söndag 19 augusti 2018

UNANIMATED - ANNIHILATION (2018) EP

On Friday the 10th of August Unanimated released their new 4-song EP called Annihilation that's 9 years and 4 months after the previous album In The Light Of Darkness (2009). I bought the silver 12" vinyl version of the EP limited to 100 copies released on Century Media.

The LP is single sided so on the B-side there's a etched motive. It's the same as the one on the white page that says Black & Death Metal  kind of hard to see on my crappy iPhone 6S photos (will upgrade soon). I really appreciate the A4 even if it's printed on some cheap paper it's a nice thing to get with the LP release not just for the image but also bassist Richard Cabeza written words. More bands should do this.

Kind of a late post on this one got it a few days ago, but I’ve been extremely busy with working and other things. But wasn’t late to pre-ordering this version of Annihilation though, 5 min after I got the newsletter e-mail from the Century Media webstore when it was announced for pre-order I directly picked out this one.

This 4-song EP was probably my second most anticipated release (behind Funeral Mist) in the year of excellent Metal releases that 2018 truly has been. Never usually keep any my LP’s in the shrink wrapper but for this release I’ll be that guy with a partially “sealed copy” might remove it eventually.

About the music Adversarial Fire is a great opening song of the EP. I had heard it when they played it live (on YouTube) earlier this year in Stockholm. It’s in the same vein as their previous album In The Light Of Darkness. On the second song From A Throne Below the tempo slows down and it’s another great one. Of Fire And Obliteration starts with an acoustic guitar when the vocals and electric guitar comes into the song I get goosebumps. Pure Black/Death Metal excellency! Last out is the title track Annihilation really great and I’m left wanting more after approx 21 min of Unanimated greatness.

Unanimated has grown musically since the 9 years that passed since their last release, there's more hints of Black Metal then the melodic Blackened Death Metal of Ancient God Of Evil (1995). Actually I would say that they took a very small inspiration from their debut In The Forest Of The Dreaming Dead (1993). But mostly it's a continuation on what they started with on In The Light Of Darkness

They recorded the EP in the Chrome Studios with Fredrik Folkare as producer he's also Unleashed guitarist and it sounds great. I do believe they will record the upcoming album in the same studio. Even if it sounds amazing I would've preferred if they had recorded in my favorite Swedish studios: Necromorbus Studio with Tore Stjerna like on the previous album or if they had chosen to work with Devo Andersson of Marduk in his Endarker Studio.

The result of working with Devo would've been very interesting in my book even if music is only as good as its written. So maybe on any of the 2 other albums they will release on Century Media?

Even if former original longtime drummer Peter Stjärnvind was replaced as early as 2011 on drums by Anders Schultz from Unleashed and Peter don't play the drums anymore because of an injury he's missed. At least for me because he was apart of all those great albums (and demos) then again Anders does a great job also. Peter now plays guitar in Merciless.

Recently read a 4-paged interview with Richard Cabeza  (or 2,5 because of pictures) from the Swedish metal magazine Close-Up Magazine and Unanimated chose not to do a tour together with Rotting Christ and Watain they got offered. Instead they wanted to focus on the recording of the upcoming album.

In my mind Watain is still a new band even if they played since 1998, but do know that I’m a 38 years old guy. I do believe they’ve got a lot of younger fans (of course older also) but it probably would’ve been some great promotion for Unanimated. They did just play a gig at Party San Metal Over Air in Germany last weekend. There's a great live clip of the band performing one of my favorites the classic Die Alone from Ancient God Of Evil  on YouTube I highly recommend checking out.

Extremely pleased with the Annihilation EP and to summarize best releases of 2018 just got even more harder but I don't mind that at all. The future of Unanimated looks extremely promising!

lördag 11 augusti 2018

MARDUK - BLACKCROWNED (2002)

Both these Marduk vinyls was released on Regain Records in 2002. Not sure how many copies of them were released. I know that the 2 picture disc releases also from 2002 was limited to 500 copies each.

A Marduk compilation box set limited to 10 000 copies called Blackcrowned was released 2002 it included a live-VHS, 2-CD & lyrics booklet with rare photos. Already in 2002 the VHS format was beginning to become obsolete, at least for me, so I thought that it was kind of strange they included it back then. They eventually released it on a standalone DVD in 2005. I'll do a post on my 3 Marduk DVD’s one day.

