Sunday, January 24, 2010
Todesstoß is a one man German black metal band run by Martin Lang, lyrically based around mental suffering and depression, with a very psychedellic and insane sound... highly unorthodox to say the least. I've been going back and listening to Todesstoß quite a bit lately and find myself appreciating it now even more so than I had used to, "Würmer Zu Weinen" is his most recent release to date, and it could quite easily be his best. Martin Lang is also known as a visual artist, and I feel that his music reflects these qualities from time to time, they are very visual and imaginative in structure and tonality. It can be somewhat difficult explaining to someone who has never heard Todesstoß before what to expect from his music, but if you're seeking severely odd and unusual black metal to remove you from a concrete reality it doesn't get much better than this. The guitar ranges from anywhere between being jumpy and spasmodic to weird and mournful passages, the voice morphs just the same, sometimes the effect he puts on his voice makes him even sound female. I find so many unusual sensations while listening to this album and I'm continually taken to very dreamy places. I highly recommend giving this is a listen.
1. Barfuß auf Knochen
3. Würmer zu weinen oder vom Lebenshunger
4. Monotonie der Wunden
5. In stillen Wassern
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
This is Voqkrre from France, with their first demo that was recorded in 2006, and released in 2008. Trance inducing black metal that relies heavily on the appeal of lo-fi recording methods intertwined with long twisting passages to help you reach a hypnotizing state of evil, you have to be a fan of rehearsal-esque demos that have an aura of seemingly sloppy moments followed with highly atmospheric droning and morphing highlights. Comparable to the likes of Darvulia, French black metal with a witchy vibe that carries with it the stench of rot from the catacombs, and warping and moaning in it's own sick wake. I'm aware of the other releases by Voqkrre, but as it is my job here to select albums that stand out I consider this to be their apex, may you find your place on this grim plateau of death and darkness.
1. Nokturn (Errance dans un cimetière ... Entre les tombes ...)
3. La Cave aux Rats Nécrophages
I believe that this is officially the newest of any album featured on this page of old demo tapes and forgotten gems, this is Woods of Desolation's newest EP, from November of 2009. If you are in any way seeking some massively epic depressive tracks this has been waiting for your attention, the beautifully flowing melancholic riffs evoke the most immense feelings of isolation and despair. This wouldn't quite suite someone lacking the appropriate attention span, Woods of Desolation will have you slowly nodding to it's bleak and hopeless rythms, with the most suitable of titles and a name. There are moments captured here that blow all other forms of depressive black metal out of the water, as this is sincerely a magnificent cd to listen to in the lonely hours of the night, and an easy to overlook title that I'm asking you not to... and for good reason.
2. The Leaden Sky Torn
3. Enshrouded by Solitude
4. Within the Crimson Tide
My friend and I have been discussing the importance behind ideological value behind specific black metal releases, as the both of us have always been opposed to national socialist beliefs, yet we agree upon the notion that one must merely get off their high fucking horse and to quit being so goddamn self righteous if you want to be able to appreciate the underground. With that aside, this is a compilation album from the band Kristallnacht (you should already know with a name like that what the music will pertain to) from the era previous when they were first known as Funeral, hence The Funeral Years... This album is lo-fi black metal hatred and glory all the way through, truthfully I can't find a bad track on this album, it holds true to the spirit of what black metal used to sound like. The thing that initially attracted me to this release was an additional note listed on metal archives for Funeral, that being: " On the night of June 8, 1996, Xaphan, along with his friend Black Christ and two friends, exhumed the twenty year old cadaver of Yvonne Foin". (If that doesn't peak your interest, we must not share the same aesthetic preference) All of the instruments carry a very focused and pure form of raw power, you can feel and understand the burning passions behind the creation of this elitist music, the sort of energy that will have you raising your sword and preparing for war. Just, let me ask you of this, get over yourself...please. Enjoy.
1. Black Flame of Unholy Hate
2. Coronation in Pure Blasphemy
3. Night & Fog
4. A Strife... A Victory
5. For Resurrection of Our Movement
6. Aryan Blood
7. Reigning With Honour and Tyranny
8. Lost Wisdom (Burzum cover)
Black Flame of Unholy Hate
Thursday, January 14, 2010
1. "Ik Erilaz..."
