24 Years Ago: GRAVELAND complete recording the Drunemeton promo tape

One of the earliest GRAVELAND demos (the cover says Promo Tape), Rob Fudali (now Darken) began recording on the 10th and completed Drunemeton on this day in 1992.

Very raw and primitive, but that has a lot to do with the equipment when you consider within about seven months Capricornus had joined and In the Glare of Burning Churches was recorded. Still a raw tape but a much clearer sign of the GRAVELAND that would emerge in 1994.

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22 Years Ago: INFERNUM complete the cult …Taur-nu-Fuin… album (Polish Black Metal)

The light of fullmoon gave a new self-coming… A sigh of the night… Like a raging storm materialized the breath of the dark… Like a border of time found the coldness of a deep darkness…

In November 1992 Anextiomarus (Grzegorz Jurgielewicz, also known as Karcharoth) formed INFERNUM. After two raw demos – The Dawn Will Never Come (1993) and Damned Majesty (1993, with Rob Darken on keys as Icaunis) – INFERNUM prepared their cult masterpiece…

…Taur-nu-Fuin… was recorded between 8 and 10 September 1994 at Isengard Studio in Wrocław (GRAVELAND, FULLMOON, VELES).

In the distro: we have INFERNUM tapes in stock!

Along with early GRAVELAND and VELES, this album optimises the dark mystery and evil atmosphere of Polish black pagan metal in the early nineties. Eternal classic.

…Taur-nu-Fuin… was first released by Polish label Astral Wings, who released early titles by NORTH, PERUNWIT, ARKONA and others.

To North there lay the Land of Dread
whence only evil pathways led
o’er hills of shadow bleak and cold
or Taur-na-Fuin’s haunted hold
where Deadly Nightshade lurked and lay
and never came or moon or day.
– J. R. R. Tolkien, Lay of Leithian: Canto I

20 Years Ago: LORD WIND Forgotten Songs CD released by Full Moon Prod

At that time I was keen on Celtic mythologies and Druids’ mysticism. I lived in a world of my imagination and my spirituality and I did not pay any attention to the outside world. I prayed to Gods on holy Samhain night. All these things had great impact on Lord Wind as a manifestation of my spirituality and my heathen beliefs.

Forgotten Songs was first released on tape by Darken’s Isengard Prod. shortly after recording, in 1995. US label Full Moon released the CD on this day in 1996.

In the distro: Forgotten Songs and other Lord Wind albums are available on tape, we also have Graveland CDs, tapes and t-shirts

The Full Moon bio for LORD WIND:

ARYAN PAGAN METAL. From members of Graveland and Infernum comes fourth one of the darkest and most hateful bands ever to be released on FMP. LORD WIND is a mixture of Slavik folk music and black metal giving the music a unique medieval atmosphere. Rob Darken is currently being questioned for several black metal related crimes such as church burning, murder and more.

At that time I wanted to record typical folk guitar riffs and folk melodies. But sometimes these melodies were similar to Graveland “Thousand Swords” and “Immortal Pride”… only without typical for BM brutality. I do not like this album too much but when I listen to these songs it reminds me old times… I wish “Forgotten Songs” had better sound and better technique of recording.
I recorded this album because some of my friends asked me to do so. They heard some of my experimental songs I recorded when I got new samples and they asked me to record full-time album. At that time I was keen on Celtic mythologies and Druids’ mysticism. I lived in a world of my imagination and my spirituality and I did not pay any attention to the outside world. I prayed to Gods on holy Samhain night. All these things had great impact on Lord Wind as a manifestation of my spirituality and my heathen beliefs.
– Rob Darken, Castle of Vampiria (2008)

ARKONA recorded An Eternal Curse of the Pagan Godz 22 years ago this weekend

On a previous weekend, 22 years ago, ARKONA are at Tuba Studio in Wrocław recording An Eternal Curse of the Pagan Godz! 16-17 July 1994.

A couple of years ago, on the 20th anniversary, we re-released this demo on tape with Nightbirds Records. Copies are still available at the distro!

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Tuba was also used by MUSSORGSKI (another band of Khorzon) and GRAVELAND for some releases including Thousand Swords, Immortal Pride and Following the Voice of Blood.

Tuba Studio changed the location and now cooperates with TV and radio stations in Wroclaw. The prices have changed. Now it is very expensive to record there so I stop to work with them.
– Rob Darken, Ablaze zine (Dec 2003)

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12 Years Ago Today: VELES – The Black Ravens Flew Again

Great album by an important band within the notorious Polish 90’s underground! Released by Der Sieg. Rich atmosphere aided by Darken (GRAVELAND) and a strong production. This is not the savage Black Hateful Metal album from a few years previous; it’s closer to Night on Bare Mountain and still recognisably part of the great Polish legacy.

Record of the Week: INFERNUM – …Taur-Nu-Fuin… (Review)

Record of the Week

Infernum artist store

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Everything in this world should be ruled by the ancient laws of nature. It’s a light in the Chaos of the Universe, it’s a fire burning deep inside of me that gives me the right and power to hate subhumans, it gives me the vital strength of a warrior. – Anextiomarus

Ten years after this album released Anextiomarus was dead and a confusing duel of releases and reformations followed. For all the splinters after his death, the true legacy of INFERNUM lives eternally in …Taur-Nu-Fuin…. A masterpiece of atmospheric Polish Black Metal (BEHEMOTH, GRAVELAND, VELES) and the first release on Astral Wings, which would become home to NORTH, PERUNWIT and ARKONA in the coming years. Cold, mysterious, barbarous black metal featuring every member of GRAVELAND at the time. With Anextiomarus’s songwriting, guitars and vocals the songs remain distinct from Carpathian Wolves-era GRAVELAND, although this is still the simplest and best comparison! Transcendent, grim black metal with thick layers of Darken keys and bitter, wretched vocals. Production is raw, keys drown guitar, drums are distant; but this barrier between us and them only enhances the mystery. Music outside the realm of humanity (or more appropriately, above.)

Our aim is to raise the storm amongst the silence, to destroy the Old and start the New Order. – Anextiomarus

Fullmoon (Poland)

Spirits of Azels Mountain are Still Alive… Fullmoon: The Legendary Demo Returns

The recording has been remastered, the artwork has been redesigned – including the cover, but will be familiar if you have seen the original.

This will be the final edition of the demo. Limited to 288.

Read, Listen and Order the new edition at the distro!

Collection: Rob Darken – Polish Black Metal

Rob Darken (Graveland)

Collections are a new addition to the Todestrieb Distro, exhibiting our offerings through a connecting theme…

Rob Darken, sole member of Graveland and Lord Wind has been active in underground music for over 20 years, and in that time crafted one of the most respected catalogues in pagan and black metal while remaining consistently underground. In addition to the legendary Graveland and Lord Wind, Darken’s mark can be heard throughout the 1990’s Polish scene and beyond; from guest keyboard performances to production work and the labels Eastclan and Isengard Productions. There were many individuals involved in creating the unique and timeless Polish sound, but if one person is the connecting root, that man is Rob Darken.

We did many strange things because we wanted to extreme no matter the consequences. Our lives were to be short and extreme. I remember that Karcharoth and Capricornus were to live together in one flat. They were to sleep in the coffins and have black curtains in the windows in order to the daylight did not disturb them in the contemplation of the ancient knowledge about the Darkness. The cult of devil was rather funny fro us and we were biassed in favour of the bands that made a parody of the cult of Satan…our admiration for the creativity of Mortuary Drape was an evidence of our attitude…Karcharoth studied Crowley, I was keen on druidism and Capricornus tenebre. And so we slowly lost the contact with the reality. Darkness totally preoccupied us.

Darken is well known as a keyboard player on several classic nineties recordings. Some of the earliest examples are Infernum‘s “Damned Majesty” and “…Taur-Nu-Fuin…” (one of the pinnacles of mysterious Polish Black Metal!) and Behemoth’s early demos “The Return of the Northern Moon” and “…From the Pagan Vastlands”. Collaborations continued as Graveland began releasing full-length albums. In 1995 Darken provided keyboards for two more Polish classics, Veles’ “Night on the Bare Mountain” and the justly infamous Fullmoon “United Aryan Evil” – a more perfect example of nineties Polish underground Black Metal you will not find. Towards the end of 90’s intros were also created for Absurd‘s “Asgardsrei” and Thor’s Hammer’s “May the Hammer Smash the Cross”.

Included in this collection you will find Rob Darken’s main outlets: Graveland and Lord Wind along with releases that feature his various contributions and production work.

Graveland is my passion. The aim of my life. The sense of my life. Everything I do leads to Graveland. Graveland is essence of all values I am faithful to…symbol of my revolt and resistance against everything I think is a threat to my freedom and survival.

Visit this Collection at the Todestrieb Distro