The 2 LP’s has all songs from the 2-CD in the box set. It has all sorts of miscellaneous assortment of songs like covers of Hellchild by Venom; Paint It Black by The Rolling Stones; Earth A.D. by Misfits; Macabre and Samhain by Samhain. The covers are alright, except for the butchering of the amazing timeless song Paint It Black. There's also live recordings of Baptism By Fire; Funeral Bitch and Dracole Wayda from July 2000 at Waldrock Open Air in the Netherlands. The sound was not professionally recorded it almost sounds like a bootleg recording, then again the Blackcrowned VHS/DVD has a a bunch of that... I don't mind the quality because I was used to old live bootleg VHS copies of Dissection, Dismember, Marduk etc. from the 90's.

Something I really appreciate is the 4 studio rehearsal songs from April of 1994. Amazing to hear the song Opus Nocturne performed by Marduk! Even if that one is just instrumental on Blackcrowned release. The 3 others from that Opus Nocturne (1994) rehearsal recording are Materialized In Stone; Sulphur Souls and Autumnal Reaper they at least have vocals on them.

Have no clue why they did re-recordings in 2001 of old classic songs like: The Sun Turns Black As Night; The Funeral Seemed To Be Endless; Darkness Breeds Immortality; A Sculpture of the Night; Untrodden Paths (Wolves Part II) & The Sun Has Failed. Don’t know why these were re-recorded? I usually hate re-recordings of old classic songs. These ones are alright but the originals are of course at least 100 times better!!

Another amazing thing on this release is the 4-track recordings from June 1995 of 4 songs that ended up on the 1996 album Heaven Shall Burn... When We Are Gathered a year later. Those songs are: Beyond The Grace Of God; Glorification (instrumental)Black Tormentor / Shadow Of Our Infernal King and Infernal Eternal / Towards The Land Of The Damned these were clearly working titles of the songs was finally on the Heaven Shall Burn... When We Are Gathered album.

The song Bloodletting was recorded in January of 2001 and was supposed to be included in some horror movie that never got released. Marduk finished the song a couple of months later that year in September and included it on the Blackcrowned release. The song is also on the World Funeral (2003) album. It's a few seconds shorter there and doesn't sound much different from this version.

Deathride is a medley of riffs from the Panzer Division Marduk (1999) album that was used on some Metal Mulisha stuntvideo soundtrack (whatever the fuck that is?). Another highlight for me is the song Todeskessel Kurland from the 1999 Panzer Division Marduk session. The band didn't finish it until 2 years later. Both these songs appears on reissued versions of Panzer Division Marduk like my picture disc vinyl.

Only small gripe I got with these two vinyls is that they have the exact same artwork on the back sleeve. Doesn't effect the music of course so it's not a big deal, still it would be nice with a design on each. The box set however was a bit overkill though, to print as many as 10 000 copies, the use VHS and CD's. I much rather would've it come in a box with 2 LP's + a DVD and maybe 1500 - 3000 copies that could be a really cool collectors piece. Even if I got the LP's and the DVD I still don't own the Blackcrowned box set, but I'll get it some day. It's not expensive or hard to find these days.

I really enjoy both Blackcrowned albums but I cannot recommend them to any casual Marduk fans. These releases are clearly meant for die-hard fans like me. And as always...
Praise Hail Marduk!!



WARDRUNA LIVE at DALHALLA in SWEDEN August 9th 2018

Me and my old friend Kim from the great band Tyrant Wrath witnessed Wardruna live at Dalhalla located North of Rättvik, Sweden this Thursday. It was the 2nd time I saw them live since the release of the Ragnarok (2016) album.

Took a few pictures and I only filmed 2 songs live Jara and Helvegen (with support act vocalist Eivør Pálsdóttir guesting) because I wanted to focus on the concert. Great setlist a bit unusual for what they normally play.

I don't remember every song they played and I didn't want to take notes during their performance because I wanted to focus on the show. But some of the songs were: Tyr; Rotlaust Tre Fell; Odal; Fehu; Algir - Stien Klarnar and the closing solo performance by Einar Selvik of the song Völuspá.

As always Wardruna were amazing and we had seats on row 5 so it was a great view. With the great surrounding that Dalhalla brings it made the gig even more special.

lördag 4 augusti 2018

CARCASS - NECROTICISM - DESCANTING THE INSALUBRIOUS (1991)

This classic Death Metal gem on a Full Dynamic Range vinyl reissue from 2017 on Earache. Bought this last year don't know if every copy has switched A and B-labels of this LP? Because mine have that.

Back in the early 90’s whenever Headbanger’s Ball would show the videos for the songs Incarnated Solvent Abuse and Corporal Jigsore Quandary I really liked them. So much that I recorded both those 2 songs on a VHS-tape along with other Death and Thrash Metal bands at the time. But whenever I listened to the Necroticism album at one of my local record stores, on numerous occasions also, it never convinced me to buy it.

