söndag 16 december 2018

FUNERAL MIST - SALVATION (2003) VINYLS & POSTERS x 3

This crown jewel of an album had its 15th anniversary earlier this year and here's my complete vinyl collection of them all. Included the Salvation from the Trisagion (2013) vinyl boxset that also consists of Devilry and Maranatha.

Have already posted a similar complete vinyl collection of Devilry (1998) earlier this year check it out here if you're interested. Don't own nearly as many CD's of Salvation as Devilry only have the original Norma Evangelium Diaboli CD from 2003. The ones I'm looking out for most are the one on The Ajna Offensive from 2006 & the Season Of Mist from 2012. Will have more with time but I'm not in any hurry.

First out one of my biggest gems in my entire collection and it’s never about fucking monetary value in these cases. Salvation means something for me, something much more then money can buy.

Salvation ‎(2 x LP) 2003 Norma Evangelium Diaboli

The layout of the 2003 release I like the most. Only Arioch (& Dauthus on this release) can create that weird, twisted, sinister, sick & astonishing design. Brilliant poster, the pictures of the “band” & lyrics inlay are amazing.
The marks/branding of the pics might be a bit overkill but I don't like it whenever some shithead at Instagram uses my images from my collection. Which have happened on numerous occasions.

Salvation ‎(2 x LP) from the 2013 Trisagion boxset Norma Evangelium Diaboli

The 5 x LP Trisagion (2013) boxset naturally includes Salvation. Haven’t actually played any of those LP’s because I want to keep them as pristine as possible. Great design once again but the box only comes with 1 poster. However it’s my favorite Funeral Mist poster of the 9 different official ones that I own.

Salvation ‎(2 x LP) reissue 2017 Norma Evangelium Diaboli

In 2017 all 3 releases were reissued, likely to high demand and the expensive prices. The cover artwork has a slightly different color, it looks like the Trisagion one. Almost not notable with my crappy iPhone camera. 

Inside the gatefold there’s a great Arioch picture & the lyrics. Although a great piece of artwork on the poster but I think it has a bit too much dark grey color. As does the 2 other 2017 reissue posters.

Salvation ‎(CD) 2003 Norma Evangelium Diaboli


Chose to include this one also. Because it's worth buying the CD copy just for the 16-page booklet alone. It got even more artwork then the vinyl releases and esthetics that really pleases my eyes.

This is one of my favorite Black Metal albums of all time. If I ever did a list of my best records 2000-18 Salvation would be in 2nd place. Don’t expect such list from me though it's too hard. Actually tried once but gave up. I can say that lots of Funeral Mist, Marduk, Wardruna etc. at the top but also some newer bands. But never say never...

A bit off-topic but I do prefer Maranatha just a little bit more over Salvation but it's like choosing between Storm Of The Light's Bane and The Somberlain by Dissection and that's EXTREMELY difficult.

Any which way you own Salvation is the right way (not a download one or burnt CD-copy though). When you got it in your hands you will feel the magic within this masterpiece.

söndag 9 december 2018

BATHORY - HAMMERHEART (1990) & TWILIGHT OF THE GODS (1991)

Hammerheart the limited edition gatefold first print vinyl on Noise International. Not often that I find such gems as this one in my own midsized Swedish hometown (approx 100 000).
Twilight Of The Gods vinyl is a 2003 reissue on Black Mark Production.

Been listening too Bathory extensively for quite some time so I thought of doing a 2 part series of their viking albums. This is part I or II:

Hammerheart & Twilight Of The Gods were the 5th & 6th Bathory albums. Hammerheart being the first release in their "viking era". Sure there were hints of it with songs like Odens Ride Over Nordland; A Fine Day To Die and also the title track from their previous Blood Fire Death (1988) record.
Other bands had released viking themed songs long before. But here Bathory go all into full Viking Metal mode and the Hammerheart album was the first of its kind.

Believe I bought both these albums on CD back in 1996 it could maybe even been in 1997 at the same time. Because the Jubileum I & II compilations had many of the best songs and being 16 years old one had to prioritize albums to buy.

Hammerheart didn't quite blow me away like the albums Blood Fire Death; Under The Sign Of The Black Mark; The Return and the debut Bathory had done. I appreciated the songs that appeared on the compilations especially Shores In Flames and Song To Hall Up High.

But it didn't take long before I realized just how excellent the album really is. It starts perfectly with the already mentioned Shores In Flames and it's 11 min of pure amazing Scandinavian Viking/Black Metal at its finest. Then another excellent song Valhalla also a long one 9,5 min.

Already 2 songs into Hammerheart one can hear especially where especially the early Viking/Pagan Metal bands from the Norwegian Black Metal scene found their inspiration. Bathory were truly the godfathers of the Scandinavian scene.

Baptised In Fire And Ice and Father To Son are both amazing songs and just like almost all the other songs on the album quite long but feels way shorter. Actually the shortest song on the album is the 2,5 min long Song To Hall Up High.

I'm not sure when Home Of The Once Brave was written. But it sounds more like something like a less refined song from the follow-up Twilight Of The Gods rather then a Hammerheart song. Still one of my favorites on the record though.

Now for a long and maybe controversial topic. I really like One Rode To Asa Bay but I got to be in the right mood to fully appreciate it. Still one of their most overrated songs in my opinion. It wouldn't be my choice to make a promo video for that one from Hammerheart. The video they did was really impressive and spectacular though.

Don't know but I have this love/hate relation to One Rode To Asa Bay. Love and hate are very strong words that I wouldn't use for it but those describes my feelings for the song best.

