EPISODE II: WINGDINGS OF DESTINY
2015: Ode to a home-dubbed, ultra limited, blood-consecrated demo recorded, released and mailed by a single entity who called themself It Fell From Father’s Grace. Scourge Upon Existence was captured during a Samhain weekend when It Fell From Father’s Grace was grounded for making collages of death and darkness with Father’s National Geographic magazines. While legion evil spirits were present during the recording, no friends were allowed over, so It Fell From Father’s Grace was forced to use the E string of an acoustic as a bass for the songs on SUE. The result is something like Varg’s table amp. Everything else about the demo is utterly alien and swathed in the sabel cilice of ineptitude. Total savant brilliance! The tape itself comes in a hand-numbered, handmade O-card of one of the collages of death and darkness; and each of the 9 tapes made has its own collage. Of course I own 3 of them, and I’m working on getting the other 6. HMU if you’re trying to trade. I attempted to interview It Fell From Father’s Grace, but my emails were never answered. Many outrageous rumors are floating around about what’s since become of It Fell From Father’s Grace. The prevailing one seems to be that they got their driver’s permit and immediately dropped out of black metal forever. Another is that It Fell was actually a The Mountain Goats joke side project. I refuse to believe any of this heresy. There’s a dark heart and a cold soul on these seven tracks that simply cannot be the work of contrivance. Trust me, I’ve got the sixth sense for this shit. I can hear poseurdom in black metal as clearly as you can hear program drums in the early Greek stuff. Scourge Upon Existence was almost the best tape of the year, but It Fell From Father’s Grace swears it was actually recorded over twenty years ago. Which is clearly impossible considering the DOB listed for It Fell, 06/06/00, on their short-lived Metal Archives profile. Even still, the absurd claim disqualifies the demo. And so it is destined for obscurity; another masterpiece fallen through the cracks of the rigid rules for End of the Year lists. Thus ends my ode to the Scourge Upon Existence demo.
Watch out for hidden chances to win a copy of Ēōs’ self-titled demo and other great tapes!
[Offer available to US readers only. Finding the hidden messages does not guarantee you a free cassette tape. Offer only good while supplies last. Contact your local Speaker for more details.]
STORM OF THE YEAR: PANPHAGE
The message boards proclaim: “Panphage is fucking amazing!” And if there was ever an opportunity to witness for yourself the truth of that assertion, it was this summer’s Storm, Panphage’s first full length in the band’s ten year existence. Adorned in images of assault rifles and featuring an Adidas track jacket-clad Fjällbrandt (Panphage’s sole member) on the back, Storm is a tape you can almost judge by its cover. But while you may prognosticate the cutting, rugged individualism, what you can’t anticipate–even if you’ve jammed previous Panphage–is just how much boot this is going to put up your ass. Oof! “STORM!” Oof! “STORM!” All five (actual) tracks are proper bangers: lethal riffs, cleanly executed battery, a stark but not completely frozen production, and all of it laced with bloody & spat Swedish polemics you’ll likely want to stay ignorant on. Then there’s that moment when Fjällrandt just outright barks: “Ah Fuck You!” Nihilism’s Not Dead. Storm is easily the best black metal tape of the year.
FALLEN EMPIRE’S BOSS’ FAVORITE TAPES OF 2015
I haven’t really listened to much this year in general and even less on tape, so I think I’m maybe not too helpful. This is cool though (see below). Hints of some of the catchier Akitsa stuff in there as well. Met up with these dudes at NBM and we’re gonna try to work together on their debut album and whatever else going forward.
CHILEAN EGYPTOPHILIAC DARK AMBIENT: CATAFALCO
Adventurous and erudite dungeon synth–herein referred to as “Ritual Black Ambient”–with a sarcafocus on Ancient Egyptian funeral ceremonies. Never sounds like Nile, not that that’d be a bad thing, but it doesn’t. Catafalco is Argvs Noctes Insomnia (something like Soldier of Sleepless Nights), a seemingly recondite Chilean who channels keyboard and electro-acoustic guitar melodies, cymbal shimmers and echoing chants from the salty wastes of Nu. I will forever put on That Which is in the Afterworld whensoever my heart longs for its most wanted destination: among the pyramids of those fallen gods, the Egyptians. That Which is in the Afterworld is music for the imagination.