Carcass weren’t like the other Death Metal bands I enjoyed at the time Dismember, Morbid Angel, Entombed, Unleashed etc. Actually it wasn’t probably until late 90’s/early 2000 that I picked up Necroticism on CD and finally understood what everyone else already knew years ago.

Carcass added a second guitarist next to Bill Steer during the 2nd part of the 1990 tour for their previous album Symphonies Of Sickness (1989). That guy was Michael Amott from the amazing Swedish Death Metal band Carnage. He was involved in the music writing of both Incarnated Solvent Abuse and Corporal Jigsore Quandary the later one a collaboration with Bill Steer and drummer Ken Owen.

However their main music writer for the album was Bill Steer, even if drummer Ken Owen also wrote contributed music to 3 songs and vocalist/bassist Jeff Walker wrote all the lyrics. They recorded the album with producer Colin Richardson (Bolt Thrower, Gorefest, Fear Factory etc).

The first album by Carcass I bought was Heartwork (1993) although how brilliant that one is and I’ve listened to it literary to death. I find myself leaning more and more nowadays towards Necroticism whenever I need my Carcass fix.

Witnessed them live about 3 weeks ago at a festival and they were great. For my taste there were a bit to many songs from Surgical Steel (2013). There’s so many songs from Necroticism I wanted them to play like: Carneous Cacoffiny; Symposium of Sickness; Inpropagation etc. but I was still pleased with their performance.

Anyway Necroticism – Descanting the Insalubrious is a timeless classic Death Metal album that everyone should own!


onsdag 1 augusti 2018

R.I.P. ARCKANUM 1993 - 2018...

Had no idea that Shamaatae aka. Johan Lahger had put down Arckanum to rest after 25 years. I was just going to check some fact on Shamaatae at Metal Archives while doing research for another post and saw that Arckanum was no more.

Didn't know anything about this... But apparently it was already announced in February this year. So it came as quite the shock, Shamaatae will continue writing books and focus on his spiritual ventures. I wish him all the best with that, but for my own selfish reasons I really wished he continued on with Arckanum.

Very sad news for me because the band has meant so much for me. I've been a fan since the mid 90's when I found the debut Fran Marder (1995) at a record store in my hometown that sold used CD, LP, VHS etc. in 1995/96 (?).

My curiosity for the band was much thanks to the fact they were signed to Necropolis Records. The North American record label where many bands released many timeless classic albums like: Nifelheim; The Black, Dawn, Triumphator, War, Niden Div. 187, Vondur just to name a few. Also great essential compilations albums by DissectionOphthalamia also the Nordic Metal A Tribute To Euronymous one.

The 3 first Arckanum albums were released on Necropolis Records. Next 2 records were released on the French label Debemur Morti Productions, then they released albums on Regain Records, Season Of Mist Underground Activists and Folter Records.

Shamaatae also has his own label Carnal Records on where Arckanum released some 7" singles, EP's, split releases and the compilation The 11 Year Anniversary Album (2004). Also amazing albums by great bands like Craft, Grá, Svartsyn etc. just to mention a few.

Anyway let's celebrate what Arckanum accomplished during their 25 years. I have all 9 full length albums, really wish that I have more of them on vinyl. Eventually I'll get my favorite Arckanum records on LP. As far I only got 2 of them Antikosmos and ÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞ the ones that were released on amazing vinyl boxes in 2016. They came with a bunch of cool extra stuff like t-shirt, poster, longsleeve, vinyl slipmat etc. you can see them in this post.

Actually Fran Marder, Kostogher and Kampen wasn't released on vinyl until 2003-04. I'm also extremely glad that I bought all 3 Arckanum CD releases on Necropolis Records in the 90's. Because they are ridiculously priced nowadays. Especially Fran Marder just like many other early records on Necropolis Records.

FRAN MARDER (1995)
The classic debut album! Don't be fooled by the cheesy promo video to the song Gava Fran Trulen, sure it's a great song but, the Fran Marder album has so much more to offer. Brilliant songs I want to mention like Hvila Pa Tronan Min; Svinna; Bærghet; Kununger Af þæn Diupeste Natur etc. just to name a few. It was recorded at Abyss Studio in just 4 days of February 95.

Fran Marder is probably my favorite Arckanum record. Sure nostalgia plays huge a part but it was amazing back then and still is today. I know it's a cliche... But I find new stuff on it every time I listen too the album. A must have record in any serious Black Metal collection.

