folk track. The musical line is a bit more focused on (folk) pagan black metal here but exceptions can be found in the death/doom by Dawn of Gehenna & Mental Home. Note that the covers misspell Estonian Tharaphita as Tharapitha - an error present in the upload, sorry I noticed that too late. Fix it manually. What more I should say about this? Well, it's a very interesting compilation if you enjoy Slavonic/Baltic heathen black metal with atmospheric and/or folky touches. Personally I enjoy most tracks 4, 5, 7, 11 and of course 12 - old Alkonost is a big long time favourite of mine! Least enjoyable would be Tangrycan whose vocals I can't seem to get into, not very keen on the drum machine either. This tape was in very good condition so there's not much in the glitch and impurity department - naturally some wear in inevitable. Not sure whether the first one or this is better but both are nonetheless recommendable.

lauantai 8. syyskuuta 2012

Demise - Demise demo 1993

Demise (nz) - Demise demo II 1993
1) Those to Perish
2) As Seen Through the Eyes of Faith
3) Divine Possession
4) It's a Wondeful Life
5) Temptation

Mediafire / Depositfiles

Master Fenrirsson has been raiding the dungeon recently with fervour and unearthed several relics of NZ death metal as already demonstrated by the previous post. Here's another one and once again not to be mixed with various other bands using the same monicker, Demise from Christchurch play straight old death metal and this is their 2nd demo though Metal Archives lists it as an EP. Demo or Cass.EP, cover scan is included.

The demo opens with a dark intro piece which changes then into the first track which is a rather speedy affair with undeniable catchiness to it. Unfortunately, the sound is quite poor due to the very low volume and has a certain booming muddiness to it. The following tracks follow in the same vein. Shame about the sound issue, this would be very enjoyable were it a little more audible. Still, certainly worth a listen to death metal enthusiasts.

torstai 6. syyskuuta 2012

Haemorrhage - ...The Extended Punishment demo 1993

Haemorrhage (nz) - ...The Extended Punishment demo 1993
1) Greasy Faeces
2) Chopping Spree
3) Raising the Dead
4) Fear of the Unknown
5) Infernal Bleeding
6) Grey Matter
7) Rotting Away

Mediafire / Depositfiles

Something different again today, here's a demo of NZ death/grind Haemorrhage, not to be mixed with the Polish one or the still (very) active Spanish goregrinders, courtesy of brother Fenrirsson. Thanks! If you remember the Epitaph compilation I posted, they were also featured on that one. Cover scan included and ripped by F from an original tape.

I am not familiar with the other Haemorrhages out there but this one plays filthy, gory and quite brutal death metal, not particulary fast but still with some fast moments tossed in. The sound takes a bit away from the potential heaviness of the music as it's a bit murky, rehearsal-like and especially in the beginning dominated by the strongly effected vocals. This is a bit uneven and varies from track to track as does the amount of effects. I personally like best the approach on the cavernous-sounding third track "Raising the Dead" where the lyrical approach is probably also less silly than what I could make out of the first track. And the following, doom-paced "Fear of the Unknown" where the effects have been skipped altogether. Well, gore death metal has never been my interest in the first place, metal of death is Serious Business at the Coven. It's a bit of a mixed bag with the sillier first tracks and then improving for the rest of it. Check it out if you're into death metal!

keskiviikko 5. syyskuuta 2012

Unto A Long Glory... Beverina Compilation I (1996)

Various Artists - Unto A Long Glory... Beverina Compilation I (1996)
1) Monkmort - Brown Power Ritual
2) Gods Tower - Seven Rains of Fire
3) Winter Night Overture - The Inner Endless Darkness
4) Zpoan Vtenz - Jos Brolis in Karelį
5) Postmortem - Farewell Melody
6) Ha Lela - Išjojo Bernelis
7) Alfheim - Quintessence
8) Skyforger - Night of the Winter Solstice
9) Maze Of Cako Torments - Possessed by Smaug - the Dragon
10) Poccolus - Rudens Miško Šnabždesiai

Depositfiles / Mediafire

Let us post a compilation tape for change, this is the first Beverina compilation featuring again Baltic and Slavonic bands... well, this time Baltic bands only with the exception of the Belarussian gods Gods Tower. You may remember I posted the 3rd in the series back in 2010. Well, some months ago Juris of Beverina contacted me and kindly borrowed me his master copies of these compilation tapes and this rip, including cover scan, is the first fruit of that co-operation. So, thanks again Juris!

This tape and the second one were dubbed on 60 min tapes and like on the following compilations the main focus is on pagan or heathen forms of atmospheric metal, ranging from the doom/folk/heavy hybrid of Gods Tower to black metal dirges of Poccolus and also including Baltic melodeath from Postmortem, straight black metal by Winter Night Overture, ritualistic dark ambient of Monkmort and slightly dungeon synthesque material with Alfheim whose nationality the covers do not mention (had a look, they were a Latvian black metal band!). Not to forget another slightly experimental, atmospheric track from Maze Of Cako Torments whose demos I am still desperately after! Despite this being ripped from Juris' own tape, there are some unfortunate flaws present - whether these are the result of simple tape wear or already present on the dubs Juris received I don't know but one can hear them in several tracks. Fortunately nothing major and as usual it'll give you a more authentic listening experience. I feel like I enjoy this compilation more than the 3rd part as it's a bit more compact, feels slightly more consistent and the material in general is superior. Personal highlights are 1, 2, 4, 9 and 10. Recommended!

tiistai 4. syyskuuta 2012

Utgard-Loke - Black Moors Adv. Tape 1995

Utgard-Loke [pre-Utgard] - Black Moors advance tape 1995
1) Black Moors of the Troll-Land
2) Alla mustan taivaan
3) Wotan

Mediafire / Depositfiles

A quick black metal post today and for change something from brother Grev's vaults. This is an advance tape for a supposed demo by Finnish black metallers Utgard-Loke who instead simplified their monicker to just Utgard and went on to release a demo titled "Northern Glory" (and several others, continuing their activities to this day and age after a brief stint under the name BurialMound) which also features these three songs. Since I haven't heard that one I can't say if they're exactly the same recordings and/or versions as here but M.A. lists that demo having a different version of "Black Moors..." as bonus track which made me think it could be the version here? Anyways, feel free to inform me if you know better. No cover for this one and I doubt one existed, this being an advance tape.

Musically this is mid-90's Finnish black metal, with a pretty rough but clear demo sound. The slightly dry, raw and crispy sort. If you're familiar with Utgard's demos I suppose you know what to expect from the music. It's moderately fast, quite melodic in a grim way and rather straight forward though the songs feature sections of different tempos. Vocals are done in a quite monotonous, half-spoken croak which might remind you of Warloghe though not as grim. Listening to this makes me want to hear the debut Utgard demo finally and the rehearsal tapes, it's nothing to start riots and go burn cars on streets for but listenable enough and oddly appeals to me on this listen while previous time I tried it some months ago I got nothing out of it. Give it a shot if Finnish 90's bm is your thing.

sunnuntai 2. syyskuuta 2012

Into The Sunless Meridian - XXIX A.S. demo 1994

Into the Sunless Meridian - XXIX A.S. demo #1 1994
1) Meditations in a Cold and Dimly Lit Room
2) Of the Dark
3) In a Haze of Drifting Obscurity
4) Sleeping in Eternal Darkness
5) Ezeerb Nrehtron
6) The Luciferian Twilight
7) Reversed Lust Summoning
8) Celebration of Victory
9) Lunar Slumber - Part I - Tantric Meditations in the Fleeting Night
10) Lunar Slumber - Part II - Through the Looking Glass

Mediafire / Depositfiles

Today's post is the seldom seen 1st demo of Into the Sunless Meridian. Vaalkoth had lost his own copy somewhere but luckily brother Fenrirsson had and ripped it, so thanks to him for this! Scans of the cover and lyrics sheet are also included.

If you listened to the second demo, you know what to expect as this much in the same vein, though with a bit more straight black metal content. The old school influences are present like always but slightly more subdued. The intro track was used also on the self titled album, the rest of the content I think hasn't been elsewhere. Fenrirsson's rip is very good quality and the demo itself has a decent sound so there should be no problems in that direction. Recommended for people into the other ITSM material, fans of atmospheric 90s black metal sound and collectors of bm demos. Vaalkoth should be posting this also on his personal blog, go look there for the rest of his material!