The 10,5 min feels very long sometimes when I listen to it. Also I wouldn't have it as late on the record either. That's my opinion on One Rode To Asa Bay let's move on.

Altogether Hammerheart is an amazing album and my 2nd favorite of the viking records and that's definitely a great rating for it. The highs might be a little better on Hammerheart but I think that Twilight Of The Gods is a much more even record and the best one of all the viking albums Bathory did.

Starting with the 14 min title track Prologue - Twilight of the Gods - Epilogue the sound and production is more refined on this album and it already shows in the opening song. Even if it's a great opener I can hear why it was the ending song of the compilation Jubileum II.

Also I think that Quorthon's vocals has evolved so much for the better on Twilight Of The Gods.

Through Blood By Thunder is another song that appeared on one of the Jubileum albums and is a personal favorite on the album. The 10,5 min Blood And Iron is another one that I really enjoy.

I know that it sounds like I'm repeating myself I'll try and mix it up the text a bit. Under The Runes is a top-3 song on this album amazing guitars on that one. To Enter Your Mountain begins with this Folk music feeling to it and guess what? I think it's a great song even if I know some don't like that particular one.

Bond Of Blood has a very interesting story behind it. That one was recorded as In Nomine Satanas in 1987 and that version wasn't released until Jubileum Volume III (1998). The lyrics are of course way different from each other. Both versions are great but I do prefer Bond Of Blood slightly more maybe because I heard it for so long before on Jubileum II in 1995. It's in my- top 3 songs on this record.

The song Hammerheart that confusingly appears on Twilight Of The Gods does really stand out on the record because it's so different from the other material. It took me many listens before I learned to like that one but when I did it's a really great song.

That's my opinions on Hammerheart and Twilight Of The Gods two brilliant records that should belong in any serious collection. I don't know many who prefer Twilight Of The Gods over Hammerheart but if you're one of them feel free to leave me a comment.

I'll do post II about Blood On Ice (1996); Nordland I (2002) and Nordland II (2003) soon. Usually don't do the same band two times in a row so we'll what I post next.

söndag 2 december 2018

THE SOMBERLAIN 25th ANNIVERSARY

Tomorrow is a very important day for the Black/Death Metal scene. Because on one Friday the 3rd of December 1993 an album was released on the Swedish label No Fashion Records by a band called Dissection. That record was for me the life changing The Somberlain.

In the spring of 1994 I started buying a new and short lived Swedish magazine called Metal Zone. For a couple of issues Jon Nödtveidt (guitar/vocals) did a few of reviews, wrote in the "Extreme Zone" did interviews with Bathory and Emperor etc.

Got really impressed with his writing. Metal Zone also did a interview with Jon from Dissection. You could say I was a fan even before I had heard The Somberlain just based on all the great texts he wrote and what he said in that interview.

Should mention that the Dissection drummer Ole Öhman wrote a couple of interviews with Carcass and At The Gates. Did reviews etc.

Jon and Ole wasn't apart of Metal Zone for more then a few issues and they didn't have nice things to say about the magazine that had covers with shit bands like Bon Jovi and Clawfinger. 

The hardest music that made the cover of it was probably Metallica, Pantera and Megadeth. It also had a bunch of AOR music articles so it wasn't the perfect magazine.

But if it wasn't for Jon's writing and that interview I probably wouldn't have heard Dissection until a couple of years later. Actually when I heard the name for the first time I thought they were some Cannibal Corpse sounding band not anything wrong about that but clearly they didn't sound anything like that.

When I came over a copy of The Somberlain in the summer of 1994 it was spectacular. I do still  remember the first time listening to it in my bedroom and being completely floored by the music. It was a new formula for me yet it felt like something that summoned up every inch of extreme Metal music.

Know about the ancient debate were Dissection a Death Metal band or a Black Metal band. This is probably going to piss off some younger readers but when a 18-20 year old tells me that Dissection is a Black Metal band period, just shut the hell up about a band and scene that existed long before you were even born. I'm not out to offend someone but sometimes you just had to experienced those days.

I think on The Somberlain the band has a much more Death Metal feel to it then on the more blackened Storm Of The Light's Bane (1995). Remember in the very first Dissection interview I read that Jon said they play Death Metal. Is any of this important? Well no. But also yes because it's a topic I can discuss for a very long time preferable with someone in my age as me or older.

For me Dissection lead me into Black Metal that the album was dedicated to Øystein "Euronymous" Aarseth (1968-1993) from "the cursed Mayhem" and the ties that the band had with other Black Metal bands in Scandinavia. Soon thereafter I bought Emperor, Marduk, Immortal etc. albums.


Anyway lets move on. The feeling I got when I
first got the record it was like something very personal something that "no one else" knew about of course there were thousands of people just like me.

But the feeling of knowing about how amazing Dissection was it felt like everyone should know. Soon everyone did know but for awhile I felt like a very "selected" is the best word I can describe it as.

The material on The Somberlain was written as far back as 1989 to 1992. The already mentioned Jon and Ole were joined in Dissection by the longtime bassist Peter Palmdahl (1989-97) and the amazing rythm guitarist John Zwetsloot (1991-94).

Everyone should know the Dissection history, that they had originated from the small Swedish town Strömstad (approx 6 300 people) near the Norwegian border.

Before The Somberlain the band had released the demo also as a 7" Into Infinite Obscurity (1991) on the French label Corpse Grinder Records. Also the demos The Grief Prophecy (1991); The Somberlain 4-song demo from 1992 and also the Promo '93 with Where Dead Angels Lie and my favorite cover song of all time Dissection's version of Elisabeth Bathory originally written by Tormentor.

In March of 1993 between the 1st to the 6th of that month they recorded their debut album in the Hellspawn/Unisound Studio with Dan Swanö. More about the production further down. The studio had already made a mark in the Swedish Death and Black Metal scene with bands I don't should have too mention.

The opening song Black Horizons was the newest track on the album the music was written by Nödtveidt & Zwetsloot in Oct. 92 and the lyrics was written by Nödtveidt a month before that. With its 8 min 10 sec Black Horizons is the longest song on the entire album. It starts of with a backward played phrase. Isn't until 2 min into the song that the vocals starts. The song itself sounds probably the most Black Metal like on the album, it has an acoustic guitar playing in parts of the song. Also that classic King Diamond/Heavy Metal scream done by producer Dan Swanö. A perfect opener and one of the best songs on this masterpiece. 

The title track The Somberlain was my favorite song back when I first started listening to Dissection. With that amazing opening guitar playing sure that Nödtveidt was a great songwriter but his guitar skills aren't talked about as often. In my book he's the 2nd best guitar player just behind Euronymous. Anyway The Somberlain is the second longest song on the album 7 min, it was written by Nödtveidt alone the music in June 92 and the lyrics December 91. If Dissection is to be associated with one song it's likely many will think of The Somberlain it's there anthem song one could say. Actually this song doesn't appear on the 4-song The Somberlain demo from 1992.

The instrumental Crimson Towers is "just" an acoustic guitar played by Zwetsloot alone who also wrote it. Out of the three instrumental songs I think it is the weakest.

The only song that Nödtveidt co-wrote music with bassist Peter Palmdahl was on the song A Land Forlorn. The music was written in June 92 the lyrics dates back to December 90. The band often played it live in the 90's and on The Rebirth of Dissection tour in 2004 but was dropped after that.

On some gigs in the 90's Heaven's Damnation was used as the opening song and with its fast paced start it suits for that. Even if I personally preferred the At the Fathomless Depths/Night's Blood opening. Anyway the entire Heaven's Damnation song was written in April 92 the music is another Nödtveidt & Zwetsloot co-written one.  with a great acoustic guitar which adds much to the mood of the song.

Another one they used to open gigs with was Frozen both in the 90's and also in 2005. The song was entirely written by Nödtveidt himself in December 91. It also appears first on The Somberlain demo from 1992. Definitely a fan favorite also, one of mine as well the verse when Jon sings:
"Tears in my eyes turns into fire
as where I belong
The cold within, it chills my skin,
my heart and soul
In ecstasy I shred myself
to release what's held within
In solitude I'm having my pride
I, Transylvanian son"
is just pure magic. It gets me every time I hear it and sends chills down my spine because it's so fucking brilliant.

The second instrumental song Into Infinite Obscurity is much better then the first one. This one dates back to 1991 and is on the Into Infinite Obscurity 7" that I wrote about earlier.

In the Cold Winds Of Nowhere was another music collaboration by Nödtveidt & Zwetsloot written in Oct. 91. It also appeared on The Somberlain demo from 1992. This album doesn't have any flaws I would say but in my opinion it's the 2nd weakest song on the record. But don't get me wrong! The song is something few bands only could've imagined to write in their entire career.

Only music written by both drummer Ole Öhman and Nödtveidt is on The Grief Prophecy/Shadows Over A Lost Kingdom. The song Shadows Over A Lost Kingdom dates all the way back to November 1989 the same year that Dissection started. It also appeared on Into Infinite Obscurity 7" that version is of course completely different both are great but I do believe that I prefer the 7" version a bit more. At least today on the 3rd December of 2018 but it could change. I'm very glad they included it on the compilation The Past Is Alive (The Early Mischief) (1997) that Necropolis Records put out.

Like I wrote The Somberlain is a flawless album and I would not change anything. But the weakest song of the non-instrumental ones is in my opinion Mistress of the Bleeding Sorrow. It's of course still great also I think that the version from The Somberlain demo from 1992 sounds a little better. It's more raw and harsh of course then this version, yet again very glad it's on The Past Is Alive.

The instrumental by Zwetsloot Feathers Fell ends of this masterpiece and it's the best of the 3 instrumental songs he composed. I often used this one as an ending song on many my mix cassette tapes back in the day. If it had 41 seconds left on a side it was a great way to fit another song onto them. Actually yet again I do prefer demo version with vocals and drums it's 51 seconds and was also used to end cassette tapes with. But both versions are genius so you can't go wrong with either of them.

And that's all the songs on The Somberlain like most debut records it's a lot of "old" demo songs re-recorded. The Past Is Alive does include many but not all of them, but there's been reissued versions of the album and deluxe ones that fixes that if one wants all those songs. But this post is about the 1993 version of The Somberlain the one I grew up listening to.

The production by Dan Swanö was truly amazing. The Somberlain set a new standard for MANY other bands in the scene. Also got to mention the classic amazing cover artwork done by the legendary Kristian "Necrolord" Wåhlin.

Got to do a comparison with the follow-up album Storm Of The Light's Bane that was released almost two years later on Nuclear Blast. I often say it's my favorite Dissection album and my 2nd favorite album of all time. Only beaten by De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas by Mayhem.

Well how much better is really Storm Of The Light's Bane? Extremely little in my opinion when I listen to The Somberlain all memories comes back and I almost change my mind which is the better one.

