Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Łza Zeschniętej Róży – Majestat Mgieł Nocnych (1997)

Country: Poland

1. Majestat Mgieł Nocnych 08:20
2. Pamięć Uśpionych Świec 09:03
3. Pieśń Dla Zapomnianej Osady 08:15
4. Wiatr Północny 05:54
5. Pogańskie Krainy 03:00
6. Stara Baśń 03:26

Łza Zeschniętej Róży (Tear Of A Withered Rose) was a melodic pagan/black metal band that formed at the end of 1993.
Initially the band was named Bathuel and two demo tapes were recorded under this moniker.
The first one, entitled "The Legends Of Pagans", was recorded live, without mix,

during one night in Pruszcz Gdanski studio in February 1995 and consisted of three songs..
The line up at the time was Adam Wosiak (vocals, rhythm guitar), Krzysztof Twardosz (drums & percussion),
Robert Bandzul (solo guitar) and session musician Sebastian Smolak (Keyboards).

The second demo, "Deszczowa Pieśń Leśnych Duchów" (Rainy Song Of Forest Spirits), was recorded in Swarzędz studio
in May 1996, by Adam Wosiak (vocals, rhythm guitar, bass guitar)

and Krzysztof Twardosz (drums & percussion, solo guitar, keyboard, vocals).
The group had a contract offer with the German label Solistitium Records but the deal never completed.
 After recording their second demo, the band changed  their name to Łza Zeschniętej Róży and in May 1997,
they recorded their first full length entitled "Majestat Mgieł Nocnych" (The Majesty Of Night Mists), 
at Selani Studio in Olsztyn that was released on tape by Midgard Records.
New band member, Aleksandra Mazurek, participated in the recordings as a keyboardist and also adding some vocals.

Robert Bandzul, known from the first demo tape, was also involved in arrangement of some of the songs.
It is worth mentioning, that the band had nearly 40 hours for recording,

which was unbelievably short and therefore some shortcomings could not be avoided.
Only three hours were used on vocals recordings and the same time was spent on mixing,
while there were only four drum rehearsals.
Krzysztof Twardosz played an important role in the studio, as he recorded most of the instruments, 

helped with arrangement and put finishing touches to tracks.
Adam Wosiak was the author of all compositions, except "Wiatr Północny" and made the most of the drum arrangements.

Saturday, 6 June 2020

Haimad – Majestic (MCD 1999)

Country: Sweden

1. Immortal Winds 04:41
2. Path Of The Elder Gods 04:41
3. Eclipse Of Mankind 02:07
4. Ancient Gates 04:41
5. Majestic 07:37

Haimad was formed in Sundsvall, Sweden in 1994.
The band was consisted of a full line up and released in 1995 the demo "A Dream Vision Vanished", 

followed by a second tape in 1997 entitled "The Horned Moon".
After the release of the MCD "Majestic" in 1999 the band went on a long hiatus.
Many years went by without a sign of life before Azradan, the only remaining founding member,

set out to resurrect the band and recruited a new line-up
in order to create melodic/symphonic black metal in the best tradition of the Scandinavian mid-90s.
Finally 25 years after their founding, Haimad released the EP "The Return" in 2019 on Northern Silence Productions.
The Memory Link contains as a bonus track the song "Under Spread Wings Of Eternal Darkness

that was featured on the compilation "Satanic Rites - A Tribute To Hell" released by Full Moon Productions in 1998.

Monday, 1 June 2020

Hemlock – Funeral Mask (1998)

Country: United States

1. Frozen Tears 02:03
2. Way Of The Wolf 03:44
3. Hemlock 05:09
4. Black Dawn 02:19
5. October Sunrise 03:05
6. Necrofuck 04:27
7. Loyal To Evil 06:10
8. Reign Of Death 04:39
9. Funeral Mask 04:38

Hemlock was created in late summer of 1992 by Laconist (guitars) and Desecrator (vocals, bass).
In that autumn of the same year His Eminence, hailing from the cult act Porphyria, joined them on drums.
He was one of the few individuals responsible for the birth of the black/death metal scene in New York City.
Later that year, Hemlock recorded a two song demo.
The band rehearsed on and off for 3 years searching for suitable members to complete their line up,
until they were joined by Balth on bass and lead Desecrator to concentrate on his vocal duties.

Weeks later, Azalin (guitars) was the last piece of the puzzle.
In June of 1996 Hemlock recorded a six song promo, which sparked interest from Head Not Found 

that later in 1997 re-released it as a MCD entitled "Crush The Race Of God".
Hemlock then took a breather long enough to enter the studio to record a split MCD

with fellow hardcore/punk/grind/thrash band Black Army Jacket.
One year later they recorded at the Smoke Grind and Sleep Studios their official full length

entitled "Funeral Mask" which was to be their last release for Head Not Found.
Due to the lack of promotion/professionalism of Head Not Found,

Hemlock decided to team up with long time supporter Jon Thorns of the Full Moon Productions.
During negotiations, Laconist departed from the band.
Hemlock as a four piece started writing/rehearsing for their second full length album entitled "Lust For Fire".
The album was originally tended to be released at the end of 1999 but instead saw the light of day in 2001.
The band has also made live appearances with acts like Sigh, Deceased, Exodus, Immolation and Usurper.
The Memory Link contains as a bonus track their cover of Kreator's "Awakening Of The Gods"

that featured on the compilation "Tribute To Kreator" in 2000.

Sunday, 24 May 2020

Unveiled – Crudelis Et Invictus (1995)

Country: Denmark

1. Hammer Of The Underworld 07:07
2. Creaks And Thunder 06:13
3. Sailors Death 03:03
4. Mindbender 06:31
5. Nothingness 02:13
6. Ancient King 03:43
7. Arise 05:21
8. Creepshow 00:20
9. Invictus 06:46
10. Trancemorph 09:57

Unveiled was the project of Hansen (Hüebsch Originators, Cant, UFO).
In 1995 the project released the album "Crudelis Et Invictus" as a three-piece band,
(Hansen, Mikkel T.Ørnebjerg, Kris B. Prasada Rao), but dissolved shortly after.
The album featured more guitars, riffs and bombastic elements than the later releases.
In the end of the nineties Unveiled was brought back to life again by Hansen as a solo project.
In 2000, Unveiled's second album, "Silver" was released through World Serpent Distribution,
followed by a split album with Sol Invictus, Matt Howden and Sieben.
The split album featured one long and building track of ritual strength.
In 2003 the split album
"Chance Meeting Of Nurse With Wound And Unveiled On Charlottenborg"  
with Nurse With Wound was produced to commemorate an exhibition of  Steven Stapleton's work in Denmark.
The Unveiled tracks for this split were made up of samples from the Nurse With Wound and Current 93 back catalogue.
The same year "Winter Songs" was released, with four tracks originally composed
for a public ritual performance that took place in Copenhagen with reverend Steven Leyba Johnson in 2001.
Unveiled also appeared on the 2006 5-cd set compilation "Not Alone" (with the track "Endless", 
featuring Kim Larsen of :Of The Wand & The Moon: on vocals), alongside such artists as Current 93,
Antony, Jarboe, The Angels Of Light, Aube, Coil, Hafler Trio and many others.
The band eventually dissolved and Hansen formed Slagskygge as a continuation of Unveiled,
with an updated sound and influences of post-black metal and dubstep, while maintaining the industrial core.

Saturday, 16 May 2020

Toru Takemitsu – Kwaidan (1965)

Composer: Toru Takemitsu

1. Ki 06:00
2. Yuki 06:53
3. Biwa-Uta 11:06
4. Bunraku 03:14

"Kwaidan" (怪談, Kaidan, literally "ghost stories") is a 1965 Japanese anthology horror film
and the first color film of Masaki Kobayashi, known for "The Human Condition", "Harakiri" and "Samurai Rebellion".
It is based on stories from Lafcadio Hearn's collections of Japanese folk tales,
mainly "Kwaidan: Stories And Studies Of Strange Things", for which it is named.
The film consists of four separate and unrelated stories.
It won the Special Jury Prize at the 1965 Cannes Film Festival
and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.
Tōru Takemitsu (武満 徹, Takemitsu Tōru, October 8, 1930 – February 20, 1996)
was a Japanese composer and writer on aesthetics and music theory.
Largely self-taught, Takemitsu possessed consummate skill in the subtle manipulation of instrumental and orchestral timbre.
He is famed for combining elements of oriental and occidental philosophy to create a sound uniquely his own
and for fusing opposites together such as sound with silence and tradition with innovation.
He composed several hundred independent works of music, scored more than ninety films and published twenty books.
He was also a founding member of the Jikken Kobo (experimental workshop) in Japan,
a group of avant-garde artists who distanced themselves from academia
and whose collaborative work is often regarded among the most influential of the 20th century.
His 1957 Requiem for string orchestra attracted international attention, led to several commissions from across the world and established his reputation as one of the leading 20th-century Japanese composers.
He was the recipient of numerous awards and honours and the Toru Takemitsu Composition Award is named after him.
In under 40 years Takemitsu composed music for over 100 films, some of which were written for purely financial reasons.
However, as the composer attained financial independence, he grew more selective,
often reading whole scripts before agreeing to compose the music, and later surveying the action on set,
"breathing the atmosphere" whilst conceiving his musical ideas.
One notable consideration in Takemitsu's composition for film was his careful use of silence
(also important in many of his concert works), which often immediately intensifies the events on screen
and prevents any monotony through a continuous musical accompaniment.
Some of the films that he score are "Harakiri" (1962), "Woman In The Dunes" (1964), "The Face Of Another" (1966),
"Samurai Rebellion" (1967), "Ran" (1985) and the documentary "Antonio Gaudí" (1984).

Thursday, 14 May 2020

Akhenaton – Divine Symphonies (1995)

Country: France

1. Raising (Intro) 00:33
2. Unutterable Verity 07:07
3. Remissions / The Sign Of Herou 08:05
4. In The Circle Of Wizards / Ritual 05:05
5. Chase With The Shadows 03:06
6. Cross The Styx (Dance With The Souls) 02:11
7. The Kingdom Of Wisdom 05:17
8. At The Gates Of Obscurity 03:10
9. Final Battle (Against Your Dark Side) 04:08
10. Pharao (The Karma Of The Hierophante) 03:41

Vincent Urbain aka Lord V. Akhenaton (ex-Amaymon, ex-Winds Of Sirius, ex-The Seven Gates)
released his first album in 1994 under the name Daemonium entitled "Dark Opera Of The Ancient War Spirit".
The album was released by Adipocere Records and was a mix of black metal, medieval and classical music.
In 1995, Vincent changed the name of the project to Akhenaton

and after the recording of the demo "Solar Forces", he released the album "Divine Symphonies".
The album received excellent reviews and remains one of the most sold French extreme metal albums of all time.
A video was also made for the track "The Kingdom Of Wisdom".
After a very long hiatus Vincent decided make his return in 2012 under the moniker Sandragon.
This time, he surrounded himself with musicians to deliver the third part of his trilogy.
In 2015 "Requiem For Apocalypse" was finally released by Wake Up Dead Records.
In July 2016 Adipocere Records released the "Daemonium-Akhenaton-Sandragon: Thy Mystic Trilogy"

vinyl compilation containing all the three albums.

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Lustmørd ‎– Heresy (1990)

Country: Wales

1. Heresy Part I 07:32
2. Heresy Part II 10:20
3. Heresy Part III 16:04
4. Heresy Part IV 06:37
5. Heresy Part V 07:59
6. Heresy Part VI 14:42

Brian Williams is a Welsh industrial musician, sound designer and film score composer.
He is often credited for creating the dark ambient genre with albums recorded under the name Lustmord.
Williams was raised in rural Wales, before relocating to London in his late teens.
There he befriended Throbbing Gristle members Cosey Fanni Tutti and Chris Carter, who urged him to make his own music.
He started recording as Lustmord in 1980 before joining SPK in 1982.
Lustmord has extracted field recordings made in crypts, caves, and slaughterhouses,

and combined it with occasional ritualistic incantations and Tibetan horns.
His treatments of acoustic phenomena encased in digitally expanded bass rumbles have a dark ambient quality.
Some of Lustmord's most notable collaborations include Robert Rich, Jarboe, John Balance of Coil

Monte Cazazza, Clock DVA, Chris & Cosey, Paul Haslinger, Tool and The Melvins.
Williams collaborated with Graeme Revell and Paul Haslinger as musical sound designer

and occasionally as additional composer to 44 Hollywood film soundtracks, most notably on "The Crow" and "Underworld".
He also composed the soundtrack for the 2017 film "First Reformed" directed by Paul Schrader.
Around 1999, Lustmord was also involved with the video game "Planescape: Torment"

but his work eventually went unused when the project changed direction.
He provided music and sound design for a variety of other projects since, such as "Far Cry Instincts", 

"Master Of Orion", NVIDIA demos and in 2015 he composed the soundtrack for "Evolve" with Jason Graves.
In 1990 Williams released the album "Heresy" on the American label Soleilmoon Recordings.
"Heresy" is the culmination of work from 1987 to 1989 and utilizes subterranean location recordings originated within crypts, caverns, mines, deep shelters and catacombs together with material of a seismic and volcanic origin.
It also takes advantage of psycho-acoustic phenomena and the physical effects of low frequency information.