2. Bloed En Eer
4. De Eeuwige Jachtvelden
5. Sater's Wederkeer
7. De Grimmige Sterfte Op De Heide
2. Defying the Demiurge
3. The Hidden God
4. My Cosmic Fane
5. The Mausoleum
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
For those somehow still unaware of Shining, they play a highly depressive and suicidal form of black metal, hailing from Sweden and formed in 1996. The Darkroom Sessions contains rare rehearsal takes and instrumental outtakes compiled in 2004 as a compilation featured just before the release of their fourth full length album. The only track to feature vocals on this cd is the last one, which believe it or not happens to be my favorite song here and in their discography in general. What I enjoy about this release is the lack of vocals for one, as many people find complaints in Niklas's personality, though this is just one of those situations you have to ignore so that you may appreciate their art. Secondly I find the instruments, though oddly enough programmed drums being used all the way through a release is not usual for a full band such as Shining, to be deeply provocative and moving in their gloomy nature. If I wasn't to post this release I would have gone with II - Livets Ändhållplats, as I find this to be the era of Shining that I find most of my enjoyment in, during their years forlorn. The Darkroom Sessions is meant for isolation and pessimism and nothing positive whatsoever.
1. Mörda Dig Själv
2. Fields of Faceless
3. Ett Liv Utan Mening
4. Svart Industriell Olycka
5. Självdestruktivitetens Emissarie
6. Ännu Ett Steg Närmare Total Utfrysning
I couldn't just post Sixx without introducing this blog to Von, so I here now present to you, "Satanic Blood Angel", released in 1991. Von is considered as some of the earliest known black metal in the U.S. (formed in '89) whilst countries like Norway were on the rise, Varg Vikernes of Burzum was even seen wearing a Von shirt to his court hearing for the murder of Euronymous of Mayhem. Von plays a barbaric style of black metal that no other band can touch, yet many of them are seen imitating Von's style, their relentless and minimalstic sound was groundbreaking for the time period and still stands strong today as solid Satanic black metal. Blatantly obsessed with blood, their barking lyrics work in the same minimalist way the music does, through repetition and oppression. Von was one of the first bands to leave a real impression on me and I can still return to this album time and time again to get my blood pumping and to allow the flames of primal hatred rise within my depths, there are too many good tracks on this release which acts as a collection and a best of album. Consisting of three members, Goat, Kill, and Snake, they would ritualistically prepare for live shows by lifting heavy weights, pouring blood all over their body, and wearing skulls for masks. This is the real spirit of black metal, I don't care who you are.
Sixx was a gothic post-punk band consisting of members from the highly influential black metal project Von. Sixx does not play anything remotely close to black metal, as they are often compared to the likes of Bauhaus and Joy Division, instead. If you are familiar with Von you will be able to tell this is coming from that very same entity, just with an entirely different attitude and approach. Really fucking killer for the appropriate mood and state of mind, more laid back riffs that still carry that black poetic energy, perfect for the right buzz. Released around the same time period as Von, sometime in the early 90's around the San Francisco area, Sister Devil was originally in tape format. Sixx was less heard of than Von.
I Shalt Become is a one man black metal band from Illinois formed in 1995. S. Holiman has grown a reputation, somehow, as being associated as an active member within the national socialist black metal scene, though this is largely debated... Bringing up my main point that you must overlook this "rumor", whether it be true or not, as this album is completely void of political messages. I Shalt Become, to me, is depressive sounding black metal with heartfelt lyrics directed towards ones own personal downfall and demise, poetic in both its sound and lyrical content I believe S. Holiman uses this project as a diary of reflection as well as introspection into his own mental torments and anguish. I prefer the second half of this cd, beginning my listening experience at either track IV or track VI, as my favorites of the album are found here at the end. Technically this release was going to be under his previous project, Birkenau, yet this album should still be thought of as the current I Shalt Become. A beautiful sounding melancholic piece.