Many bands even old ones adopted the Dissection style of melodic Death Metal and a ton of newer ones like Naglfar, Vinterland, Gates Of Ishtar etc. It almost got ridiculous with how many Swedish melodic Death Metal with hints of Black Metal popped up.

The style however isn't what I really enjoy except for the records by Dissection, Unanimated and Dawn there's very few melodic Death Metal bands that I like. When done properly it's amazing but take a band like Vinterland their only record is nowadays are praised as something genius. Back then me and my friends used to hate and laugh at all "Dissection clone" bands. I still do that!

When Jon and Vlad was arrested in December of 1997 for murder I was devastated for my own selfish reasons because it meant no more Dissection. At least it felt like that Jon would be doing 16 years in prison or something like that. Being 17 years old at the time and being a huge fan I was truly gutted.

We saw the Live Legacy release in 2003 recorded at Wacken Open Air of 1997 after the murder of Josef. The recording had already circled in the scene and it was released as a bootleg called Frozen In Wacken (1999).

What about Reinkaos (2006)? No thanks... I think it was great that Jon did the Rebirth of Dissection got a new lineup for the band together and did tours. However the songs on Reinkaos sucks... The sound, production, songwriting, arrangements are all terrible.

Sure I think that Maha Kali is a great song even if it sounded quite dated like something from 1996-97 by another band. Other then that its just boring sounding songs on that album. I've tried MANY times and it never gets any better. Actually don't even own a copy of it for myself anymore.

The Somberlain will always be remembered for years to come even at its 50th anniversary it will be regarded as one of the best albums of its time.

Anyway thanks if you read the whole text for a life changing record in this 38 year old man life. 

torsdag 29 november 2018

NECROPHOBIC - MARK OF THE NECROGRAM (2018)

on a gatefold vinyl released on Century Media that also comes with a double sided poster. One horizontal and one vertical a really nice addition to this release.

Next year Necrophobic will have their 30th anniversary but these guys show no sign of slowing down. In fact I think that Mark Of The Necrogram is better then both their two previous albums Womb Of Lilithu (2013) and Death To All (2009). And those two are really great.

The release of the EP Pesta (2017) with the title track of that 2-song EP was a clear indication that the album was going to be great. But I really didn’t think it would be as excellent as it final product proved to be.

The production and the sound on Mark Of The Necrogram is another amazing thing. It was recorded with Fredrik Folkare (Unleashed, Firespawn etc.) at the Chrome Studio. That’s a really great location for many releases. Also got to mention the astonishing cover art done by the legendary Kristian “Necrolord” Wåhlin. I don't think I have to mention all the album cover art he has had his hands on throughout the years.

The album is great throughout but some of my favorites are Mark of the Necrogram; Odium Caecum; Tsar Bomba; Pesta; Requiem For A Dying Sun; From the Great Above to the Great Below and the ending instrumental Undergången.

A bit off-topic maybe. But... I always despised whenever someone says that “this band are the Dissection of today” or "continuing the legacy of Dissection". There will never another band like Dissection!!! There is this band that has been called that for quite some time. I don't think they should be mentioned in the same sentence as Dissection.

But if someone says that about Necrophobic (or Unanimated) they will get a free pass. Once at least. I'm probably guilty of it also on some occasion... Anyway that’s how good the Blackened Death Metal of Necrophobic is and has been for many years now.

Will have to fit Mark Of The Necrogram somewhere on my top-?? of 2018. The competition is murder this year so we'll see where it finally lands. My top-5 is pretty much set already but what happens after that we'll just have too see.

An album you definitely should have in your collection this year. Also a great introduction to the amazing world of Necrophobic.



lördag 24 november 2018

WARDRUNA - SKALD (2018)

on a gatefold exclusive red vinyl from the Wardruna webstore limited to 500 copies also the digipack CD both released on By Norse Music. When I preordered the LP I'm certain that said it was limited to only 250 copies, not that I really care all that much about that. It's available on a white vinyl also limited to 500 copies and standard black vinyl.

Skald was recorded live in the studio with the intention of capturing the uncompromising energy of a a live performance rather then aiming for a flawless and polished expression.
It sets out to give voice to the ancient craft that once lay at the heart of the Norse oral traditions, presented as it takes shape in the hands of a humble contemporary skald today”

Is the first Einar Selvik says in the booklet and I couldn't describe the Skald album better myself. The booklet is very interesting to read, especially about some of the songs origins. There's both the original Norwegian lyrics and also English translations included.

This new album is the first Wardruna has recorded since the Runaljod Trilogy was completed in with the excellent Ragnarok (2016).

For the most part of the 10 songs they haven't been recorded or released. The songs Helvegen and Fehu both appears on the 2nd album Yggdrasil (2013) but here they take on another shape.

I almost prefer this Helvegen version but its a close between the two in terms of being best because they are so different from each other. Voluspá has been performed at Wardruna concerts and at Einar Selvik solo performances. They also made an amazing video for that song you really should check out (see furthest down).

The next Warduna release I really hope for a Blu-Ray live concert, a performance with ex. member Gaahl on Kauna and Jara would be excellent. Have seen Wardruna live a couple of times now and one can only hope for something like that.

Anyway I realize that this isn’t for everyone. The almost 16 min song Sonatorrek only consists of Selvik's own vocals. The album is called Skald after all. Even if it doesn’t sound anything like Nagellstev when Fenriz did that song on Nordavind (1995) by Storm. Also that one doesn't just have his vocals, I hope you get where I'm going with this. For me personally this reminds me of the Norwegian 90’s spirit and that goes for the entire album. Without it even ever being intended.

