425 Years Ago: Marigje Arriens is burnt as a Witch (BATHORY – Born for Burning inspiration)

On this day in 1591 Marigje Arriens (also known as Marichgen Ariaensdr), a herbalist from Poederoijen, was strangled and burnt to ashes.

Quorthon dedicated Born for Burning to her:

I have written a few tracks about women. “Born for Burning” is a song dedicated to a witch who lived in Holland from 1521 to 1591.

She was accused of casting a spell on a young boy after telling him to leave and his hair “shrank” as if pulled out. Arriens was captured 4 October 1591 and under torture confused to being visited by the Devil in 1583.

The confession:

Omstreeks 1583, zo verklaarde Marichgen Ariaensdr., toen zij in Vianen woonde onder de windmolen, had de duivel haar twee keer bezocht: een lange man, gekleed in het zwart die zich Heijnken liet noemen. In haar bekentenis noemt zij hem steevast ‘de vijand’. Ze was op het moment van de ontmoeting wanhopig van armoede (‘desperaet van armoede’). ‘De vijand’ beloofde haar te helpen op voorwaarde dat ze God zou loochenen en zijn bevelen zou opvolgen. Ter bezegeling van het verbond gaf hij haar iets dat leek op een mooi goudstuk en nam hij een stukje nagel van haar rechter ringvinger, die sindsdien altijd blauw en koud was. ‘Gedenk mij daarbij in schijn van trouw’, had hij gezegd. Hierop had ze meermalen ‘als man en wijf’ met hem verkeerd. Toen hij vertrokken was, vond ze in plaats van het goudstuk ‘vuiligheid als kinderdrek’ in haar bed. Van ‘de vijand’ had Marichgen Ariaensdr. een potje met zalf van ‘vireyssem’ (mondschuim van een stervende) of ‘paddenrith’ (paddenzaad) gekregen waarmee zij een groot aantal mensen zou hebben betoverd. In sommige gevallen kwam ‘de vijand’ haar ’s nachts halen om haar bij haar slachtoffers te brengen. In de meeste gevallen ging het om mensen die haar kwaad hadden willen doen of slecht over haar spraken, en daarom door haar gestraft moesten worden.

Traditionally she was thought to be one of the last people executed for witchcraft/sorcery in the Netherlands. This was because her date of death was given as 1597, as in this “History of the Witch Trials” from the early 19th Century:

Het laatste doodvonnis, waarvan eenige plaatfelijke gefchiedenis of andere bescheiden in deze landen, zoo veel mij bekend is, gewagen, is dat van Marigje Arriens, door Schepenen van Schoonhoven, op advijs en consultatie van Regtsgeleerden gewezen, volgens hetwelk deze vrouw, oud zeventig jaren, aldaar den 18. van Wintermaand 1597 is geworgd, en daarna tot asch verbrand.
Dit proces zoude nog te Schoonhoven in zijn geheel bewaard zijn. Het vonnis is in het stedeboek van van Berkum voorhanden; hetzelve is zoo uiterst onkiesch in de uitdrukkingen, vooral aangaande den omgang met den vijand van de helle, zoo als de duivel hier heet, dat ik deswege niets naders kan mededeelen.

– Geschiedenis der Heksenprocessen, eene Bijdrage Tot den Roem des Vaderlands (Mr. Jacobus Scheltema, 1828)

1591 was the beginning of the last peak in witch trials in the Netherlands. They did continue very sporadically into the early 17th Century, the last was in 1613.

Where the flame still bite her thigh
She is not afraid to die
She will burn again tonight, she will always burn
But her spirit shall survive…

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20 Years Ago: WARLOGHE record The Black Tower demo

…there is no distinction. The arts are my life, I spend my days perfecting my art, Warloghe is just one part of it, it is the conduit through which I channel, the sigils turning into sound. But like you may have already guessed, the music itself is not the pinnacle, it is nothing compared to the ideas it is based upon. But when you combine those two, it is no longer music, it is life and death itself, the human microcosm spilled on the floor. A living, ever transforming ritual.
– Glaurung / Warloghe interview, Final Solution zine #2

Recorded during this month in 1996 at Troll’s Lair rehearsal place.

Glaurung: Vocals, Guitars, Bass
Morath: Battery

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…The shadow will fall upon the land, and even the dead shall be envied by the living…

28 Years Ago: NIHILIST complete Only Shreds Remain demo at Sunlight Studio

This was the first time NIHILIST recorded at Tomas Skogsberg’s Sunlight Studio; one of the first to record at Sunlight at all. They followed TREBLINKA (Crawling in Vomits, November ’88) and MORBID (Last Supper, September ’88).

Recording began on 8 December and Only Shreds Remain was completed on this day in 1988.

With their new lineup and improved material, Nihilist easily blew away their contemporaries and delivered what can be seen as probably the first 100 percent pure Swedish death metal recording. The precise riffing, the ghastly growls of Petrov – very unlike the screams delivered on the debut – and Andersson’s drumming are all just incredible. This demo is also the first to feature the special ultra-thick Studio Sunlight guitar sound that would later become the trademark of Swedish death metal.
– from Swedish Death Metal by Daniel Ekeroth

We used Sunlight only because Morbid had been there. But I was not pleased with the studio. I think the production on our second demo sucks. The drums, especially, sound awful. Skogsberg didn’t know much about how to take care of death metal back then. The reason we got the great guitar sound was the Leif moved on to guitar, and came up with that fat sound. At that point, we didn’t know how he did it – but we loved it!
– Nicke Andersson

For that recording, we hardly had any time at all. You had to pay for each hour in the studio, and we didn’t have any money. And back then you didn’t rehearse much before a recording, so it was pretty stressful.
– Johnny Hedlund

23 Years Ago: KATATONIA release Dance of December Souls (ashes spread in the northern storm)

…it’s a memorial hail to all the Asa Viking warriors which died by the hands of christians yet still with their refusal to believe in the white Christ. As we are messengers of the north, it’s our duty to begin a huge revenge… Musically “Dance…” is a mixture of depressed and mournful moods the atmospheric way, the same goes for the lyrical side as well as productionwise featuring around 53 minutes of these songs” “Gateways of Bereavement”, “In Silence Enshrined”, “Elohim Meth”, “Velvet Thorns of Drynwhyl”, “Tomb of Insomnia”, “Dancing December” and finally a re-recording of the song “Without God”.

– Blackheim / Katatonia interview, Petrified zine #3 1994

Recorded at Unisound Studios (the re-named Gorysound Studios, again with Dan Swanö) in early April, Dance of December Souls was released by No Fashion Records on this day in 1993.

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We go for that unordinary atmospheric mood all the way. All the structures have something especially different within themselves. Of course everyone can’t respect and admit it’s that way. They rather would call our music wimpy or commercial just because they can’t cope with the strong emotional melodies.

– Blackheim / Katatonia interview, Chamber of Sorrow zine #4 1993

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My influences have grown stronger within my personal quest for the mysticism of my inner thoughts. I don’t need any certain influences from bands any longer, you could manage without it as long as you’re musically minded. My sources of inspiration are mostly moods, thoughts and some (un)earthly elements such as forests, nightskies, fields and seas. I get very emotional through tragic and extremely sad happenings, which I try to express through the music is an adventarous structure. Of course we still listen to a lot of music and you do get influenced whether you like it or not, but in our case it’s subconscious. I’m more into some deeper stuff nowadays, Fields of the Nephilim, Sisters of Mercy, Thule, The Mission, The Cure & Depeche Mode are all my faves.

– Blackheim / Katatonia interview, Mortician zine #4 1993

22 Years Ago: GRAND BELIAL’S KEY release Triumph of the Hordes

Released on tape by Pagan Records on this day in 1994. The second GBK demo, recorded at The Dungeon, Arlington, Virginia.

In Rapture by the Fenrir Moon was re-recorded for the debut album, Sleeping Princes of the Arges was forgotten, and When Darkness Rears Itself a Throne was never re-recorded but you can definitely hear some riffs which made their way onto future GRAND BELIAL’S KEY (and maybe ARGHOSLENT?) material.

This was the second and last demo with Bestial Luciferian (later of ANCIENT and THOKK) who was replaced by Cazz (Black Lourde of Crucifixion – CRUCIFER) for the Witness to the Regicide EP and albums.
There is a lot of acrimony about this time, as you can see in the interview below, but these demos are still great pieces of US black metal history and the origin of GBK – a band that has since released three classic albums and of course Gelal has continued the equally masterful ARGHOSLENT!

