26 Years Ago: MY DYING BRIDE finish recording Towards the Sinister first demo

Recorded at Revolver Studios over a weekend, MY DYING BRIDE completed their debut demo on this day (a Sunday) in 1990.

At the same time, ANATHEMA were recording their debut demo at M.A. Studios (they started on the Friday).

Towards the Sinister review from Holocaust zine #5 1991:

Man, I do love the British scene with such God bands like NAPALM DEATH, CARCASS, BOLT THROWER, PARADISE LOST, BENEDICTION (to mention only some names…) I think without these bands the Death Metal scene would be very poor. Am I right? Sure I am! Praise England!!! Now you can add the next band to the list – MY DYING BRIDE! I love the name, it sounds dark to me. Their debut demo “Towards The Sinister” is dark & evil as well. Don’t listen to this tape, when you feel ill, because it’ll crush you!!! MY DYING BRIDE plays slow, ultra heavy, grind you to death kind of stuff. The faster parts are also really heavy and awesome, but there’s not a lot of it! The most of the time is cold, slow and doomy! The demo starts with the longest song “Symphonaire Infernus Et Spera Empyrium” done in the wicked BATHORY meets PARADISE LOST vein with great frightening bells… Then we got “Vast Choirs” with some evil keyboard stuff, “The Grief Of Age” and “Catching Feathers”. True evil, ancient dark Death Metal…I love it!! Besides the demo the band also did a 2 song EP “God Is Alone” for french label – Listenable Records. As a result of the demo the band signed with Peaceville Rec. and there will be a LP out soonish! Can’t wait for its release. MY DYING BRIDE…more bands like this! The demo is $ 6, EP is $ 7……

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26 Years Ago: ANATHEMA complete their first demo An Iliad of Woes

Recorded at M.A. Studios over a long weekend, ANATHEMA began recording on Friday 23 November and completed their debut demo on this day (a Sunday) in 1990.

At the same time, MY DYING BRIDE were recording their debut demo at Revolver Studios (they started on Saturday).

An Iliad of Woes review (mostly about the second demo) from Holocaust zine #5 1991:

ANATHEMA is an young, but very promising Death Metal outfit from UK…. They were previously called PAGAN ANGEL. In November ’90 they change the name into ANATHEMA and entered the studio to record their first demo. It was a 4 tracker entitled “An Iliad Of Woes” that went round the scene thanks to tapetrading. In May ’91 the second demo “All Faith Is Lost” was released. I prefer to talk about this one, because it’s newer and better. Hey! Note that I didn’t say the first demo is bad!!!! No way! It still fucking crushes! But the second tape is much more better. KILLER!!!! The music is slow, very slow, gloomy and doomy with interesting lead guitar creating great nostalgic/romantic moods. Yeah, the lead guitar is what I like most in the ANATHEMA’s music… Along with the vocals. They are very heavy and deep. Some moments can remind you of PARADISE LOST, but the whole thing sounds pretty original. Headcrushing stuff!!! Grinding Death!!! “All Faith is Lost” contains 4 songs and each one is more than five minutes long. The tape is obtainable for $ 5 (everywhere). GET IT NOW! You won’t be disapointed, I promise!

20 Years Ago: MY DYING BRIDE release Like Gods of the Sun

…that’s actually possibly the only album we planned, because normally we just write stuff and we put it on record; we don’t really know what the sound, what the finished product is going to be like. For Like Gods of the Sun, we knew that so many bands were leaving the guitars very low, you almost couldn’t hear any guitars at all, in some supposedly heavy metal people’s records, it was just keyboards, bass and vocals, and we thought it was wrong – why did they bother getting a guitar player if you can’t hear him? So we made a decision to make sure Like Gods of the Sun was a very heavy album, so we had to have low and ultra-heavy guitar chords, down-tuned, and we mixed it so the guitars would be right in your face. We purposely made that album less experimental in favor of pure heaviness.
– Aaron Stainthorpe / My Dying Bride interview, Chronicles of Chaos (1998)

MY DYING BRIDE released Like Gods of the Sun, their fourth album, on this day in 1996.

24 Years Ago: MY DYING BRIDE release As the Flower Withers (UK Death Doom Metal)

From Peaceville newsletter June 1992:

Things have been slightly hectic releasewise over the last few months with new releases from DARKTHRONE, MY DYING BRIDE, IMPALER, KONG, SONIC VIOLENCE and AUTOPSY. All of these are doing really well with MY DYING BRIDE taking Europe by storm. Their debut album, ‘As the Flower Withers‘ has double the advance orders of any other Peaceville debut including PARADISE LOST and AUTOPSY.

Two of the band have just returned from a press trip to Europe, doing no less than 30 interviews for radio and major press in just over five days. Plans are afoot for a tour later this year with Californian sickoes G.G.F.H. The tour should be something new with one of the weirdest stage shows ever from G.G.F.H.

Review: Gorgon – Immortal Horde EP

Review by: Meriel Longmore
Review score: 4/5

Released by Wounded Love Records in 1993, “Immortal Horde” is a rare underground gem from classic French band GORGON. When listening to the three tracks on offer, it is difficult to believe that GORGON did not achieve more recognition as even in their embryonic stages the band already had not only a strong character formed but also a highly recognizable and unusual sound. Listening now, it is amazing to think these tracks were written so long ago as they still sound fresh, original and timeless. Of course, there is that 1990s atmosphere present that many Black Metal bands aim to recreate today, but there is nothing like the real thing. In this sense, the atmosphere of dark nostalgia also makes this release obsessive compulsive listening.

The first track entitled “Ephaistos” begins with an experimental keyboard piece, before launching into a blistering Black Metal onslaught. Many still frown upon the inclusion of keyboards, but there is always an exception to every rule (and besides which rules were made to be broken). The keyboard highlights add a nightmarish, hallucinogenic quality to the already surreal compositions. The vocals are also a real standout point, combining both low guttural vocals and a high pitched, passionately executed shrieked vocal that at times reminds of BURZUM and early FORGOTTEN WOODS. The guttural vocals are effective in adding a Satanic feel to the tracks and are performed in a similar manner to bands such as TEMPLE OF BAAL (Fra), and perhaps also bringing to mind bands such as AKERCOCKE and GOATLORD (USA) considering the demonic overtones, heavy bass and dualistic vocals. The second track, “Elizabeth” is dedicated to the Blood Countess herself; Elizabeth Bathory and is a worthy ode to her memory. Dark, heavy, weird, twisted and evil…..perfect! The final track “Immortal Horde” is the longest of the three offerings and remains as macabre as you would hope for, leaving a lasting impression with its mind-raping intensity, though this time slightly slower and heavier. The track begins in a way that is surprisingly reminiscent early PARADISE LOST (circa “Lost Paradise”) or even early MY DYING BRIDE (“As the Flower Withers”), crossing genre boundaries from macabre Death/Doom before returning back to Horror-fueled Black Metal. Overall the sound is fast-tempo, bassy, lugubrious and of course cold and grim though not lacking in melody.

One short but sweet 7″EP, only around 10 minutes in duration but with so much to offer! GORGON are well worth checking out for anyone interested in the first wave of Black Metal, or indeed anyone interested in the more eccentric and unconventional realms of the underground.