Einar Selvik has said in interviews that he doesn't understand why Wardruna is popular among Black Metal fans/people. But if you're like me and was into the Norwegian (& Swedish) scene during the mid 90's and listened too bands like Isengard, Wongraven, Storm etc. I think that Wardruna is a continuation of those bands. Just done in a way different format. 

Was going to wait until I had my Wardruna bind rune tattoo done in 3 weeks, but couldn’t hold out doing a post about Skald because it's so brilliant. Got it yesterday and been listening constantly to the album.

As you probably can guess I’m a huge Wardruna / Einar Selvik fan but I give this record a chance. You might find the same spirit that I found within Skald.

söndag 18 november 2018

SAMAEL - CEREMONY OF OPPOSITES (1994)

On a red vinyl limited to 100 copies a Century Media reissue from 2018 comes with a 60 x 60 cm poster. This release also includes a CD of the album it's just in some very cheap generic sleeve. They should've put some effort on it or not include it at all in my opinion.

Have already done a post on Ceremony Of Opposites with my old CD copy over on my Instagram. Got this reissue in the same package as Viktoria by Marduk this June so I was extremely busy with that one. Also the newly released Funeral Mist album and the then upcoming Immortal record for weeks (and also work) so it took awhile for me to listen too it properly. Anyway it’s such an amazing album that it deserves another post and also one for the blog.

Remember the time when the video for the excellent song Baphomet’s Throne were being played on Headbanger’s Ball on European MTV. Got completely blown away by this Swiss band just by that song alone.

A friend owned the CD and I borrowed it from him also of course recorded it to a cassette-tape. Got the CD myself some time later because cassettes were a pain in the ass. However essential to bring music with us to play in the 90's, a big brick by today's standard. My so called “portable” CD-player from 1991 was even bigger & heavier and never an option.

I heard Ceremony Of Opposites a few months before I bought both The Somberlain (1993) and In The Nightside Eclipse (1994) in 1994. Even if we called Samael Black Metal (or Dark Metal don't remember clearly?) at that time it wasn’t an album that sparked my deep interest for the genre like the Dissection and Emperor albums did.

Don’t remember seeing or reading an interview with Samael back in those days. Still don’t exactly know how I would describe Ceremony Of Opposites they have all sorts of different influences on it. But who the hell cares? The record is excellent!

Other songs besides the one I already mentioned like Black Trip; Celebration of the Fourth; Son of the Earth; Flagellation etc. are excellent. Recorded with Waldemar Sorychta producer of many great albums by other Century Media bands in the 90’s like Borknagar, Tiamat, Unleashed, Moonspell etc.

The earlier Samael records Worship Him (1991) and Blood Ritual (1992) are both great that I consider to be essential to own. But for me Ceremony Of Opposites will always be my favorite album by the band. After this one many were raving on about their Passage (1996) album but I never cared for that one and lost interest for the band.

However I must admit that I really like the re-recorded version of the song Into The Pentagram on the Rebellion (1995) EP. The original version is found on the debut album Worship Him that was originally released by Osmose Productions. Would say that about 99.9% of the time I usually hate whenever bands re-record their old songs but that one is truly amazing. It sounds like something that could've fitted on this album. The other songs on that EP isn't particularly exciting.

Anyway Ceremony Of Opposites is a must have album in your collection and I’m glad being able to spin it on my record player.

söndag 11 november 2018

DANZIG II: LUCIFUGE (1990)

On a European first print vinyl released by Def American Recordings/Phonogram.

Glenn Danzig has been involved in many amazing bands and albums but this one is my absolute favorite in his entire discography. This is the follow-up album to the self titled debut Danzig (1988).

Sure that especially the debut Danzig but also Danzig 4P (1994) are amazing albums. Danzig III How The God Kills (1992) have many great songs but is my least favorite of those four.

This second Danzig record is really special in my opinion. It wasn’t always the case I considered that though. Remember it took me many listenings before realizing its glory way back in the early 90’s when I got it on CD. Very often when I'm meet with such a challenge the record can grow into a beast of an album.

At first I only liked Under Her Black Wings; Long Way Back From Hell and Snakes Of Christ. Nowadays I don't think there's a bad moment on the entire record.

Probably many people like me discovered Danzig (also Samhain & Misfits) thanks to Metallica wearing their t-shirts on stage and band photos. Also the covers they did of Misfits.

What really made me buy my first Danzig album back in the day was when I saw the video to Mother. Believe my older sister had recorded it onto a VHS-tape also. Then when I saw the promo video for Under Her Black Wings I of course wanted this album also because the 1st one was so amazing.

Danzig was so different from the bands that I was into at the time Metallica Megadeth. This was also before I discovered Slayer, Sepultura, Morbid Angel, Entombed and so on.

The Danzig II: Lucifuge album has so many different elements on it. Like Blues on the amazing songs I’m The One and Killer Wolf (which they made a promo video for). Besides the already mentioned songs I want to point out some other ones. Another video was made for Devil's Plaything it got a bit of a punk vibe to it. They strangely didn't do a video for the amazing Tired Of Being Alive.

777 incorporates a slide guitar that almost gives it a Country feeling. Blood And Tears got late 50's Rock influences and is done excellent. The ending song Pain In The World is Doom Metal and Black Sabbath sounding done in the Danzig way.