NECROMANTIC WORSHIP’S GHÛLLZARAËN’S FAVORITE TAPES, UM, EVER
Here is a list of tapes I really dig. I picked 10, was a hell to chose coz there’s so many good ones haha! Hope it’s what you had in mind! This list is in no particular order
Infernum – “Damned Majesty” demo 1993
This demo is short, but so sweet! Tom Balrog’s drums pound you in the face like a heavyweight champion, the keyboards are cast over the whole like unholy spells of doom and Anextiomarus’ haunting riffs and croaking vocals are nothing short of mesmerising.
Necromantia “Vampiric rituals” demo 1992
I just had to mentioned ‘Vampiric rituals’ because it had such a huge influence on Necromantic Worship. It was totally unique in its time and still nothing surpasses it!
Heretic – “Pentagram kult” demo 1998
The thing I love about this demo is the insane energy it has. It was recorded live in Goat’s attic and you can hear they are just pouring their souls into the music. It’s impossible not to bang your head to these infectious songs.
Graveland – “In the glare of burning churches” demo 1993
What can I say about this monument. Each song has become a classic over time and they never get old! Still, when I listen to this tape, I am amazed by the darkness, the mystery and violence embedded in these songs.
Amaka Hahina – “Demetria” demo 2001
I’m creeped out by this tape in a delightful way. The old keyboard sound strongly reminds me of Moevöt and the whole atmosphere is sickening in the typical LLN way, but Amaka Hahina perfectly translated this from black metal to ambient.
Grand Belial’s Key – “Goat of a thousand young” demo 1992
This tape along with the “Mocking…” dlp is my favourite GBK release. These guys are excellent musicians and know how to build good songs, even in this early stage of their career. Gelal just vomits great riffs after riffs into existence and especially the title track is so memorable!
Katharsis – “Into endless chaos” demo 1997
The title of the demo sums up to whole tape. It’s a cacophonous maelstrom of insane brutality. Personal highlight; “Extermination”, probably one of the most intense black metal songs ever!
Moevöt – “Abgzvoryathre” demo 1993
Every time I listen to this I get overpowered by a sense of depression as Moevöt seems to drain you of all will to live. Yet, I cannot help but to listen to it. Moevöt is like a banshee that lures you to you death.
Perunwit – “Ezy I krew” 1994
“Ezy I krew” was released as a split demo with Mysteriis’ “Blood on my knife”. While I can also appreciate what those guys bring to the table, it’s Perunwit who take the cake with their unique blend of dark ambient and primitive folk music. This takes you deep into the blackest woods of Poland where the pagan spirit of the mighty God Perun still lives strong!
Dolorvotre – s/t 2011
These guys have mastered the craft of the old LLN legions and have molded it into their own brand of black metal. I really dig the primitive live vibe of this tape which is still decent enough to follow what’s going on.
Alright, let’s get back to 2015 now with . . .
AD INFINITUM OF VRASUBATLAT’S FAVORITE TAPES OF 2015
Vrasubatlat is a label not a band. They’re American, from somewhere out on the west coast, as far as I can gather and carry up from the underground without risking my welcome back down, or worse. But I did manage to reach one of the shadows behind Vrasubatlat for some insight into their nocturnal practices.
Vrasubatlat serves a vessel for carrying out arcane vision of aural psychosis – whether through a death metal, black metal, or noise-based vehicle.There is no definitive cultural background behind Vrasubatlat, but all the projects have a unified vision focusing on shame, hedonism, corruption, and suicide–with certain bands focusing on one element more than another.
THE CORRUPTION OF FLESH & SPIRIT
Decorate my mind with depravity
Leave me squirming for all to see
Within the tomb of God’s placenta
And walls drenched in my foul emanations
Emanations of lust and decay
(In no particular order, AI’s favorite tapes of 2015):
- The Haunting Presence – The Spirits of Psychological Perplexity
- Intolerance – Hail the Triumvirate!
- Teratogenesis – Deformed Sexuality
- Black Twilight Circle – Desert Dances and Serpent Sermons comp.
- Cirrhus – Cruelty’s Necessary Decision
- Dispirit – Separation
- Spectral Voice – Necrotic Doom
MORBIDDECEIVER’S FAVORITE TAPES OF 2015
morbiddeceiver is a lifelong tape collector. He’s also the original vocalist of NunSlaughter. Nowadays he’s a steelworker and a family man. He’s given more support to the underground than many of us combined. Also he rips every tape he gets and he’s been getting just about every tape there is to get since getting tapes has been a thing, so he’s a good friend to have in that regard. And he introduced me to many of my favorite tapes of 2015. Thanks for submitting your favorites of the year, morbiddeceiver! Oh, and, hey reader, hmu at nachtmusick13[at]gmail[dot]com and tell me your favorite tape of 2015 for a chance to win Ēōs’ self-titled demo.
These are just some of the tapes that I have received this year so far that have really stood out. I’m sure there are others but these are some that have been played the most
- Pneuma Hagion “Trinity 1”
- Cloak “Succumb”
- Plague Phalanx EP
- Sahrana “Journey To The Far Side Of The Sun”
- Kriegszittern – Demo 2015
- Uškumgallu “Mortify the Flesh”
- Vomit Breath “Confessions of a Necrophiliac Priest”
- Ilmestys – Demo 2015
- Serum Dreg “Impure Blood”
- The Reptilian Session – Demo 2015
DIRTY SOUTH BLACKENED DEATH: PYROMANCER
This could’ve been in the first half of the E.O.T.Y. MEGAHAUL because it’s about 50/50 death & black metal, but TASR only got this tape like 9 days ago. But Pyromancer’s demo’s been jammed enough times since then to absolutely qualify it as a top ranking tape. This Kentucky duo play the kind of deadly black metal that’s sure to appeal to followers of the Ross Bay Cult the world over. Pyromancer don’t reinvent the wheel with Demo MMXV, they just put giant spikes on it and roll it straight at you.
Every Tape that UK BLACK METALLER “Shadows”(ex-Forest Grave) put out in 2015
Projects right now (active)
Ancient Spirit, Wolves Eyes, Folcriht, Adytum, Sacred Dominions.
Tapes released in 2015.
- Ancient Spirit – Through Heathen Eyes
- Wolves Eyes – Nostalgia In Our Souls
- Folcriht – Law of Sacred Ancestors
- Adytum – Ancient Ceremonies/At the Sacred Altar
- Adytum – Procession of Dead Souls/Ornaments of Clandestine Rituals
- Sacred Dominions/Old Tower split
THE MAN BEHIND RWS RECORDS’ FAVORITE TAPES OF 2015
RWS Records is a small label that’s so far batting a thousand with their only tape: Contempt’s Resistance. I gleaned the bossman’s top picks from some of recent conversations via text messaging.
- Frozen Graves – Seeding Will
- Necropole – Ostara
- Caverne – Aux Frontières du Monde
- Panphage – Storm
- Horns of Domination – Demo 2015
- Master’s Voice – A Hermit’s Longing for Dreadful Wisdom
- Altarage – MMXV
- Serpent – Ablation
- Sentimen Beltza – Atatxa
- Spectral Voice – Necrotic Doom
- Brånd – Demo 2015
- All the Vrasubatlat tapes
PROLIFIC, OBSCURE & SECRETLY CANADIAN: HEATHEN
An immense output rivaled only by its intense focus. Five tapes in a year, all of which are full length length. That alone deserves an E.O.T.Y. mention. But the fact that every tape is ripping yet pensive, scathing but intelligent, enthralling yet off-putting is something else entirely. Good luck tracking down any of these ladies, although you really must attempt to because every one of them is worth your time.
ELI W. Of Spectral Voice’s Favorite Tapes of 2015
A bit of brutal death to interrupt all this blasted melodrama.
- Galvanizer -Horrid Tales of Death
- Contaminated – ’15 Promo
- Cauterized – Threads of Mortality
- Phrenelith – Veiled Verses
- Of Corpse – Disgusted by Rites…
- Taphos Nomos – West of Everything Lies Death
- Patibulum – Ninurtas Call Heeded
- Tollund Men – Autoerotik (adv copy)
- Parasitic Death – Promo Rehearsal
EXQUISITE FRENCH ANNIHILATION: NÉCROPOLE
From the label Résilience comes the second tape by this intentionally underground French outfit. Simply put, Nécropole shred paradigm black metal. It won’t give you frostbite; it won’t make you feel like you’re burning alive in a fiery pit, Ostara will just make you bare your teeth and put your hood up. Incendiary leads flare up out of a whirling, seething tumult only to disappear just as quickly; banshee vocals call out like the ghosts of battles centuries old; and the drums just keep on blasting on. Do yourself and your tape collection a favor and hunt down this gem–if only to one day remind yourself that true black metal still existed in the year 2015.