KOSTOGHER (1997)
In the same vein as the debut, but still a progress of the music and almost as amazing. A bit more polished then Fran Marder there's many highlights on this album and those are very strong. I would probably put either Kostogher or Antikosmos as my 3rd favorite record by them, but this isn't about ranking Arckanum albums.

Just some of the songs I recommend from this one: Skoghens Minnen Vækks; Yvir Min Diupe Marder; Et Sorghetog; Gamall Uvermark and Bedrøvelse. I could mention even more but if you're unfamiliar with Arckanum I don't want to mention every song from every album.

KAMPEN (1998)
Much music on a 2-CD release, 73 min 16 sec to be exact. It became the last Arckanum album on Necropolis Records it's my least favorite of those 3. That's not saying it's bad! Because in fact I do really enjoy listening to this one 20 years later.

However they made one mistake with this first Necropolis Records release and it's not a print error. The album got 11 songs but they are spread out on only 4 tracks, for instance the first song on CD 1 contains 3 songs in one: Kamps Tekn; Frana and Tronan Yvir þusand Landskaps Mark. As far as I know they fixed that on reissues of Kampen. The intent was to release it on one CD because the music can fit on one CD, but Necropolis screwed that up...

Some recommendation: Frana; Pa Gruvstiigher Vandrum; Minir Natz Fughlir and Skipu Vidit Dunkel but it's best like all great albums to listen to this one from start to finish. I probably even like it more nowadays then in the 90's even. Definitely an album that fans of the band should own. Hell even people not into Arckanum should also get this album!

ANTIKOSMOS (2008)
It took 10 years until Arckanum released another full length album. It was completely worth the wait! There were some EP, splits and the compilation album releases in between Kampen and Antikosmos but I never bought any of them. It's almost like a "comeback" and a reincarnation of the band musically the style had evolved during that time. Not like there's another band it still sounds like Arckanum should.

They actually recorded Antikosmos in the Sunlight Studio with Tomas Skogsberg. One always think about the early Swedish Death Metal scene with brilliant albums by Dismember, Entombed, At The Gates, Carnage etc. when his name comes up. But this sounds amazing and shows what an amazing engineer and producer he is, not that one needed more "evidence" with a track record like his. The album was mastered at Necromorbus Studio though.

Like I stated earlier Antikosmos or Kostogher is my 3rd favorite Arckanum album and some of highlights for me are: Svarti; Dauðmellin; Nákjeptir; Eksortna; Røkulfargnýr etc. 8 songs in 38 minutes is a great formula for a great Arckanum record!

ÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞ (2009)
I would rank ÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞ my 2nd favorite album by Arckanum but it's actually not far behind the debut Fran Marder. They are so far from each other musically so whenever I listen to this one I'm just blown away by it every time. Don't know why they didn't continue with Tomas Skogsberg at the Sunlight Studio but nevertheless the result is astonishing. Just like the previous record Shamaatae had guitarist Set Teitan (ex. Dissection etc.) as a session guest performer on ÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞ.

11 songs in approx 50 min and it's very hard to pick out recommendation songs but here's some anyway: Þórhati; Þann Svartís; Þyrpas Ulfar; Þursvitnir; Þjóbaugvittr; Þá Kómu Niflstormum; Þrúðkyn almost mentioned every song there but that's just a testament how brilliant this album is.

SVIGA LÆ (2010)
The 3rd album in 3 years and Arckanum is in great form. The band also had signed with Swedish record label Regain Records, this was however the only album to be released on that company. It's also the only Arckanum album never to have been released on vinyl.

Sviga Læ is in the same vein as the two previous masterpieces it almost feels like a trilogy. The album have 8 songs and clocks in about 38 min. The album doesn't have as great songs as Antikosmos and ÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞ nevertheless a really solid record that any Arckanum fan should enjoy. Some of the highlights are in my opinion: Læ Elr; Gylðir Algørir; Goðin Eru Blekkt and Andskoti Ferr Austan.

HELVÍTISMYRKR (2011)
Shamaatae still had enormous inspiration and released a 4th album during a 4 year period. I like this album but one can hear a decline in the songs, not saying that Helvítismyrkr is a bad album because it's definitely NOT.

The production and the songs sound amazing. The tracks Myrkrin Vinna Hefnt and Nifldreki are both excellent and could have easily fit among the best songs on the ÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞ album. Other great ones are In Svarta and Svartr Ok Þursligr. But as a whole album experience I feel that its very uneven.

For this album and the next one Arckanum had signed with the Season Of Mist Underground Activists record label.

FENRIS KINDIR (2013)
Out of the 9 Arckanum albums Fenris Kindir is in opinion the weakest one among them all by far even. It's still Arckanum but it just feels so very average. It's not until the 5th song that the album delivers a great track Hamrami. A folk music inspired instrumental song. Also the next one Fenris Gangr is one of the better songs. 

There's not much to get excited about before those two or after. I got no complaints about the sound or production but the songs just isn't there.

DEN FÖRSTFÖDDE (2017)
This became the last Arckanum record ever. New for this one is that Shamaatae uses for the most part regular Swedish in the lyrics and song titles instead for the "Arckanum trademark" written in ancient Swedish. 

It has familiar sound to it but without sounding predictable. If you are a fan of Arckanum you’re going to like this album for sure. When it was released last year I really liked and praised it over at my Instagram account. I still like Den Förstfödde but might have overrated it at the time and saying it was among my top-5 Arckanum albums. 

I think it's much better then both Helvítismyrkr and Fenris Kindir but I would probably put this or Sviga Læ as their 6th or 7th best album. I highly recommend anyone to give Den Förstfödde a chance, it's a very unusual and unique Arckanum album. Even if the 4 last Arckanum albums were their weakest in the entire discography I'm still glad he released them all.


And that folks was my post about Arckanum! Who knows what the future will bring? Shamaatae is only 44 years old and that's not an age that prevents him from once again bring back Arckanum.

Either if he does or don't his career has been amazing and in my opinion he's a legend in the Swedish Black Metal scene that deserves much respect for what he accomplished with his music.

lördag 28 juli 2018

DISMEMBER - SKIN HER ALIVE (1991) + Dismember interview Metal Hammer 1991

7" picture disc vinyl of Dismember the 2 song single Skin Her Alive released in September of 1991 on Nuclear Blast. This was released 4 months after their debut masterpiece Like An Everflowing Stream (1991).

Also included the very first Dismember interview I ever read from Metal Hammer Extra Thrash issue 3/1991. A magazine that my older sister bought back in the day but gave it to me. I scanned it so you can read it here (see further down). Not in mint condition, was about 12 years old when I got my grubby hands on it.

Also scanned interviews with Entombed, Carcass, Tiamat, Grave, Pestilence, Cannibal Corpse, Slayer, article about the Swedish Death Metal scene at the time. Plus a bunch of more bands from the same magazine like Sepultura, Pungent Stench, Coroner, Benediction, Massacre. Gorefest, Type O Negative, Cathedral, Massacra etc. Might post them here if there's any interest?

Thanks to the stupid fucking young me it's missing 1 of the 2 pages in a Kreator interview... Have done the same thing with other magazines from around that period with articles of Dismember, Morbid Angel and Entombed. Getting posters of Death Metal bands wasn't easy at the time so one did moronic things like that.

Anyway the 2 songs on this 7” single is of course the title track Skin Her Alive and Defective Decay. Which is a song that doesn't appear on the 8 song first print vinyl release of Like An Everflowing Stream. But it's one of two bonus tracks on the original Nuclear Blast CD release.

Defective Decay is an old song that appeared way back on the first ever Dismember demo Dismembered from 1988. Dismember only had 3 members then Fred Estby (drums), David Blomqvist (guitar) and with future rhythm guitarist Robert Sennebäck on vocals. Nicke Andersson of Entombed played session bass on that demo.

About the song Skin Her Alive lyrics, they were very controversial at the time. So much that both  Dismember and their UK distributor Plastic Head ended up in court in England for “charges of obscenity” in July of 1992. It didn’t lead to anything other then Dismember getting a lot of free promotion. Even I remember reading about the fuss around it at the time thinking it was cool that this Swedish Death Metal band got this kind of attention.

The whole thing at least gave inspiration to the title for the follow-up album Indecent And Obscene (1993) because that's what a UK newspaper described Dismember as.

Vocalist Matti Kärki actually wrote the lyrics to Skin Her Alive based on an actual murder. When one of his crazy neighbor actually killed the wife/girlfriend. The lyrics are written through the eyes of the killer. Highly recommend reading the Swedish Death Metal book from 2008 by Daniel Ekeroth where he writes more about this whole mess.

Actually wrote about Dismember and the lyrics to Skin Her Alive for a English assignment in school when I was about 14 years old in 1994. Also shocked a few classmates with a Swedish translation of Life Demise by Unanimated one year later. But it was a cool teacher though and he knew I was into some "weird metal".

Really like this 7” picture disc vinyl and the cover artwork is amazing. Definitely a cool release if you're a Dismember or Death Meta fan!!


onsdag 25 juli 2018

MARDUK - DARK ENDLESS (1992)

On a vinyl reissue from 2012 limited to 1500 copies released on Century Media/Blooddawn Productions. Originally released on No Fashion Records in December of 1992. Really like this reissue with a booklet of old pictures, logos and the lyrics. Not like my old CD copy from No Fashion Records that's very sparse on content in the booklet to say the least...

As you know this was the debut album by the mighty Marduk. The band started playing in 1990 and recorded their only demo the 5-song Fuck Me Jesus in June 1991 in Gorysound Studios aka. Unisound with Dan Swanö.

The lineup in the Marduk was basically the same on Dark Endless as on their demo but with a second guitar player added Devo Andersson (guitar 1992-94 and bass 2004-present). The founder of the band Morgan Håkansson (guitar) is the only remaining member of the band in its present form.

Joakim "Grave" Göthberg aka. Joakim Af Gravf played drums 1990-93 he later was their vocalist 1993-95. Vocalist on Dark Endless and Fuck Me Jesus was done by Andreas Axelsson (1990-93), at the time he was also guitarist in Edge Of Sanity and on bass they had Richard Kalm (1990-1992).

Before Dark Endless the same lineup had recorded a 3-song EP called Here's No Peace in December of 1991 at Hellspawn Studios (aka. Unisound) with Dan Swanö. I heard several reasons to why it wasn't released as a 7" vinyl at the time it didn't get a release until 1997 when Shadow Records put it out on a MCD.

During 4 days in June of 1992 Marduk for the third time went into the Hellspawn Studios to record the Dark Endless album with Dan Swanö. A total 8 songs was recorded and their first full length album clocks in at 30 minutes.

3 of the songs appears on the "Fuck Me Jesus" demo Within The Abyss; Departure From The Mortals and The Black.... The song Within The Abyss also appears on the Here's No Peace EP as does Still Fucking Dead (Here's No Peace). New for the album was 4 songs The Sun Turns Black as Night; The Funeral Seemed to Be Endless; Dark Endless and Holy Inquisition.

Dark Endless was the 4th release of Marduk that I bought after discovering the band in 1994. It was not easy to find a copy of it, but it was actually in my hometown I eventually found it at that record store who sold used CD, LP VHS etc..

The fact that I had heard Opus Nocturne (1994); Those Of The Unlight (1993) and the Fuck Me Jesus demo that Osmose Productions released on a MCD in 1994. Also other Black Metal bands too many to mention. So it made my first experience with Dark Endless was a bit underwhelming.

But DON'T get me wrong its a excellent debut album!! I just thought the production and sound on the album wasn't as raw and harsh like the one on Fuck Me Jesus had. I still to this day prefer the 3 songs on the demo of Within The Abyss; Departure From The Mortals and The Black.... over the Dark Endless versions.

Also the the version of Still Fucking Dead and the second version of Within The Abyss from the Here's No Peace EP is better then the Dark Endless ones. It might sound like I'm very critic of the debut album but like I wrote it's an excellent album. Its great throughout and not a bad moment on it.

The only minor gripe I got with it is the cover artwork. It's not terrible and it got a certain charm to it but looks like a Death Metal record. And doesn't look anything like the early Norwegian Black Metal releases like Burzum; A Blaze in the Northern Sky or Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism.

If I had discovered Black Metal and Marduk in 1992/93 and Dark Endless had been one of the first albums I bought in the scene I would have been absolutely blown away by its excellency. But then again I do think it's a excellent record now and that's what is most important not what the 15-16 year old me thought something like 23 years ago.

And as always Praise Hail Marduk!!


lördag 21 juli 2018

KREATOR x 3: TERRIBLE CERTAINTY (1987); FLAG OF HATE (1986) & OUT OF THE DARK... INTO THE LIGHT (1988)

All 3 of them are German first print vinyls on Noise like all my other Kreator LP's. I've written about this before there's a few bands I only want/own first print vinyls from (and usually have it on CD) Kreator being one of those bands in my LP collection.

Terrible Certainty was the 3rd album by Kreator released in 1987 and it’s a brilliant one of course. Even if I might rank it lowest among their 5 first full length albums Kreator ain't your typical boring standard Thrash Metal band their lowest is still very high.

The Flag Of Hate EP was released 3 months before Pleasure To Kill in 1986 and have 3 songs the title track also appears on the debut album Endless Pain (1985). Also one of my favorite Kreator songs Awakening Of The Gods appears on both EP releases a studio version on Flag Of Hate and live on Out of the Dark... Into The Light.

The 5 song 1988 EP Out of the Dark... Into The Light has one new Kreator song Impossible To Cure. Also a cover of the 1981 song Lambs to the Slaughter originally by the British band Raven and 3 live songs Terrible Certainty; Riot of Violence and the already mentioned Awakening of the Gods.

Both of these EP’s are great and worth buying if you’re a Kreator fan.

I've done many Kreator posts so in this one I want to recommend a bunch of songs from my favorite period of the band 1985-1990. You can look at mainly for people that might not be into them as some "beginners guide".

Of course the best way is to start with their debut album Endless Pain (1985) and then continue chronologically album by album. But in these Spotify days it’s easy to get lost on where to begin.

A bit off-topic but the kids/youth of today are so spoiled with listening too all these albums basically for free. Okay Spotify takes a small fee. But believe me it wasn’t so bad to save money in order to afford an album you really wanted. You actually learned to appreciate music much more that way. Trust me!

Like I wrote these are songs from the 5 albums and the 2 EP's from 1985-1990, not that the band hasn't recorded amazing songs and albums after that. There's plenty of them and way too many to mention those in this post. But just like with Slayer if I was to recommend songs or albums by them I would choose songs from their 5 first albums. Much due to those being the ones I grew up on listening to when I discovered Thrash Metal in the early 90's.

In order of release. Other then that the songs aren't in any particular order, but I added some extra ones from my original Instagram post over @herr_black_metal due to text limitations there. Those songs are marked with *:

Endless Pain (1985)
Endless Pain
Tormentor
Total Death
Storm of the Beast*
Living In Fear*

Flag Of Hate (1986)
Awakening of the Gods
Flag of Hate

Pleasure To Kill (1986)
Pleasure To Kill
Under The Guillotine
Command of the Blade
Riot of Violence
Ripping Corpse*
The Pestilence*

Terrible Certainty (1987)
Storming With Menace
Terrible Certainty
Toxic Trace
Storming With Menace*
Behind The Mirror*

Out of the Dark... Into the Light (1988)
Impossible To Cure*
Awakening of the Gods (live)*


Extreme Aggression (1989)
Betrayer
Extreme Aggression
Some Pain Will Last
Love Us Or Hate Us*
Don’t Trust*
Bringer of Torture*

Coma Of Souls (1990)
People of the Lie
Agents of Brutality
When The Sun Burns Red
Coma of Souls
Terror Zone
World Beyond*
Twisted Urges*

Kreator is the best German band of all time in my opinion. In the whole Thrash Metal scene I would also put them very high, I think only that Slayer from 1983 to 1990 have done better or equally amazing albums.

Sure bands like Sodom, Destruction, Sepultura, Metallica, Testament, Megadeth, Exodus, Dark Angel etc etc... have recorded some amazing albums but looking at their entire careers Kreator and Slayer stand out in my ears.

onsdag 18 juli 2018

IMMORTAL - NORTHERN CHAOS GODS (2018)

On a bi-colored black and white vinyl released on Nuclear Blast and limited to 500 copies. Holy Blashyrkh this was great!

Remember when I read on Blabbermouth that Abbath wasn't part of Immortal anymore. Another thing I also remember reading was that Immortal would still continue on with Demonaz the original and former guitarist (1991-97) on vocals. But not only that he would return playing guitar once again. Guess that everyone knows about his health issues kept him from playing with the band. He was still a key figure in Immortal after that and continued writing the lyrics.

Must admit that I was highly skeptical to this Immortal but still being very curious how they would sound like without Abbath. He was a certainly a very charismatic frontman, some might not like his antics on and off stage, but his vocals were a huge part of the Immortal sound for me.

My expectations was either it’s either amazing or utter shit. Didn’t think that I would buy the album but if I did I wanted to hear the entire Northern Chaos Gods album before buying it. I try to keep a high standard in my collection and this would have been a wildcard. Then they released the title track Northern Chaos Gods about 2 months ago on streaming services also on a 7" vinyl. It blew me away how great it sounded and immediately pre-ordered the LP because I wanted to hear the rest of this album.

They released the song Mighty Ravendark just a few days before the release day of the album. Even if I wanted to wait for the LP to arrive I held out for approx 5 hours before listening to it... Amazing song sure it’s very reminiscent of previous Immortal songs but probably my favorite on the entire album.

The new Northern Chaos Gods record sounds like an Immortal album. If you wanted it to sound like a follow up to Blizzard Beasts (1997) the last time Demonaz played guitar on a Immortal album you’re however going to be disappointed.

Sure all the old Immortal lyrical references are there throughout the entire album there's Blashyrkh, Grim, Ice, Might, Battles, Raven realms, Mountains etc. Which is of course what probably most fans want anyway and also me. But there’s a very thin line between it being too much, however they managed to pull it off without it sounding like a parody of themselves.