The four first Danzig records was still being played every once in awhile when I was deepest into the Black Metal scene in the 90's. Their music really felt like it was more "evil" then many Black Metal bands that got recognition in the 90's.

After the 4th record I lost interest for buying new Danzig albums. Although I got some of them on CD that my sister gave to me because she don't listen to physical media anymore.

There's some great songs he has written since but none that could match anything on Danzig II: Lucifuge. All in all this is a masterpiece of an album.

söndag 4 november 2018

MY 3 FAVORITE UNLEASHED ALBUMS...

...will probably forever always be Where No Life Dwells (1991); Shadows In The Deep (1992) and Across The Open Sea (1993). All are the original Century Media CD releases.

Would rank the albums in that order of release also. Though that wasn’t always the case. The first album by Unleashed I bought was Shadows In The Deep and it was for most of the 90’s my favorite record of theirs.

But that has changed throughout the years. It’s actually the same case as with many other bands of the early amazing Swedish Death Metal scene. Have discovered that the debut is my favorite album by lots of those bands. You can definitely hear the young musicians being so passionate with their music in this “new” Metal genre.

The debut from 1991 Where No Life Dwells is amazing throughout. So that makes it hard to pick out any favorite songs.  A classic timeless one and must have Death Metal album. Should really get this one on LP even if I'm in no hurry.

Remember I made my mom drive me to a shopping center outside town in the early 90’s (probably at least 1 hour back & forth). Just so that I could buy my first Unleashed CD Shadows In The Deep.

I played that CD to death at the time. Many amazing songs like The Final Silence; The Immortals; Shadows in the Deep; Onward Into Countless Battles etc. I also really enjoyed the cover of what became and is my favorite Venom song Countess Bathory at the time. Even if the original is so much better. I think that Shadows In The Deep is a bit more uneven then the debut nowadays. Songs like A Life Beyond; Crush The Skull and Land Of Ice isn't on par with the others but all in all an amazing album.

Across The Open Sea was a bit of a letdown I thought at first. That soon changed and it was for a long time my second favorite Unleashed album. It hasn’t aged as well as the two others I think but it’s a very nostalgic record for me and I really enjoy it.

I think the sound and production isn't as good as on the two previous albums. Also some songs like I Am God; Captured and even the one they made a video for The One Insane I've never really enjoyed. There's some amazing ones though like To Asgaard We Fly; Open Wide; Execute Them All; Forever Goodbye (2045) etc. The butchering of the Judas Priest classic song Breaking The Law isn't one of them...

Was a huge fan of Unleashed in 90’s before I got lost all in Black Metal they were my 3rd favorite Swedish Death band behind Dismember and Entombed. They also made me interested in Nordic mythology, vikings and got me to wear a Thor's Hammer pendant.

Blind bought Victory (1995) at release and still to this day I cannot stand that album. I still own it and enjoy maybe 1 or 2 songs. Ever since that record all the Unleashed albums has been hit like Midvinterblot (2006) and Odalheim (2012) or miss like Warrior (1997) and As Yggdrasil Trembles (2010).

These 3 records in this post will always be the most special Unleashed albums for me.

onsdag 31 oktober 2018

THE BLACK - THE PRIEST OF SATAN (1994)

Both my old CD copy on Necropolis Records and the just released 2018 vinyl reissue on Osmose Productions limited to 300 copies (some say). There's also a red LP release (200 copies some say).

Did a post on this album about 1.5 years ago on my Instagram account but never on the blog. This album is so great that it deserves yet another post.

Last time I bitched about the two 2003 LP releases being too expensive. Well now I can finally spin The Priest Of Satan on my record player.

Jon Nödtveidt of Dissection joined The Black or The Black Flame as they were back called then in 1992 when he was 17 years old. While studying at the art school at Eskilstuna.
If you're unfamiliar with Sweden's geography Eskilstuna in located approx 110 kilometers west of Stockholm and that's far away from his place of origin Strömstad (and later Göteborg).

Jon calls himself Rietas in The Black plays guitar, keyboard and sings. His performance is of course pure brilliance.

The same lineup, plus guitarist Black Demon, released a demo called Black Blood in October of 1992 that Jon only is the vocalist on. It got released on CD by Necropolis Records in 1996 that I highly recommend getting. All 7 of the demo songs appears on The Priest Of Satan that altogether has 12 songs.

It starts with a very moody keyboard instrumental song The Beast Of Fire then we’re treated with the great The Book Of Leviathan. We're in for a great 39 min ride of amazing Black Metal. The songs are often under 3 minutes, usually those from the demo. The keyboard isn't overused and really fills a purpose whenever they're used.

The Priest Of Satan doesn't sound like any other band from the Scandinavian scene especially at the time in my opinion. It’s very unpolished and nothing at all like Dissection so if you're looking for a new The Somberlain (1994) you will be disappointed.

But the rough production and recording is very fitting for The Black. This lineup only released one full length studio album and it definitely has its place in the Swedish Black Metal history.

My 1st print CD was actually found at the record store in my hometown that sold used CD, LP, VHS etc. in the mid 90’s. It's quite expensive these days, because Necropolis Records shelved many of them in order for “better prints”. Those have a different booklet, CD design and the layout on the back of the case. I prefer my original one but those are just minor details.

The Priest Of Satan wasn’t released on LP until 2003 by two different company's. Both in limited quantities one had 300 copies and the other 666 copies. Don't know if those prices will drop with this reissue. I’m fine with this re-release (that's also available on red vinyl and CD). Sometimes the Osmose reissues can be a bit hit or miss. Especially with the layout but I like this one even if the cover is in black and white. You should grab yourself a copy if you want a vinyl release of it.

The Black was resurrected and released an album in 2008 with only the drummer, called The Black, left of the lineup that recorded The Priest Of Satan. There's also two members that was involved with probably the now most overrated band ever in the Swedish scene Vinterland. Have only heard that album about 2 or 3 times. Don't remember anything of what I heard so it's not on my "wishlist".

Usually say that The Priest Of Satan is a top-10 Swedish Black Metal album and I still stand by that statement but there’s MANY that I would have to fit within those 10 records.

Anyway The Priest Of Satan is a must have album in every Black Metal collection. I'm NOT just saying that because it's a release that Jon Nödtveidt was involved in during the glorious 90's!

lördag 27 oktober 2018

MARDUK - INFERNAL ETERNAL (2000)

First print double picture disc vinyl limited to 500 copies that comes with a gatefold cover sleeve released on Blooddawn Productions/Regain Records.

When Infernal Eternal was released in the year 2000 got to admit that I was a bit hesitant about it. Sure I bought the 2-CD immediately at the release. Just felt that Marduk could’ve waited somewhat longer then the 3 years between this one and the Live In Germania (1997) record.

Nowadays I’m glad that Marduk released this album. Have always preferred the Live In Germania record however since getting this Infernal Eternal LP release a few month ago whenever I listen to it now I think that it’s better. But vice versa whenever I listen to Live In Germania...

Have much more nostalgia with that record of drinking beer with my friends in the summer of 1997 and being 17 years old and the only care in the world was music and drinking alcohol with my friends. While in the year 2000 being 20 years old and having a lot more "responsibility" with work.

My favorite Marduk live album is Warschau (2005) when Mortuus had joined and Devo returned.

At the time of the Infernal Eternal release I had also been somewhat disappointed with a few Marduk releases. Absolutely NOT bad because I don't Marduk can or ever will be that. The album Nightwing (1998) and both the EP’s Glorification (1996) and Obedience (2000) was far from as excellent then take instance Opus Nocturne (1994) or Heaven Shall Burn... When We Are Gathered (1996) and all others before them.

Really like the songs they chose for Infernal Eternal altogether 18 songs that was recorded in France during the The World Panzer Battle Tour. Five from the Panzer Division Marduk (1999) but also classic songs like The Sun Turns Black As Night; Those Of The Unlight; Burn My Coffin; Still Fucking DeadDeparture From The Mortals; On Darkened Wings etc.

It sounds great and all musicians and Legion's vocals are top notch. My only complaint is that it would've been great with some more songs from Opus Nocturne then just two (Materialized In Stone and Sulphur Souls). Also only one from the Heaven Shall Burn... album (Legion) but there's five of those on the Live In Germania record. I'm just glad that they chose that many songs from both of the Dark Endless (1992) and Those Of The Unlight (1993) albums.

One could fuss about some of the song choices like the cover of the Celtic Frost classic Into The Crypts Of Rays their live cover is alright but I rather hear another Marduk song. Sure that it's not often that Dreams Of Blood And Iron from Nightwing is performed live and it's a good song. But there's so many others I would've preferred over that one. Like the title track Nightwing of that same album.

Or some other personal favorites could've been included like:
The Sun Has Failed
Darkness Breeds Immortality
A Sculpture Of The Night
From Subterranean Throne Profound
The Black Tormentor Of Satan
Glorification Of The Black God etc. but that's just minor details.

If I was to look at this record not as the diehard Marduk fan that I truly am I still think that Infernal Eternal is an excellent live album. It should appeal to anyone who's into them, even casual fans but especially if you're into the "Legion era" of the band.

But also if you're just looking for a great live Black Metal album you can't go wrong with this one. All in all a great buy and of course even better on vinyl.

And my end signature is as always Praise Hail Marduk!!

lördag 20 oktober 2018

BEHEMOTH - I LOVED YOU AT YOUR DARKEST (2018)

The 2 x picture disc vinyl release on Nuclear Blast that also comes with a very impressive looking 24-page booklet. Just like the new Immortal and Marduk albums this was available in approx 20+ different versions if one includes the CD's. Really enjoy this though the vinyls all have an amazing design

Admittedly when I first heard about and listened to Behemoth in the late 90's I wasn't at all into them. Had every opportunity back then to discover them, however there were simply too many other amazing bands I was into by then. But I've always appreciated Behemoth's promo videos both for the music and their amazing visual esthetic.

Vocalist/guitarist Nergal is very charismatic with a impressive personality. He's also the only member that remains of this Polish beast since they started in 1991 when they were called Baphomet but changed it to Behemoth that same year.

His real name is Adam Darski got the official autobiography that's called Confessions Of A Heretic: The Sacred And The Profane: Behemoth And Beyond. I'll read through it one day. Maybe should be doing that instead of writing about a bunch of albums...

Wasn't actually until quite recently that I really got into Behemoth with their masterpiece of an album The Satanist (2014). So I was really looking forward to hearing this new one. It didn't disappoint! In fact my list of best records of 2018 just got even harder. I'm not complaining though but the top-9 that was planned might've to be a top-12 or even more.

I could imagine that many see Behemoth as another version of other popular bands with a great visual image also having a budget too afford it. While those other bands (you probably know which?) just rely on their image and past glory Behemoth has the music and can stand proudly. Because they are still after 27 years supremely creative.

Feels bad that I missed out on many of their previous albums although for my taste I really think that I Loved You At Your Darkest and The Satanist are their best work thus far. This one being the bands 11th full length studio album. There's been a ton of album, live, demo reissue, EP, DVD and compilation releases. A collectors dream! Maybe nightmare?

However I'm very selective when it comes to Behemoth and don't consider all other albums as good as those two albums I just mentioned. Know that someone will probably say that they peaked x many years ago and that the best album is Satanica (1999); Demigod (2004); Grom (1996); Sventevith (Storming Near the Baltic) (1995) or some demo reissue. Believe me Behemoth are in their prime at the time.

Let's finally get into I Loved You At Your Darkest. It's not like they changed their formula much since the previous album. In interviews it's all this talk about the children's choir and when they use them it does add another element to the music.

My favorite song by Behemoth is quite predictable O Father O Satan O Sun! from The Satanist.

None of these ones reach that status but that's a hard one to compete with. They do come close with some though.

However the album is a whole experience. This is NOT a record that you want to skip any songs on, some of my favorites in no particular order: Sabbath Mater; Ecclesia Diabolica Catholica; Coagula; Solve; Havohej Pantocrator; Rom 5:8 could babble on with the rest.

The 3 songs that they've made promo videos for on this album are all great especially the excellent Wolves Ov Siberia. The first one they released God = Dog is for my taste the weakest of the videos.

So I was needlessly worried that the album wouldn't deliver when it was going to be released. Bartzabel is also great but I can think of better songs on I Loved You At Your Darkest.

Although I've never cared what other people think about bands or albums that I enjoy. The rating over on Metal Archives is now at 60%... Fuck off with that! Hmm top-5 maybe even higher? Because this is a must have album of this year!

söndag 14 oktober 2018

MY TWO FAVORITE NECROPHOBIC RELEASES

will probably always be these two albums. The Nocturnal Silence (1993) here on a 2018 reissue vinyl on Hammerheart Records and the Satanic Blasphemies (2009) one is a reissue vinyl from 2011 on Floga Records.

"Det var bättre förr" is Swedish for "it used to be better" it just sounds so much better in my native tongue then in English. That's actually why I wrote this whole Necrophobic post in Swedish on Instagram @herr_perdition. Got my point got across much better that way. I believe at least?

But we'll return to the "det var bättre förr" statement later in this post.

In the mid 90's Necrophobic really didn't mean anything for me. The only release I had was a cassette-tape of The Nocturnal Silence recorded from a CD that a friend owned. Didn't hear the greatness of it back then and I didn't play it often. I just considered them as another band in an already overpopulated Swedish Death/Black Metal scene.

The only thing I really cared about was that the Dark Funeral guitarist David "Blackmoon" Parland (1970-2013) once had been original member when Necrophobic started back in 1989. He was a member with the band until 1996, so he participated on The Nocturnal Silence, all 3 demos before the album and both EP's The Call (1993) and Spawned By Evil (1996). He also made a very short return in the year 2000.

When me and my friend would discuss music of the harder kind in the mid to late 90's Necrophobic was a band I often would refer to as "why do they even bother". What I meant with that was I didn't hear any potential to them ever be something within the scene. Sure it's fun playing music, touring, record and release albums. There's nothing wrong with that at all!

They were signed to Black Mark Production and as everyone knows if you weren't Bathory on that label well then you're not Bathory. I just felt Necrophobic were in a weird spot in the scene.

Necrophobic toiled on during the 90's and released two more albums Darkside (1997) and The Third Antichrist (1999) before those also the rather boring EP Spawned By Evil with a bunch of covers of Venom, Slayer and Bathory.

Think I just listened to those two albums once at a record store in my hometown back when they were released. The production and music I thought sounded weak back then. That was also recorded in Sunlight like The Nocturnal Silence.

When they signed with the Swedish label Regain Records and released the album Hrimthursum in 2006 it was like something had happened with Necrophobic.

Had they finally sold their souls to the Devil? Either way it was a really an amazing album. Maybe they just got a lucky break? But the follow-up to that one Death To All (2009) was also really great.

Also in 2009 the compilation album Satanic Blasphemies was released with two of their excellent demos. Slow Asphyxiation (1990) and Unholy Prophecies (1991) also their brilliant EP The Call (1992). It's worth buying the compilation just for that EP alone in my opinion but to get the demos just adds so much more value to this release.

After realizing that Necrophobic were a force to be recon with I searched out and revisited both the Darkside and The Third Antichrist albums and found them to be really enjoyable. Sure they ain't as good as the others I mentioned but both are definitely worth your time and money.

But back to the "det var bättre förr" statement. How many bands within the early Swedish Death Metal scene doesn't that apply to? I mean so many of my old favorite bands in the genre like Grave, Unleashed, Entombed, Hypocrisy etc. had their best creative outlet and recorded the best albums in the beginning of their career.

While Necrophobic with their latest album Mark Of The Necrogram is a contender for my list of the best albums released in the amazing year that 2018 has been.

Even if their oldest material is my favorite period of Necrophobic. I'm really glad they kept going and that they did "bothered". All the success they have gotten now I would say that they earned it so much more then other more prominent bands that only live on former glory.

Will I do more posts in Swedish over at my Instagram? Well not in the near future but who knows if I feel it's right maybe.

This post was written a couple of months ago and it's not until now I finally decided to post this Swedish & English cross over one.

Anyway two most have albums, check out Necrophobic if you haven't already!