32 Years Ago: BATHORY release the legendary self titled debut LP on Black Mark (TONIGHT WE BLASPHEMY)

Released on this day in 1984 and influencing almost everything that followed!

I don’t know exactly how much it has sold. I believe it has sold very good, much better than we thought it would do. All I know is that in Sweden it has sold about 5,000 and in West Germany I believe it has sold about 7,000 in USA and other countries I think it has sold some thousands.
– Bathory interview, Blackthorn zine #2 1985

In the distro:

Bathory on Vinyl, Bathory t-shirts and hoodies, Bathory patches, other Bathory merch

I sing about the occult business and Satan because it all fascinates me. I don’t sing about it because I think it’s cool and just to jump on the Black Metal band wagon as you express it.
If I was into science fiction then I’d sing about that right?
I really feel sorry for those bands who use the occult business to benefit themselves about having mags writing about ’em and all that. This isn’t really just an image. I dress almost the same off BATHORY as what I look on the pix.
– Bathory interview, Blackthorn zine #2 1985

I just close my eyes and picture a scene. I write down every detail what I see and what I feel, what happens and so on. Then I sit down and try to compress most of the important parts into a story (I never want to write lyrics that don’t mean anything) I have it rhyme and check out if it is anything like the other stuff I have done so far. I mostly write the music first, then I come up with about 20titles and build the stories from the title. I sort out the good parts and rearrange the not so good parts and then I try to compress it all it is very simple really.
– Bathory interview, The Book of Armageddon zine #1 1986



34 Years Ago: MERCYFUL FATE unleash their debut, the Mercyful Fate MLP (Nuns Have No Fun)

Those were the times of paying your dues. When we did the mini LP for RaveOn, I had planned all the backing vocals. A choir. The engineer was like, “No, you don’t have the time. You can have one backing vocal.’ I was like, “What?! I can’t do anything with that!’ He just said, “Well, you don’t the time. Don’t use them.’ I mean, Hank has a solo on “A Corpse Without Soul.’ He had two takes and the engineer said, “You know what? We don’t have all day.’ He was just about to do his third take. So, that was it. His third take went on the album. We had to move on. Talk about pressure.
– King Diamond, Three Decades of Roadrunner Records

Known variously as Mercyful Fate, EP, and Nuns Have No Fun; this was the first official release by MERCYFUL FATE.

Released on this day in 1982 by Dutch label RaveOn. The 12″ (45rpm, just under 23 minutes) opens with the classic A Corpse Without Soul. It’s the standout on the mini album and remains one of MF’s best.

…we had done a demo kind of thing that turned into us being on a compilation album called Metallic Storm in England. That was one song.
Then we did the mini-LP, and that was, of course, more substantial, but it was not what we expected because everything that you hear on Melissa, those type of arrangements and things, were meant to be on the mini-LP, as well. So it was a surprise when we showed up and they said, “No, we have two days here – we do not have time; it takes longer than that.”
We’d done some demos before, so we thought it was just like doing demos, and it was not exactly like that, because it was a real recording – it was more precise. And we had two days to record and mix four songs for the mini-LP. So that was the problem for us, that we couldn’t do what we had planned – so it was a letdown to learn that my choir-pieces turn out to be “You can use one double.” What? I don’t need a double of my lead – I later learned that it can be good to do, but that was not the point – that would not give me what I was after.
And the same thing with Hank and stuff like that, doing solos – “Well, you tried twice now to do the solo for ‘A Corpse Without Soul,’ and we don’t have time for this stuff. Whatever you do now goes on the album, okay?” Talk about the pressure there, you know? And that’s what is on the album, the third take, because we weren’t given any more takes after that.
– King Diamond, Your Last Rites (2014)

After that [Metallic Storm compilation] came out, interest really grew and we were invited to go and do the BBC Friday Rock Show. We did three tracks and they got such a great response that they were re-broadcast and came to the attention of Rave On Records who wanted us to go down to Holland and record an EP. That was a real turning point.
Me and the guitarists had all these harmonies worked out but there was no time to do most of them. It was the same with the guitar solos. ‘Corpse Without Soul’ had a long intro solo and we’d done two takes and still weren’t satisfied. But it was like ‘Whatever you do next, that goes on the album!’ Talk about pressure! When Roadrunner came in a little later and offered us eight days to record ‘Melissa’, we were like ‘Oh my god! Now we can do all the things we had planned last time!’ Then for ‘Don’t Break The Oath’ we got 12 days! But the EP did a lot of good for us. It was exported to a lot of different countries; I know Lars Ulrich and Brian Slagel heard it together at Brian’s place.
– King Diamond, Iron Fist


Record of the Week: TORMENTOR – Anno Domini (Hideous music of the dark!)


The impact of hearing this for the first time cannot be overstated. Years pass, but every time you will be POSSESSED!!!! One of the absolute greatest black metal albums. Dark and mysterious and EVIL. I think it’s fair to draw a line of direct influence from BATHORY and BULLDOZER(!) to TORMENTOR to MAYHEM, EMPEROR and the Norwegian circle.