Great production in The Abyss Studio with longtime producer Peter Tägtgren who they worked with since At The Heart Of Winter (1999). He also play bass on the album and yes I'm aware that All Shall Fall (2009) was partly recorded at Grieghallen. The vocals by Demonaz are also great and the guitar is excellent at most times but not perfected and I would have liked some more great guitar solos. Horgh does a stellar performance as always.

8 songs in 42 min is a perfect formula and format for Immortal. A perfect number of songs and length in my opinion. The Northern Chaos Gods album is great throughout but with a few personal highlight songs like: Mighty Ravendark; Where Mountains Rise; Called To Ice; Grim And Dark and Gates To Blashyrkh.

Sure it's very early to have a real perspective on Northern Chaos Gods among the 8 other Immortal albums. Well I can say for certain it’s not a new Pure Holocaust (1993) or Battles In The North (1995) even if I don’t think anyone expected that.

In the end a very solid record that probably will make my top-9 albums of 2018.

söndag 15 juli 2018

FUNERAL MIST - DEVILRY (1998)

20 years ago Funeral Mist released their debut MCD Devilry on Shadow Records. A year later in 1999 it was also released on LP by the same record label.


Here’s all the different versions I have of this devilish brilliant release:

1998 CD Shadow Records SHADOW 003
1999 LP Shadow Records Shadow 003 with the poster
2005 LP Norma Evangelium Diaboli NED 009 with the poster
2006 CD The Ajna Offensive FLAME 38
2012 CD Season Of Mist SOM 729
2013 LP gatefold Norma Evangelium Diaboli NED 035 (from the Trisagion box comes with a poster)
2017 LP gatefold Norma Evangelium Diaboli NED 009 with the poster

1998 Shadow Records

Missing 3 CD reissues on Norma Evangelium Diaboli. Will get those eventually, but I’m in no hurry.

In the late 90's I became aware of "newer" bands like Malign, Sorhin, Ofermod, Triumphator and of course Funeral Mist. I owned the MCD Here’s No Peace (1997) by Marduk that Marcus Tena had released on his label Shadow Records.

1999 LP Shadow Records

He frequently posted amazing promo ads in a Swedish Metal magazine (see others I scanned on my Instagram @herr_black_metal) and he had a cool store in Stockholm. You can read about my only visit to that short lived store also over at my Instagram.

1999 LP Shadow Records

I became very intrigued by the new wave of bands through reading about them in fanzines. They were really into the Black Metal scene as a lifestyle, something that many other bands at the time had lost. Remember really wanting to hear Malign but I couldn’t find any of their releases and I didn't know how to neither did I dabble with MP3 bullshit. However the Devilry MCD by Funeral Mist was obtainable.

The 5-song MCD was excellent and one could hear the infernal potential Arioch possessed. And that’s how I discovered Funeral Mist.

2005 Norma Evangelium Diaboli

My absolute favorite out of these versions I own is of course the first print vinyl on Shadow Records from 1999 with the poster, insert and the sticker that was limited to 300 copies. It has a bonus song called Hellspell 2 that one was recorded in November of 1998 in the drummer Necromorbus studio. Where Arioch and him also recorded the entire Devilry CD in October 1997 and January 1998.

2006 The Ajna Offensive and 2012 Season Of Mist

All re-releases on CD and LP since 2005 of Devilry after the Shadow Records vinyl have all included 4 additional songs from their Havoc Demo II 1996 and the Hellspell 2 song. Havoc Demo II 1996 was the first Funeral Mist release to feature Arioch as guitarist, bassist and vocalist. On the former demo Darkness (1995) he was the bass player and also backing vocalist.

2013 Norma Evangelium Diaboli (from the Trisagion vinyl box set)

It’s not many other releases in my entire collection that I value as high as that Devilry on Shadow Records because Funeral Mist is my favorite band and Shadow Records have also meant so much for me. And I’m NOT talking about fucking monetary value!

Just what means most to me personally. Like the first print LP of the Dismember brilliant debut Like An Everflowing Stream (1991) that my older sister gave to me in the 90’s is probably my personally most valued. Also when my great friend for almost 25 years Adde of the amazing band Tyrant Wrath gave me his own personal copy of the excellent Pleasure To Kill (1986) by Kreator the first print German vinyl on Noise Records

2017 Norma Evangelium Diaboli 

There’s other releases that I also regard very high in my collection but that Devilry LP truly has a very special place in my collection.

Shadow Records promo ad scanned from an issue of Close-Up Magazine when Devilry was first released. On top the Marduk EP‎ Here's No Peace (1997) that was released on LP in 1998 one year after Shadow Records released the 3-song MCD.