NO, I’m not fond of this release at all. This showed Lord Homo’s true ways and his hidden desires to be a fucking poser. The lyrics hinted at some vampire shit and the whole idea of being mistaken for a fucking gothic vampire Nordic black metal band sickens me to this day. Yeah., I’m totally sick of talking about it, GBK has been a force since 1996 since I recruited The Black Lourde of Crucifixion to sit on Belial’s throne and do justice to our band. We have no ties to that queer from ANCIENT, or his little followers. I detest any fantasy, I don’t believe in ghosts, and I’m not a fucking hypocrite. I don’t accept the existence of that bastard GOD and I don’t believe in the divinities of his supposed son JEWSUS CHRIST, why would I believe in witches and devils? The second demo was not entirely written by me. Not only that, but the sound was awful, and Lord Fag inserted this slut’s voice over one of the songs without our approval. He was fascinated with this image. He is a lonely person with a trapped desire to be someone special, he needed the feedback from the underground to boost his ego and develop a little embryo of a personality.

– Gelal / GRAND BELIAL’S KEY interview, Dark Moon zine

20 Years Ago: MOURNING BELOVETH release the Debut demo (Burden)

We started in a cold dingy shed jamming and all I ever dreamed then was to have a song on a demo and that dream came to fruition, so off to Pulse Studios we went to record what we call the ‘Burden’ demo.
Our first time recording was fantastic with Mr. A Averill and Adrian who later became our bassist. We hadn’t a clue, but that experience and receiving the DAT tape of our first recording, I remember saying to myself, I’ve made it to the top. But it was only our first step…
– Frank Brennan / Mourning Beloveth interview 2012

Recorded in Pulse Studios on 24 May 1996, MOURNING BELOVETH released their first demo tape on this day in 1996.
Engineered by Adrian Butler with Alan Averill and Kevin Byrne.

20 Years Ago: NEGURĂ BUNGET release their debut album Zîrnindu-să

Originally released by Bestial Records this month in 1996, Zîrnindu-să was NEGURĂ BUNGET’s debut album. One of the first releases by the cassette label. Limited, though we were distributing copies well into the mid 2000’s, so I would assume a large number printed.

Negurã Bunget is a black fog coming from a deep dark dense forest. The name tries to picture somehow the kind of atmosphere, both musical and spiritual we’d want to create through our music. It has also a symbolical nature, standing for the inexpressible parts of our ideology. The two words are also from the Tracic substrate of the Romanian language (the oldest one, containing about 90 words) as the interest for our local history and spirituality is something of crucial importance and meanings for us as a band.
Zirnindu-sa is from Ancient Romanian meaning something like turning to black, dying…

– Negru / Negura Bunget interview Maelstrom webzine 2002

Akhenaten’s (JUDAS ISCARIOT) Breath of Night Records released the CD version in 1998.

Hupogrammos (Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Keyboards on Zîrnindu-să) formed DORDEDUH in 2009. Negru (drums on Zîrnindu-să) has continued with the name NEGURA BUNGET.

30 Years Ago: ENGLISH DOGS release Where Legend Began

Pinch, the drummer, writes all the lyrics. The change was basically just a progression influenced by changes in the music we listened to and in the members of the band. With this album Punch wrote the lyrics to “The Eye Of Shamahn” and basically we just took it from there and progressed through the rest of the story. Then we decided to fill in the gaps in the recordings with effects to give a continuity to the album and keep the story together. The album as a complete project really started to come together from there. As you know it’s not quite finished “Epilogue” is an instrumental but we want our fans to write the lyrics for it to close the story – we’re running it as a competition to see how deeply people get into the album.

ENGLISH DOGS released their third album during this month in 1986 on Music for Nations.

…we think that we’ve definitely made a change for the better. The album is certainly an improvement on our more recent stuff. By the way, we want to do something really original – if we write a song called “Metal Forces” do you reckon we’d get a really shit hot review?

…I think we still use some aspects of both types of music. I know we’re definitely not totally punk though – that was an earlier band that we have progressed beyond now.
Now, I’m not saying we don’t want to see punks at our gigs because they built up our original following but we are definitely closer to metal nowadays. I wouldn’t go so far as to say we’re thrash metal though; we call our music techno-mosh which we see as a blend of hardcore and the technical side of metal.

– Adie Bailey / English Dogs interview, Metal Forces #21, 1986