23 Years Ago: ULVER release the Vargnatt promo tape

ULVER released their original promo tape Vargnatt on this day in 1993.

Some of the lyrics were written by Jørn H. Sværen who has remained a collaborator with ULVER to this day:

I met Jørn “Smile to life and I’ll spit in your face” Sværen around late ’91/early ’92. I don’t remember exactly when, but it’s not essential. it was in connection with his writing/poetry that I first talked with him, not radio Stonehenge (by the way radio Stonehenge has changed it’s name to Radio Mørketid!). I didn’t hear about Jørn’s radio program until later. Anyway, I wanted him to write something for the one and only issue of Eclipse/Chronicles Of Hate ‘zine (sold out!) that I edited at that time and so he did! (It was released in a limited edition of 200 copies!) We’ve had contact with each other since, and we still do ……. At the point of time when we were right around the corner of recording “Vargnatt” I hadn’t written enough lyrics for the six songs recorded, and so he helped me out once again, this won’t happen in the future though. Jørn is a great guy obsessed by all dark, religious and unorthodox art in general, and this fits my own personality well. In fact we have talked about making some strange manifests together as well, but we would have to face big obstacles finding suitable musicians for a such a project, should be interesting. We’ll see what happens…….

The following year Necromantic Gallery Productions released a split with MYSTICUM (using “Ulverytternes kamp” from this promo) and in November they began recording the debut LP Bergtatt – Et Eeventyr i 5 Capitler.

It was never my intention to ripp off KING DIAMOND, but the way I sing on the part you are referring to is more inspired by opera and mountain-song type of moods, not KING DIAMOND. I never even thought about the similarities. Anyway, if I should sound like him, who bloody cares? Are you aware of how many ‘vocalists’ who have ripped off guys like Quorthon?? I guess it has been ripped so many times people forget to notice. I’m not too satisfied with it because it didn’t come out clean enough, but that’s another side of the story. I won’t use it again though….

– Garm / Ulver interview, Slayer #10 1994


26 Years Ago: MAYHEM live in Leipzig (Photos and Audio)

We just started playing live after a break which lasted 4 years, and the reasons were lack of members and rehearsalplaces. And songs. Now we did a couple of gigs, it was cool except that all the equipment fucked up on the 1st one, and Hellhammer was drunk and ruined the gig on the 2nd one… From now on we must have total prohibition of any use of alcohol before a gig, and if some in the band drinks, I will refuse to play. Well, except for shit like that it was cool! We had a real brutal show on the 1st gig with pig heads on stakes, corpse paint in the faces and that Dead cut himself up and was bleeding on the audience. In the end everything was a big mess of blood and pig brains hehe
We are going to take the show even further later, with craniums, bones, stench of rotting meat and lots of nice stuff like that on stage. If everything goes great, we’ll tour Turkey and Greece this year. Then we’ve the LP coming, and next year a tour in USSR, which hopefully will give us those money necessary to play in South America and other places. The dream is (for me) to play in Albania, China, Mongolia, North Korea, Kampuchea and all those countries!! But the other guys don’t want to do this, they believe that we’ll never get out of those countries again…

– Euronymous / Mayhem interview, Holocaust #4 1990

The infamous concert performed on this day in 1990. Recorded at the Eiskeller club which is today known as Conne Island in the district of Connewitz, Leipzig, Germany.

MAYHEM t-shirts being added to the distro this week

Record of the Week: TORTORUM – Rotten. Dead. Forgotten.


I’d say “RDF” is more atmosphere-based work than our two previous full-lengths. It just came out this way naturally. It’s hard to define it with words, it’s probably best to spend some time with it. I’ve heard opinions that it’s not as straightforward as our albums, it’s perhaps more experimental too. It’s (as always) channeling darkness, but with a slightly different approach.
– Skyggen / Tortorum interview, Norskmetal.net

The excellent new mini-album by TORTORUM! Usually described as a Norwegian black metal band, founding members also include Barghest from UK death metal band SPEARHEAD and Skyggen, formerly known as Paimon, from Polish bands THUNDERBOLT, VELES and SWASTYKA (SUNWHEEL)


22 Years Ago: GORGOROTH release Pentagram

We are very satisfied with Frost. He is also playing drums on our new CD “DҰD”. And about a permanent membership we have thought about it, and if there is any persons who should be worth it, it must be Frost, but it is also up to him. Ok.
Samoth is no longer joining Gorgoroth
– Hat / Gorgoroth interview, Nordic Vision #3 1995

Released by Embassy Productions (the label of Tragic Empire distribution, run by Phil Galliano) on this day in 1994.

BATHORY was THE true black metal band of all time. I know that we are nothing new and orignial, but that’s the way we want it. So many bands sound ‘original’, so we just want to keep the old black spirit alive, which was created by old gods.