3. In The Falling Snow
4. These Cold Desires
5. All Alone And Dead
7. Acid Lights
8. The Lost Man
9. Our Children Die
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Funestia is a depressive black metal band from France, "Funeral Prophecy" is thus far Asvarath's only demo or release to date, which was limited to 100 copies in 2003. This is one of my all time favorite tapes, especially that of the melancholic nature, the quality featured here is akin to the xeroxed image featured on the front cover of the demo, grainy and laying beneath a layer of fog, haze, and age. Considering Asvarath programs drums to drive his guitar and vocals (there isn't much to be said here, but), the riffs themselves are mournful with beautifully stretched out harmonies, cold screams of despair lingering below all of this. "Sept Sorcières" is the absolute pinnacle of this album with "Damnation" following suit and for this reason alone you should immediately grab this release, to get it for these two songs would be well worth your time. For those seeking a truely depressive and long lost sound of both sadness and agony...
To begin, this is NOT black metal, Emit from the United Kingdom performs a very specific sort of mixture between black noise and ambience with a heavy focus on themes of spectral horror. The styles of Emit have ranged vastly throughout the years, from the elder Emit relying on the psychological in terms of fear, pain, death, blood, and torture, to the latter Emit (and the eventual transformation into the current vessel Hammemit) which features more of a shrouded medieval sound that pushes the mystery behind the band's hidden rites. I find "Unknown Presences Whisper" to act as their half way point between the transition from Emit to Hammemit, and with a blatant obsession with the ghosts and the paranormal this release peaks my interest. For those unaware, the "Borley Rectory" is a real place in Europe and it is regarded as the most haunted house in England. Images have been caught near the now burned down site with bricks floating by themselves and apparitions floating the nearby hallowed grounds.
1. A Lunatic Hermit Dies in His Woodland Home
2. Unknown Presences Whisper
3. Borley Rectory Breaks the Silence
4. For the Priest's Amusement
5. Behind the Manor House, Amongst the Weeds
6. Life, Death, and the Ghost
8. Poisonous Mushrooms, Rotting Toadstools and Moss
9. The Night of Panic
10. Black Dogs of Spectral Darkness
11. Heolstor- Furgenholt
12. Black Noises Emitting From Beyond
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
This time around I offer you some USBM, formed in 1999 from Minnesota, this is Azrael. I always questioned why people seemingly don't pay much attention to this band as I consider them to be highly talented in creating meaningful and warping darkened atmospheres that aren't just a carbon copy of other styles. Obdurate & Unto Death are actually two seperate demos, tracks 1-3 are from 2002's Obdurate, and tracks 4-9 are from 2001's Unto Death.
Both title tracks are highly rich and engaging from both the instrumental and vocal perspective, yet let it be known that the album immediately kicks off with one of my favorite tracks from the album, and a potent one at that. Very gloomy and disheartening riffs, a feeling of some unknown foreboding curse creeping on your soul in a very visually stimulating way, this is Azrael's finest work to date. Being a collection of their older material, it has a somewhat aged sound if compared to their more polished recent works, hence my obvious preference over this, but that isn't the sole reason altogether... this album speaks to me through the way that it sounds and I can understand its essence. If you enjoy this Azrael try hunting down Act I, II, & III / IV...
1. Tenebrous Winds
3. Inhuman Scourge
5. Frozen in Death
6. Opening of the Tomb
7. Unto Death
8. Cthonic Gurgling
9. Noise Ritual (Outro)
Nahash is a Lithuanian black metal band formed in 1993, Nocticula Hecate was their first demo released in 1994. This is one of those overlooked bands that have merely been forgotten about throughout the years, this is some unique and often peculiar black metal focused blatantly on topics of the occult, and in particular lycanthropy and the triple moon goddess Hecate. If these words do not excite you then this release was never meant for your ears, if on the other hand imagery of lunatic werewolves and the triple faced initiator of the crossroads than this very well may be a worthy asset to you. Very unorthodox riffing meets witchy atmospheres in a very honest way, this band is in no way attempting to be some Darkthrone clone (easiest influential name drop to mind) nor anyone else, like I said they write some strange songs that happen to really work for the oddness that makes up what is the mystical experience. There were two different tape releases, the one seen above, and below:
2. Ezo Azarak (Lycanthropy)
3. Nocticula Hecate
"Empty words Empty lives Empty luck Empty everything Everything is empty Everything is nothing Nothing is emptiness Emptiness is everything Everything is nothing Confusion is everything Be confused Be everything Be nothing Like you were Complete the curse of emptiness Enrich your life Embrace everything Create nothing instead Curse yourself By embracing pale air Bleed! Follow the path You cannot ever find me I’ll drag you down where you belong I blow you off your path I‘ll take care of your slow suffering Find my utopia and you will reach perfection You will never find it You will die in the road to utopia You will die wile you are searching You will die wile you are thinking that you are close You will die anyway, why not now The only thing you will find is insanity Insanity that is invading your mind like a Trojan horse Like a butterfly You are not aware of danger You will never find my secret utopia You are cursed Cursed by emptiness"
1. Curse of Emptiness
2. Curse of Emptiness II
3. It is ... Dead
4. Devoted to the Immortal
Nocturnal Overlord, a member of Crimson Moon and sever other bands, is the sole member behind this only release by his side project, Nibiru. In real terms, Nibiru is also known as the infamous "Planet X" referred to in the esoteric world as a planet / mass that will be resonsible for some sort of doomsday scenario in the future. In musical terms, Nibiru plays entirely instrumental occult black metal, with some ambient and symphonic elements, lyrics ranging from mythology, magick, science, space, and the astral realm. Highlights on this album are The Tablets of Destiny, and Beneath the Seas of Mattaru, for me personally anyways. I can foresee some (elitist) metal heads not being able to get into this album because of the synthesizers, I'm not a fan for overly symphonic music myself anyways, regardless Nocturnal Overlord has some really great moments on this album that at least a few may find enjoy or find some interest in.
2. Leader of the Minions
3. Against the Sons of Iniquity
4. The Son of Magick
5. The Disc of Power
6. The Tablets of Destiny
7. The Gate of ABSU
8. Beneath the Seas of Nar Mattaru
Monday, January 4, 2010
I've been listening to Kadotus for several years now and have always felt that they were under appreciated, not that notoriety means anything in black metal, but these three guys from Finland know how to write some potent hymns. Twilight's Depths is without a doubt their apex for me, especially in the title track, which is the highlight of the album. This EP was such a step up from their full length, "Seven Glorifications of Evil", not to say that it was bad but rather, this album is just much more consistant all the way through. The album cover, being the bands blatant visual intention, really says it all for me in terms of where their riffs and lengthy measures take you, as it appears to be a fine blend of both nostalgia and scorn. A solid black metal release for anyone with a taste for the cold yet glorious riff.
2. Twilight's Depths
3. In The Stars...
4. Black Spear Of Death
5. Ablaze in Distance
Sunday, January 3, 2010
This is the one man band Moon from Australia, labeled as dark occult mysticism, this self proclamation couldn't be any more accurate. My pick of the litter within his demos is none other than "Blood", four tracks of catastrophic black magick rituals drenched in static hate and drowning in its own clandestine majesty. Miasmyr uses programmed drums to uphold some of the most chilling riffs accompanied appropriately by some epic sounding keys for an utterly engaging experience. I also find his vocal work to be absolutely ferocious and very much in control, harsh, strained, old howls. Blood is a fucking serious demo and it would be a shame to skip up on it, I also recommend "Moon", "Apparitions", and "Omen", if you can find it that is... Moon, this Moon, is of highest quality.
1. Blood I
2. Blood II
3. Blood III
4. Blood IV
And now for something more depressive, Regnum from Germany is an old stand by for me, for those dark nights of the soul. Another single man band, F. Nachzehrer writes about human suffering, and inserts such introspective lyrics into some of the most gloomy and lugubrious tunes that have graced my mournful being. This tape was released with different artwork that the cd version and actually stands as Regnum's "best of" as a compilation of older songs plus some that remained unreleased. If you want something to put you down, I highly suggest Regnum, and not just this release but I urge you to start here if you have yet to hear.
1. Mein Ende
2. Liebloses Licht (erste Version)
4. Weil alles einst zerbrechen muss
5. Ein grenzenloses Nichts
6. Liebloses Licht (zweite Version)
9. Darkest Night, Deepest Sorrow
10. Auf Feldern der Trauer
Darkest Night, Deepest Sorrow
In the spirit of this cold Winter let us return here to an old Norwegian classic dating back to 1993. Wintermass was Mysticum's first demo, but still features some of my favorite tracks by them, and in a very lo-fi and old sounding manner via tape hiss and so on and so forth. A short, yet very solid and incredibly catchy demo, one of the best industrial black metal bands ever.
If you want proof of their authenticity bear witness to this live video from 1996, and, watch the face... you'll know. Lacking any trace of corpse paint yet upholding a grim presence.
"I feel like a demon in the night, flames are crawling like pets on me, the shades aren't here to see, with my master the Devil my friend, my soul will slave for eternity..."
2. The Rest
4. Demons never Sleep
5. Crypt of Fear
6. The grove of petrifed souls
Into My Crypt of Fear
1. The dark spiralling passion of Father Mestma
2. The choking branches
3. Where corpses hang
Dost thou thirst for surreal atmosphere? Seek no further... Paysage d'Hiver from Switzerland is a genius at capturing the quintessence of what makes up a dark wintry night. Led by a single man under the monicker Wintherr, Paysage d'Hiver happens to be a French title which means Winter Landscape, and his music is generally the epitome of such. What makes this demo so special to me is that this recording in particular seems to be a sort of deviation from his typical route of taking the listener down that beaten path into the heart of the frostbitten night, and instead decides to devulge into the lightless and lifeless corridors of the tortured abyss amidst the agony of the suffering spirits. Kerker, meaning dungeon in German, happens to be a very inspirational "song" for me, and depending which version you receive the track titles appear either as:
Black Blood from Finland play a distinctive sort of black metal that sounds almost hollow or distant in it's sound, especially in the way the drums were recorded. Their demo before this entitled "Blasphemy Reigns in Thy Night" had a few good tracks but for the most part I found Cryptic Rituals, being their first full length, to really capture the essence that is, Black Blood.
1. Follow The Darkest Call
2. Rise Of A Cursed Soul
3. Awakening Of The Black Holocaust
4. Cryptic Ritual
5. Black Sorcery Of Desecration And Death
The German black metal band Todesweihe have released a handful of raw tapes, the strongest of the lot in my honest opinion happens to be Nachtmahre, a seemingly vampyric and nocturnal demo. Ice cold riffs, intolerant vocals, sharp drums, relentless and true black metal. Enough said.
1. In Den Nachthimmeln Transilvaniens
2. Die Traenen Des Dionysos
3. Mit Einem Herzen Voller Verachtung
5. Das Sterben
With a Heart of Full Contempt
1. Black Witching Metal
2. Evil Shall Prevail
3. Summoning Of Infernal Legions
4. Destruction Of The Holy Kingdom Which Spawned The Cursed Trinity Of God
1. Wrapped in the Earth
2. Flaming the Inner Sanctum
3. That Deathly Aura
Saturday, January 2, 2010
Hailing from the Netherlands, Angelus Diaboli plays minimalistic black metal in a ritualistic fashion, and with being limited to 200 tape copies... I find this to be a gem. The tracks were recorded in a specific time frame, from December of 2006 and from May of 2008, one can only assume the timing was purposeful. Like a lot of the albums that will be featured here, there are some seemingly sloppy moments that add to the genuine authenticity of what it is to create such orthodox no-frills black metal, without attempting to sound technical or polished up. One man, (for the most part) programmed drums, darkness. A sometimes warped and occult experience, I only suggest this to those seeking what it blatantly propagates, Satan.
Friday, January 1, 2010
The fairly unknown Russian band Fullmoon Rise produced two demos in the 90's, this one happens to be right up my alley, Satan and wolves. Not only are the lyrical themes highly appropriate for my taste but the necro sound is fuckind dead on in this release. Cold, raw, true black metal with a filthy and hateful sound... I suggest you grab this without delay.
1. Sun of Wolves
2. Destructive Sense of Satan
3. In the Circle of Dead Hope
4. Storm of Evil
5. Where the Sun Never Reach
Wolves of Satan
The French black metal circle "Les Légions Noires" happens to be one of my favorite collective of underground musicians, offering some of the most coveted of albums in my possession. One of the more unusual projects, with the exception of Brenoritvrezorkre (of course), this demo from 1996 happens to be the one and only release by Dzlvarv. Vordb Dreagvor Uezeerb was the sole individual responsible for this obscure recording and his projects extend deep into the vault of The Black Legions. Without further introduction, the lurking tunes of Dzlvarv...
2. The Parallel Ones
3. Invocation of the Wandering
4. Primitive Alters
5. Flesh of the Churchyards
6. Durazis Prayer (Bonus Track)