“Satanic Victory” (1994)
Lethal Records
rating: 4, 5 of 6
“Don’t buy anything from Lethal Records”? Oh, well, I’m sorry but I already did it long time ago. I bet, most of you are familiar with ACHERON, aren’t you? So let’s won’t discuss this band as well as their contemporary actitivies and releases (I already did it enough in AMON and BEHEMOTH reviews) and talk about “Satanic Victory” MCD. Six tracks can be found here (“Unholy Praises”, “Seven Deadly Sins”, “Satanic Erotica”, “Prayer Of Hell”, “666” and “God Is Dead”), all of them represent that unique ACHERON’s sound we’ve got acquainted thanks to “Rites Of Black Mass” LP (1992)… Same vocals, same tremendous leads by Vincent Breeding (who also appears on “Lex Talionis”), same stupendous drumming by Mike Browning… Well, yes, it was Pete Slate and Robert Orr on the former recording but who cares… Quality didn’t change at all despite these lineup changes. Mike helped with backing vocals on “Rites…”, by the way, so it seems like he associated with Vincent long before ACHERON was formed. Well, I don’t know if anything else should be said. The only difference between “Satanic Victory” and “Lex Talionis” which was released after some time passed, consists in few facts: a) this MCD lacks any keyboards and b) it sounds a bit boring sometimes… (Herr Stalhammar)

“Rise Zla” (demo, 1990)
rating: 4, 5 of 6
There’re plenty of bands named AMON nowadays and, perhaps, that is why these Czechia’s guys renamed their band into AMON GOETH later. But as already said, it was later. And “Rise Zla” (Realm Of Evil) was released in 1990, nine years ago… It’s hard to believe but black metal is still alive, moreover – there’re thousand times more bands around at the moment… As far as I remember, lots of dull-witted critics predicted forthcoming decline of this genre already in 1993… I always considered their assertions to be ridiculous and as time tells, I was right. But ok, let’s get back to AMON. Seems like they’re one of the oldest bands in Czech Republic, also being one of the best and darkest ones. Besides that, they were always notable for the fact that Dr. FE (singer and the mastermind) managed to find decent musicians all the time… Of course, if we’d compare this tape (packed in a poor way and pretty bad recorded) to their latest CD, “The Worship”, one may say this is total crap, but stop and listen here! It was long time ago, and “Rise Zla” is also the very first output by this magnificent band, so… Musically, they didn’t change a lot throughout years… Both, “Rise Zla” and “The Worship”, have a lot in common. Perhaps, this demo features more old-fashioned music, also the arrangements are incredibly more weak, the same goes for performance, song titles appear as utterly ridiculous… Furthermore, VENOM’s influence is more than obvious here – fortunately, they contrived to get rid of it later… I don’t know if you can obtain still this tape and “how” if yes, but… if there’s a chance of getting it, do it, ok? (Herr Stalhammar)

“The Return Of The Northern Moon” (demo, 1992)
rating: 4 of 6
This is the first-ever recording from BEHEMOTH and I must admit it’s really difficult of access nowadays, ha ha! Well, if we would compare this one and “From The Pagan Vastlands” (1993), we should say that there’re a lot of differences between them. “The Return Of The Northern Moon” is not that fast, furthermore there’re no synths here (oops!). BEHEMOTH truly reached definite improvement later, since even Nergal’s voice sounds less impressive on this tape – the same goes for Baal’s drumming. Generally speaking, this demo appears as raw and quite primitive (though surprisingly technical… at least, if comparing to most black metal demo / promo tapes unleashed seven years ago) and in the same time undoubtedly pleasant to listen to, atmospheric, grim black metal. If we would take into account the fact that BEHEMOTH also comes from POLAND not some fucking Norway, we have to respect the effort they have put into this tape. I still love it and so will you. And right after you get it, listen to “The Return Of The Northern Moon” and then try “Satanica”, their latest CD… find the difference, heh heh… (Herr Stalhammar)

“Wicca” (1991)
Hellion Records
rating: 4 of 6
Hmm, this one sounds more like a ‘satanic grind’, than ‘black metal’ one… The first thing which stroke my eyes goes for their really bad English… “The Witch Voisin Recites Our Gloat”… Yuck! However, the other songs, entitled in a correct way, also sound quite weird: “Defloration (“The Antichrist Libes)”… And what about the ones like “Hyoseyannus Niger”?? Ok, enough with it. “Wicca” was the first official recording from Brazil’s MYSTIFIER, unleashed through their countrymates’ label Hellion Records. One more difference from “Goetia”, the second CD from Behemoth, Beelzebuth and co. regards the singer. “Wicca” doesn’t feature Asmodeus’ but Meugninousouanta’s (erh, I wonder if he’s able to spell his own handle at once???) voice. It’s incredibly less various and professional than their further efforts, although the atmosphere is somewhat nearly unique… It’s THAT dark and mysterious – and I’m not kidding, believe me! All the tunes represented on “Wicca” are played less skillfully (as well as less skillfully produced), furthermore they’re less exciting musically, but anyway, I believe it was very good album for a beginning. It had that spirit of primal evil which is lost nowadays… (Herr Stalhammar)

“Animi Aegritudo” (1991)
Musica Maxima Magnetica
rating: 5 of 6
I don’t know if this LP should be reckoned to ‘black metal archives’, but what the hell, I always considered so-called ‘dark ambient’ as a part of BM, and since ORDO EQUITUM SOLIS play exactly this kind of music and this album is rather old, the review on “Animi Aegritudo” is placed here. If I’m not mistaken, this duo (Leithana (vocals, keyboards) and Deraclamo (guitars, voice)) comes from Italy and their style is dark, barocco (am I mistaken, tell me?!) ambient stuff. This LP consists of nine songs, some of them are really dark, few others bring the reminiscences of early DEAD CAN DANCE, others are somewhat romantic… Since such acts as ARCANA, ELEND, ILDFROST and RAISON D’ETRE were conceived much later, ORDO EQUITUM SOLIS inevitably gathered some attention back then. And they deserved it. This duo created something undoubtedly inimitable, too bad that I haven’t heard anything from them for a long time… (Herr Stalhammar)

“Envenom” (1991)
Evil Records
rating: 4, 5 of 6
Stupid lyrics and stupid attitude… Delirious interviews that make you laugh… Primitive though well-played and fairly produced music… Yes, this is Japan’s SABBAT, one of the first true black metal bands in the world. What’s most strange, “Envenom” sounds hundred times better than their latest “The Dwelling” CD, unleashed a year ago! Musically, it’s a mixture of black and heavy metal, quite impressive and exciting at times. Guitars, bass, drums… all of them are played right and (enough) skillfully – quite surprising thing, don’t you think so? Vocals, when they’re sung in a pure BM way, sound rather tolerably, but when Gezol tries to copy various  power metal singers… FUCK! My ears can’t stand that eunuch’s bleating! In the whole, those who’re interested in the old, “cult” black metal LP’s, have to get their hands on it, others may pass it… alhough if someone will present you “Envenom” as a birthday gift, don’t hurry to flush it down the toilet… it’s not that bad, especially taking into account the fact that it was executed back in 1990. (Herr Stalhammar)

“Bestial Devastation” (1985)
Cogumelo Producoes
rating: 5, 5 of 6
“The Curse”, “Bestial Devastation”, “Antichrist”, “Necromancer”, “Warriors Of Death”… This is the track-list for this MLP. The vinyl’s cover looks ridiculous and one of the guys wears inverted cross… Released by Brazil’s Cogumelo Producoes, it’s really difficult to get your hands on nowadays, however (unfortunately?) lots of various labels made attempts to re-release this classic recording, so you still have a chance… If you are one of those who have heard only “Chaos AD” or “Roots” from SEPULTURA, or (thanks god in hell!) “Arise”, you might think that this band always played brutal hardcore or (if talking about “Arise”) death metal… and you’re fucking wrong! What was the reason for releasing “Sepultural Feast”, a tribute to SEPULTURA, the one which featured mostly black metal bands? Why did they agree, eh??? Well, simply because “Bestial Devastation” was one of the first real (!) death / black metal recording in mid-eighties! Recorded on poor, 8-track equipment, this MLP sounds better than plenty of CD’s brought forth the light by contemporary BM bands! And it’s a way more original and grim… It’s needless to say anything more – shame on you if you haven’t heard it yet! (Herr Stalhammar)