Our influences come from the ancient gods of black metal, BATHORY, HELLHAMMER, VENOM, etc.. As for the lyrics; they are created by our sick minds, the influences for them come from evil woods, wanderin’ round in the dark and the freezing forests of Norway.
– Goat Pervertor / Gorgoroth interview, Tales of the Macabre #1 1993

“Pentagram” contain 8 hatefull track’s, very brutal, thou also melodic. This is pure, true Black Metal as it was ment to be. There is 6 new track’s + the two from the demo A Sorcery….thou a bit different. I don’t think its any big difference between our new and old stuff. Its black art.
– Hat, Gorgoroth interview autumn 1994

24 Years Ago: IMMORTAL release their self-titled EP (Unholy Forces of Evil)

We truly have the best scene… yes, especially the bands into “the black circle”. We have a war against the trend people… And of course we are ready to fight. We are vikings, but remember vikings were not nice men… They butchered people daily… So will we do…
– Immortal interview, Daemonium Aeturnus #2 1992

IMMORTAL’s transition from the strictly death metal demo in July 1991 to Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism, recorded only nine months later, was dramatic! Somewhere between those two extremes they recorded the Immortal EP, released on this day in 1991 by Listable Records. An intro and two tracks, both re-recorded for the first album.

Drink of the moon and spit on the winds of life… into darkness ride for the darkness of my spirit… for Satan my black soul… tragedies blows at horizon and I have to leave for another world… where the sun freezes to dust…

20 Years Ago: GEHENNA release Malice (Our Third Spell) on Cacophonous

Recorded a couple of months earlier at Soundsuite Studio, Malice was released on this day in 1996. The third of the ‘spell’ releases, following First Spell in 1994 and the debut full-length Seen Through the Veils of Darkness from 1995. All three were recorded at Soundsuite, which GEHENNA used again for their Moonfog album Adimiron Black in 1998.


22 Years Ago: SATYRICON release The Shadowthrone (The struggle against God and Christ has started)

Because our music is elite and we (as other elite bands) use our resources the way we were meant to. Hail all elite bands, you know who you are! We are also warriors of the true forest horde. Sons of Nothern nature, climb up on your mountainside and die.

SATYRICON released their second album on this day in 1994. Recorded at Waterfall Studios, The Shadowthrone was the third release by Satyr’s Moonfog Productions. Flyers at the time of the CD release promoted an LP/Picture Disc edition available in December/January.

Moonfog was originally started by Satyr in 1993 as a small distro. In 1994, for the release of Dark Medieval Times, the Moonfog label was setup as a sub-label of Tormod Opedal’s Tatra Records who ran the label business and distribution.

Actually Moonfog started up around January/February ’93. Back then only as a distribution firm only, selling t-shirts and demo’s. I wasn’t that serious back then, it was more for the sake of trying it. In November ’93 I decided to continue but this time very professional and serious. In January ’94 I got contact with the boss of Tatra Records, and he was interested in SATYRICON. I gave him the advance for our album “Dark Medieval Times” and he was blasted away by our music. That lead us to a deal with Tatra. I told him about my Moonfog thing, and we decided to co-operate with Moonfog as a sub label of Tatra. Moonfog Productions is a record company with mail order service as well. We sell mostly the releases of Moonfog/Tatra and DSP but also releases from almost every big Metal label.
– Satyr, Slayer zine #10 1994


Original flyers promoted the albums as:

“The second masterpiece from the warriors of the northern throne.
Majestic black metal in their very own progressive style.
The coldgrim atmosphere is like a hammer in the face of god.

Kampen Mot Gud Og Hvite Krist Er I Gang”

…I compose our symphonies and the concept and lyrics. But what would I do without a drummer like Frost? His attitude fits me and therefor I chose him. SATYRICON is kinda like my band but Frost has become an important part as he has been with me for one and a half year now. Samoth is busy with EMPEROR. But we have very good contact and actually he practises as often with SATYRICON as EMPEOER. So I would also like to think of him as an important part of our brotherhood.
– Satyr, Slayer zine #10 1994

The original text source for Yggdrasil – ENSLAVED (Frost) – Hávamál (Codex Regius scan)

As posted yesterday, Frost was released on this day in 1993. The song Yggdrasil takes it’s lyrics from part of the Hávamál poem. The poem is presented in the Codex Regius, an Icelandic collection with many Old Norse poems dating from the late 13th Century. FALKENBACH are another band that used this poem as inspiration.

Here is a detail of the manuscript containing the section of the poem used for Yggdrasil (parts 138 – 141). This source is Finnur Jónsson’s Facisimile Edition of 1891.


And here is the full page (bottom, starting at II, ending just before the last line)


An English translation of this section by Olive Bray, published 1908:

I trow I hung on that windy Tree
nine whole days and nights,
stabbed with a spear, offered to Odin,
myself to mine own self given,
high on that Tree of which none hath heard
from what roots it rises to heaven.

None refreshed me ever with food or drink,
I peered right down in the deep;
crying aloud I lifted the Runes
then back I fell from thence.

Nine mighty songs I learned from the great
son of Bale-thorn, Bestla’s sire;
I drank a measure of the wondrous Mead,
with the Soulstirrer’s drops I was showered.

Ere long I bare fruit, and throve full well,
I grew and waxed in wisdom;
word following word, I found me words,
deed following deed, I wrought deeds.

You can find the complete reproduction of the Codex Regius manuscript here.