Released by the band as a demo, Anno Domini was always intended to be their debut album:

Yes, last year we fixed a stuff that named ‘Anno Domini’. It was planned to be out all over Hungary but last just remained as our second demo.
– János Zsobrák (the band’s manager who would often answer interviews and mailed demos), Pure Fucking Hell zine #2, 1994

The Anno Domini LP was originally going to be released by Euronymous’ Deathlike Silence Productions around 1991 but it never happened:

It’s very strange with D.S.P. because Euronymous wants this lp for a very long time, and nothing is happening. I know he has problems (MAYHEM lp, starting the shop in OSLO etc.) but think about this that this lp is very important to us. Now we have another label interested, but they didn’t give us a sure answer yet.
– Slayer mag #9, 1991

The band had trouble in 1990 and eventually split in 1991. It took a few more years but Anno Domini was eventually released a couple of times in 1995 by Head Not Found and Samoth’s Nocturnal Art Productions, with cover art by Supernal’s Alex K.
Most of the band have not continued with music. Attila Csihar stayed in contact with Euronymous and after Dead’s suicide (the same year TORMENTOR split) Attila joined MAYHEM as vocalist for De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas.

Beyond essential, the riffs will be burnt into your brain on first play!


34 Years Ago: VENOM release Bloodlust b/w In Nomine Satanas (If God Won’t Have You, The Devil Must)

Dark and dangerous!!! Following Welcome to Hell, released December 1981, VENOM released the Bloodlust c/w In Nomine Satanas 7″ on this day in 1982. The two-song single was recorded at Impulse Studios in Newcastle.

This 7″ is included as bonus tracks on later reissues of Welcome to Hell – we have this and many other VENOM albums on vinyl and CD and several patches!


In September Neat organised a video shoot to promote the band. They performed Bloodlust (see above) and Witching Hour. The promotional video tape “Live E.P.” (well not really) was sent out late 82/early 83, by then the second VENOM LP was already out… Black Metal

Note: 24 August is given as the release date by some sources, others as 13 August.

32 Years Ago: DESTRUCTION unleash Bestial Invasion of Hell demo

In the US you could mail-order this demo from Katon (HIRAX) for $4.00 (including lyrics and a photo), in Germany you could get it for 11 DM from Tommy Sandmann.

All the songs made it to future releases except Front Beast (listen above!).

Tommy met up with Schmeir at a disco, of all places! Schmeir picked up the bass and for the time, the lineup was complete. However, a short time before they went into the studio to record the first demo, the vocalist was fired and Schmeir took over at the mike. Their first demo has 6 tracks of “Black – Hardcore – Highspeed – Metal”, as they like to call it! It was recorded in only 5 to 6 hours. The tape is entitled “Bestial Invasion of Hell”. It’s real good, although does suffer a bit from production, like a lot of great demos do!
The material is thrash, the vocals are growling, but there’s also excellent guitar work (influenced by the like of Randy Rhoads and Kirk Hammett) which separates this band from groups like SODOM and the now extinct HELLHAMMER.
– Brain Damage zine #1 1984


About the recording quality and performing vocals on some songs for the first time at the studio:

SCHMIER: Ja, es war aber vieles noch zu ungenau, z.B. der Sound. Außerdem habe ich zum ersten Mal im Studio gesunge.

TOMMY: Drei Lieder hat Schmier noch nie gesungen, sogar im Proberaum nicht. Im Studio hat er sich das erste Mal ans Micro gestellt.
– Raise the Dead zine #1 1984

About the demo recording quality, time (about 6 hours), and cost:

US-Thrasher like Hirax oder Malice gehen oft tagelang in große Studios um ihr Demo aufzunehmen, welches dann eine dementsprechende Qualität hat, und auch entsprechend viel Geld kostet. Wir haben unser Demo nur in einem kleinen 3-Spur Studio in ca. 6 Stunden aufgenommen weil wir eben nicht mehr Stütz hatten.
So wild mit der Finanzierung war’s deswegen auch nicht, es mußte halt jeder 250 Märker vom mikrigen Konto abheben.
– Mike Sifringer, Speed Attack zine #2 1985



28 Years Ago: REENCARNACIÓN record Acompáñame a la tumba (Colombian Black Metal)

Recorded a few months after their first full-length, known either as Reencarnación or 888 Metal, REENCARNACIÓN recorded the EP Acompáñame a la tumba on this day in 1988… 8/8/88.

This EP has been re-released on vinyl and included on some reissues of the debut LP. We’ve sold out of those, but do have the latest edition of 888 Metal (the debut with track-listing that matches the 1988 original) imported from Colombia.

REENCARNACIÓN are given some credit along with PARABELLUM for influencing, or at least being appreciated by, some of the early Norwegian black metal underground (Euronymous for one) and many in Colombia (INQUISITION has listed them as influence for example). As an indication of shared influences and rawness maybe you’ll also hear some Deathcrush in 888 Metal?

30 Years Ago: SABBAT record and release Fragments of a Faith Forgotten

This tape is dedicated to all who have died at the hands of the christian church, by war and inquisition…….. They shall be avenged.

That was the demo cassette that got us the deal with Noise Records. The demos were copied one at a time, my parents had a hi-fi with a twin cassette player on it, and each of the cassettes was hand-copied in real-time recording. If anybody’s got one of those, it was recorded on my parents’ hi-fi. They were recorded on computer tapes – before disc drives, the first computers had a cassette instead of a CD, and we recorded on those tapes, because we had no money, and we had to do it really cheap.

This month marks 30 years since the recording of SABBAT’s second demo. All three songs made it to the classic debut History of a Time to Come almost unchanged, although the vocals here are savage! British Black Metal!

30 Years Ago: KAT release 666 – Polish Metal Classic!

Hard to choose just one from this masterpiece… here’s Czarne Zastępy which also opened the live LP 38 Minutes of Life a year later.

This month marks the anniversary of 666 which is the Polish version of Metal and Hell. M&H was released a month earlier with English language vocals on Ambush Records for the European market. 666 is still the best!

An absolute killer speed / thrash / black metal record!

Czarne Zastępy performed live: