Thursday, June 10, 2010

Journeys Into Horizons Lost

Black Funeral is a legendary black metal band from the United States, formed in 1993, being one of the first black metal bands to emerge from the states. Journey Into Horizons Lost is their first demo from 1994, it has that true demo quality to it in the sense that it sounds before its time, Black Funeral developed throughout the years into a much different sounding black metal band than what was featured here in this early 90's demo. The first major thing separating the old Black Funeral from the new is the vocals, which sound more like Bael from France, that being more of a shrieking and sinistral moaning approach that adds a little bit more of an essence of anguish or despair. Black Funeral eventually becomes a purely occult black metal entity focused around black magick, rituals, and vampyrism, this demo sounds more like Michael Ford, author of Luciferian Witchcraft, simply being influenced at an early age from the black metal he was exposed to at that time. However, none of this is bad in my opinion, otherwise I wouldn't be posting his premiere, there's something exposed here that is genuine and very authentic. Being a visual person I'm including two alternate versions of the album art for the tape, original on top:

This is a considerably short demo, I would recommend listening to it all the way through for full effect, that meaning give the intro a chance as it is surprisingly enjoyable and atmospheric. The rest of the album is straight forward old school black metal in the spirit of the forests, the ancient forests, the vast starlit sky, and the Lord Sathanas. I suggest giving this a chance and then progressing upward through the Black Funeral ladder. This is a classic gem...

1. Intro: Within the Ballinor Mountains
2. Into the Stars of a Blazing Past
3. Journeys Into Horizons Lost
4. Land Beyond the Forest
5. Armageddon (Lord Sathanas Returns)
6. Voice of a Forgotten Ghoul

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Gates

Hate Forest is an Ukrainian black metal band formed in 1995. This is their fourth EP from 2001, the thing that separates this Hate Forest demo from all of the other Hate Forest releases is the overall ambient focus here in these two recordings. Some people may question my motives for even posting this demo when there are some legendary Hate Forest albums out there that I could have chosen, so I have to say that if I were to recommend an honest Hate Forest album for what they actually sound like then I would have gone with Sorrow. There are reasons for me to post this instead, though, that being the absolute atmospheric void this rarity is able to conjure up without vocals or any frills whatsoever. The album starts off with Where the Flame is Eternal which is entirely an ambient track that includes a rickety old gate being opened to wind, the crackling of fire, a muted synth layer holding down one bass note, and then fading into nothingness. The last track, and the meat and purpose of the album, is as precise as the title describes it, In Cold Empty Darkness. You have a repetitive riff that shortly after appearing falls into union with the programmed double bass of the drum machine, the song simply weaving in and out of this pattern accompanied by the occasional layer of an ethereal sounding keyboard. When this song is tired out it eventually fades into a monotonous single spaced out beat that resembles the beating of a heart and then it's over... I love this.

1. Where the Flame is Eternal
2. In Cold Empty Darkness

Caput Draconis

Rahu is a black metal band from Finland based on Vedic astrology and Hindu mythology, this is their first demo Caput Draconis from 2007, released on tape and limited to 100 copies. The last track on this album, Into Nothingness Drawn, is an absolutely essential listen and undeniably catchy in a pleasantly repetitive fashion. Their demo that followed this one, Ride of the Eight Black Seeds, is equally as enjoyable as this demo I just happen to prefer this one simply for the final song. Their minimalist picture and Lovecraftian looking album art caught my eye, but I've continually came back to this demo for some time now, and for a reason. As a whole though, this demo is really fucking awesome, nothing revolutionary just really solid occult black metal.

1. Amrit
2. On Ketu's Tail
3. Asuric Tempest
4. Into Nothingness Drawn

Caput Draconis

Monday, June 7, 2010

Passage Beyond the Cold Vales of Desolation

Durthang is a raw depressive black metal band from Sweden formed in 2004, this is their first demo released that year titled Passage Beyond the Cold Vales of Desolation. The quality of this demo is very lo-fi and very raw as I bothered to mention, this won't be attractive to everyone, it will either be a hit or a miss depending on your sensibilities. On the right day and in the right mood this album can really take you places and allow you to drift into a bleak and morbid atmosphere. I had to have been listening to these guys right when they started out because it has literally been years now since I've known about this demo, but regardless it's worth introducing it...for the melancholic, apathetic, and isolated heart of solitude.

1. The Embrace of Shadows in Bleeding Harmony
2. A Journey in Chains of Grief
3. Of Landscapes Shaped in Solitude
4. Passage Beyond the Cold Vales of Desolation


I'm posting this split album on behalf of the mysterious entity from Luxembourg known as Donkelheet. This split contains two songs, one from the German group Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult and the other from Donkelheet, I shall only make reference to the latter. The song Emptyness, as it is spelled here, is a lugubrious and droning piece of depressive ambient black metal that is entirely nostalgic to my own memories. Everything is pushed back in the recording and the tape quality itself is poor in the sense that it crackles often, which in the end adds to the overall atmosphere present here. The element that originally attracted me to Donkelheeet was the assurance by just about everyone that you won't really find any other Donkelheet demos regardless of how many metal-archives has listed on their site, and they all look very appealing to say the least. The other thing I took notice in was that they had a bassist named Azrael Azrake who died in 1996, and a Mistrahas Morbidas who died in 2000... there's something about the death of a black metal musician that seemingly adds power and aura to their recordings.

Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult
1. Underneath the Stars of East
2. Emptyness


Let There Be Darkness

Here is one of those albums I had been frantically searching now for years that I always assumed I would like but never managed to find it anywhere I looked. Now that I have finally discovered Let There Be Darkness by Omnia Orta Cadunt I knew there would be no way but to share this EP with the rest of the people here of like minded tastes. Omnia Orta Cadunt is a Russian black metal band driven by a single individual known as Carnifex, seen below, whom lyrically revolves around Satanism, evil, violence, and terrorism. After the brief intro, this album kicks things off immediately with the explosive track Golems of Satan, the riffs in this song really hit the nail on the head and the rest of the album follows adequately. There is some fucking cold and hateful black metal to be heard here on this EP, it's a shame it actually took me this long to find it, because I gaurantee I would have been listening to this ages ago if it were possible. Omnia Orta Cadunt means "Everything that came into existence, perishes."

1. Masturbating IHVH
2. Golems of Satan
3. Bloodlust
4. Creperum Noctis Aeternis
5. Hail Dictator!
6. Thy World Becomes Thy Grave


Considering I have already written about Todesstoss I will keep this fairly short, this is a 2006 demo known as Pantherwelle, and it just happens to be one of my favorite releases of his. As recently as 2010 the new full length titled Abwegnis 121 was released in which the first three songs of the album were mastered versions of this particular demo, a smart choice in my own personal aesthetic preference as Pantherwelle was always overlooked. All three songs on here are much different from one another if compared to eachother, yet each track is a pure success in it's own right and it's almost hard to pick a favorite in the end. I was originally drawn to the odd artwork here but in the end the music ended up serving much more than that in terms of quality and structure alone. Grab this demo, it's an overlooked experience that's stayed hidden for years and deserves recognition.

1. Pantherwelle
2. ...auf Abwegen (Rohfassung)
3. Die Ritzerin am Froschteich

The Wanderer

Sapthuran's "The Wanderer" from 2008 could have very easily been one of my first posts considering the impact it had left on me since the events of last summer. Sapthuran is a one man black metal act from Fort Thomas, Kentucky, handled by a man void of any pseudonym known as Patrick Hall. The style of black metal featured in any of the Sapthuran albums to date is not necessary a "standard" one, at least with the drum patterns being singled out, as he seems to be tapping the snare and ride simultaneously and instead creates "accent notes" to match the majestic riffs he creates, instead of blasting the listener into Hell. Thematically Sapthuran revolves around the notions of the forests, the night, the moon, and wolves in a primitive and no frills, or even fills, minimalistic styled black metal. An entirely naturalistic and pure approach to the lycanthropic spirit and nocturnal state of mind, an utter classic.

1. Summoning the Hated One
2. Write My Words Upon the Winds
3. Wailing Blackwinds
4. Fang of Night
5. An Earthen Madrigal and Curse to All Men
6. The Weave and Will of Fate and Time
7. Forever a Wandering Spirit
8. Call of Wolf
9. Fullmoon Rising
10. Sylvan Winter Madrigal
11. Astigan Se Beorg (Journey up the Mountain)