The MAN BEHIND CALIGARI RECORDS’ FAVORITE TAPES OF 2015
Hard work pays off, kids, just ask the owner of Caligari. Not only does Hansel Mercher single-handedly run one of the best labels in the underground right now, he’s also got the strongest tape distro in the States. Here are his favorite tapes of 2015.
CONJURO NUCLEAR – Reacciones Paganas (Self-Released) Some may say this Spaniard can’t make up his mind, I’d say he doesn’t have to. Wicked stuff that makes me think about creepy dwarves playing in the mountains.
CRYPT VAPOR – Erotik Maniac (Heavy Chains)
One of my favorite labels on the planet issuing instrumentals that evoke fixed Italian imagery and that yet can totally be applied to today’s context of destruction, depravity and moral decay. Sexy stuff.
PANPHAGE – Storm (Aetergap Productions)
Very melodic and easy on the stomach.
BLACK GOAT OF THE WOODS – Ancient Burial Ground (Self Released)
These guys have created two of my favorite American recordings of the last few years. Nasty stuff, very spot on.
ABJVRATION – The Unquenchable Pyre
Every riff in its right place. Very cerebral and of perfect frequencies. Massive. I don’t know France as the origin of quality doom death, but Abjvration are a revelation.
SERPENT – Ablation (Into Endless Chaos)
Classic heavy metal done right. Love this EP. They kind of remind me of early In Solitude, a band whose whole output I think is top shit.
THE TOWER – S/T (Self-Released) – There is doom done right and doom done damn right. This is done damn right.
SLAEGT – Beautiful and Damned (Iron Bonehead) – ther bands have pulled similar moves to what these Danes just did, except this time it works.
TRANSILVANIA – Morbid Majesty (Into Dungeons)- Nifty black thrash with deranged vocals and just enough ambience not to fall in corny territory.
NECROMANIAC – Morbid Metal (e Saco Un Ojo)
Killer death metal. Everything in its right place, quite complacent, but also another perfect addition to any death metal discography.
AUSTRALIAN MEDIEVAL DUNGEON SYNTH: FORGOTTEN KINGDOMS
Despite everything you’ve just read, I don’t actually, like, rank things in my mind, but this tape is probably actually my favorite of the year. At least I listened to it more than any other tape. I wish I’d had this back when I was kid building treehouses out in the woods. Put it this way: if Spike Jonze filmed a dramatic reenactment of a D&D session, Forgotten Kingdoms’ Demo 1 would be the soundtrack. The three songs that comprise FK’s first demo are quietly epic and magical in the way that amateur films shot on 8mm cameras sometimes turn out to be. Shout out to Tour De Garde for being the great, daring label that they are and bringing incredible outsider stuff like this to the light of day.
OTHER KVLT TAPES TO TRACK DOWN
- Frozen Graves – Seeding Will — Finnish hypothermia
- Erraunt – The Portent — Original and brilliant USBM, so good you’ll forgive the fake drums
- Décombres – s/t — Canadian psychedelia from the drummer of Chthe’ilist.
- Gloam – Hex of Nine Heads — The kind of BM you grew up on if you were a teenager in the 90s.
- Tantra – Death Trance Ritual — A thrilling amalgamate of blackened sludge and post-metal from the sleepy island of Singapore
- Inexorable End — Voices of a Frozen Heart/ Voces de un Corazón Helado — Relentless, tortured, bilingual
- Cepheide – Respire — Parisian smoldering blackened doom
- V/A – Desert Dances and Serpent Sermons — Black Twilight Circle goes Spaghetti Western.
That’s it for our E.O.T.Y. Megahaul. Thanks to everyone who sent me promo copies, participated in the Megahaul, read the entries and found the hidden messages. Next year will no doubt be plagued with more killer demos and tapes, so be on the look out for more installments of Through A Speaker Rumbly. Until then . . . Stay Analog!