16 Years Ago: BLASPHEMY & BLACK WITCHERY live in Vancouver Canada

The Friday the 13th Live Ritual was actually our 3rd show since the reformation. BLACK WITCHERY was up here in July 2000ce for our return, they weren’t here for the Friday the 13th assault. We did 4 shows with this line-up: July 2000ce, August 2000ce, July 2001ce and August 2001ce. The first and last shows were with BLACK WITCHERY. Sharing the stage with BLASPHEMY (my all time favorite band) is beyond words to describe…
– Ryan Förster (DeathLörd of Abomination & War Apocalypse), Necromantic zine

In the distro: BLASPHEMY patches and t-shirts, BLACK WITCHERY’s set is also available on DVD (BLASPHEMY DVDs are now sold out), and Fallen Angel of Doom is available on CD and LP

25 Years Ago: ΧΑΟΤΙΚΟ ΤΕΛΟΣ (Chaotic End) complete recording Πέρα Από Τα Τείχη Της Σιωπής demo (Greek Crust Punk)

ΧΑΟΤΙΚΟ ΤΕΛΟΣ entered Red House Studio, Athens on 2 July 1991 and finished recording this demo on Tuesday 9 July.

Another band recording at Red House that year, one that will be more familiar to most reading this, was black/death cult VARATHRON!
In January, VARATHRON recorded all but one song for their side of the 1992 split with NECROMANTIA. They returned in February 1992 to record The Tressrising of Nyarlathotep, this song was also included at the end of their debut LP His Majesty at the Swamp. Everything else on His Majesty… was recorded at Storm, the studio most associated with the early 90’s Hellenic scene.

ΧΑΟΤΙΚΟ ΤΕΛΟΣ had a very distinctive sound, dramatic and dark! I’ve seen them described as the Greek AMEBIX, and they do share a heavy, often slow sound and (I assume) metal-influence. But they are different enough (and ΧΑΟΤΙΚΟ ΤΕΛΟΣ are good enough) that there’s no need to lump them together.

Maybe it’s just the country and the year, but it’s hard to ignore echoes of the Hellenic black metal scene (ROTTING CHRIST, THOU ART LORD and others) on this tape. The guitar tone and the playing style and the synth.
I do not know if there was any personal connection (many, including ΧΑΟΤΙΚΟ ΤΕΛΟΣ, were in Athens) but some of the riffs have that Hellenic feeling. You’ll hear it on Στη Δίνη Της Ζωής, before they launch into the crust-y ANTISECT-y Εσωτερικός Πόλεμος. Killer!

Their only LP, Μπροστά Στην Παράνοια, was released in 1993 and is a more conventional hardcore/crust record but still has some great doom heavy moments. This demo is just something else!!

HADES in June: Recording at Grieghallen 1993-1996 (and a hunt for the Chaucer poem)

June 1993: Alone Walkyng (demo)
June / July 1994: …And Again Shall Be
June / July 1996: The Dawn of the Dying Sun

HADES recorded all three classics at Grieghallen, Bergen, Norway.

Alone Walkyng was a very well received demo. The band printed a couple of hundred, another 1000 were made and sold by Wounded Love Recs. HADES signed to Full Moon Productions for their two albums.
Two songs from the demo were re-recorded for …Again Shall Be (Dec 94), the third (Alone Walkyng) was re-recorded for the third LP, The Dawn of the Dying Sun.

After legal issues with the New Jersey HADES, the band officially became known as HADES ALMIGHTY. They released two albums Millenium Nocturne (1999) and The Pulse of Decay (2001) then fell silent until a triumphant return – Pyre Era, Black! which was just released last month as a split with DRUDKH.

In the distro: we just added Dawn of the Dying Sun t-shirts in all sizes, full colour album-cover design!

hades-band

Searching for Alone Walkyng & Chaucer…

The Dawn… album sleeve notes credit the title and lyrics for Alone Walkyng to “Richard Chaucer in 1572”. I think they’re referring to Geoffrey Chaucer who served King Richard II, even though that Chaucer died in 1400.
The “Alone Walkyng” poem was historically attributed to Geoffrey Chaucer but that claim has been dismissed by later academics, noting the author name had been “added by later hand” (see below). The poem is usually known simply as “Ballad”, “Virelai” (referring to the medieval French verse form it uses) or “Lover’s Lament”.

The disappointing seventh volume of Dr. Skeat’s edition, containing poems once attributed to Chaucer, has little poetical merit. Some of those poems belong to a later age, and are of no interest as illustrating Chaucer – false ascriptions merely, such as the pretty piece:

Alone walking, In thought playing,
And sore sighing, All desolate,
Me remembring, Of my living,
My deth wishing Bothe erly and late.

which for reasons both of philology and sentiment must be placed much later.

– Adolphus Alfred Jack (University of Aberdeen), 1920

The original source of this poem, and therefore HADES lyrics, is very likely from a late 15th-early 16th Century collection. The relevant page is below (right page – left column).
Note the author attribution in the left margin and the Middle English that closer matches the song lyrics (remembryng, lyvyng etc).

alone-walkyng-original-manuscript

The complete book can be viewed at Trinity College, Cambridge, originally from the collection of John Stow.

The song Alone Walkyng goes back further than the demo, further than HADES! After AMPUTATION and the first IMMORTAL demo Jørn joined OLD FUNERAL briefly, replacing Vikernes on guitar, and recorded an early version of Alone… in September 1992 at Kardemommehuset. This session was never released (the band split around the time) but you can find the four songs on The Older Ones or Our Condolences comps.

32 Years Ago: CHRISTIAN DEATH live in Amsterdam

Live at Melkweg, Amsterdam on this day in 1984. A fairly good quality recording, bootlegged in 1989 as Catastrophe Ballet Live.
This was towards the end of their fragmented European tour. The first time playing outside the US. They travelled to Paris 21 February, London’s Batcave and elsewhere in Europe; ending up broke in Berlin by July.

This recording includes the song Theatre of Pain which never made it to a studio album (ff to about 13:30). Musically very close to Mysterium Iniquitatis from Only Theatre of Pain!

Christian Death CDs / Christian Death DVDs

Some of the songs from this gig appear on the official Anthology of Live Bootlegs compilation (1990).

30 Years Ago: CRYPTIC SLAUGHTER live in a Bel Air backyard

UPDATE: The band have corrected me:

Actually this party was after “Convicted” was released. We played so we could get some money to get up north to play 2 shows.Just FYI. (link)

This gig date is correct but my “days before the release…” stuff below is not! Thanks to CS!

Days before their debut LP was released CRYPTIC SLAUGHTER play at a friend’s birthday in Bel Air (the band were from neighbouring Santa Monica).

A lot of people thank that “Convicted” is about not fitting in, as far as punks not fitting into society, and not being normal. Well, it’s not. It’s about a guy who gets out of prison and, you know, society is pretty down on ex-cons. They don’t give them a fair chance. That’s what it is about. I know a few people that get out of jail, and they can’t get any kind of job. As soon as they find out that he is an ex-con, it’s just shit. It’s pretty much a friend of mine that went through that, and blew his head off. He killed himself.
– Bill Crooks, Phoenix Militia zine #7, 1987

24 Years Ago: Fantoft Stavkyrkje Burns (Norwegian Church Arson 1992) Photos

The first ancient monument to fall at the hands of Norway’s black metal underground was the 12th Century Stave Church in Fana, Bergen.

BURZUM “Aske” T-shirts & Hoodies
BURZUM “Burzum/Aske” on CD
BURZUM “Burzum/Aske” on Vinyl, more BURZUM merch

Foto: Arne Ristesund
Firefighters take a break after battling the flames. Foto: Arne Ristesund

The church was destroyed by arson on Saturday 6 June 1992. A photograph of the charcoal skeleton was used as the cover for BURZUM’s Aske EP in March 1993. Aske was released after the 1993 Bergens Tidende newspaper interview with Vikernes which covered several of the Norwegian church burnings and brought immediate police attention. He was charged with the Fantoft arson during the 1994 trial but was not found guilty for that particular act.

fantoft-arson-1992-fire
Foto: Arne Ristesund

I was never convicted for grave desecration, as many seems to believe, or for kindling the Fantoft Stave Church. They had no dumb metal head who could lie and tell them that he had joined me in burning that church, like in the other cases, so they had absolutely no evidence against me in that context whatsoever, and I even had an alibi, as a girl from Oslo had spent the night with me. (Yet my “defense” lawyer didn’t even bother to ask her to testify in my defense!) The charge was all based in hearsay. Still, when the jury didn’t find me guilty of burning down the Fantoft Stave Church the main judge was so angry she claimed that it was “obvious” that I had done that too, but it wouldn’t really matter, as I would get maximum penalty anyway – and amazingly she said that before the three judges and jury members had even begun discussing the penalty, so obviously they had decided on forehand that I should get 21 years no matter what. – Varg Vikernes, A Burzum Story

Out Now: T.O.M.B. III: Digital Collection (Macabre Noize Royale, Nameless Spells and Incantations, Live Ritual 2014)

United by Blakk Blood!!
T.O.M.B. returns to Todestrieb Records with a new digital collection
The resurrection of Macabre Noize Royale

cover

 

Total Occultic Mechanical Blasphemy III
Macabre Noize Royale (2008)
Nameless Spells and Incantations (2013)
Live Ritual – Brooklyn, June 15 2014

Full tracklist, images and video at the distro

Six years after our last T.O.M.B. release – Macabre Noize Royale – we present a digital collection of three separate creations. All newly studio remixed and remastered.

Earlier this year we began talking to NO ONE about a digital edition of the long unavailable Macabre Noize Royale – the black noise/black metal assault we released in 2008. A unique recording in T.O.M.B.’s history!
T.O.M.B.’s distinct field-recorded ambience, twisted industrial manipulations joined by members of the Pennsylvanian 80’s death/black underground (DETERIORATE, GOREAPHOBIA, HAZARAX). Only an album like Burning the Temple of God rivals the savage collision of raw noise and black metal on MNR!

Macabre Noize Royale will be a journey. It will combine unholy black metal with extreme nihilistic black noise.
This black noise is what many call my work.

With this digital release we intend to force a rediscovery and reappraisal of this powerful work, which is resurrected with punishing force after a lengthy remastering. We recommend headphones!!

The reissue began to expand with extra tracks until we decided to create the third T.O.M.B. collection. Total Occultic Mechanical Blasphemy III includes MNR, Nameless Spells and Incantations (2013), and a 2014 live recording.

Nameless Spells and Incantation was released by DumpsterScore Home Recordings on limited cd in 2013: Obsidian black drones and vocal chants lay the foundation for thick crushing walls of unrelenting harsh noise, primitive steel gate pounding and quite literal tombstone grinding. Listening to these recordings you get the feeling of being alone late at night, hooded figures loom in the shadows of a reverb drenched corridor. Distant pounding and indistinguishable voices draw closer and closer until a blinding surge of electricity fills the room and your bones are ground to dust.

The final part of this collection captures T.O.M.B. live. This ritual took place in Brooklyn, New York on June 15th as part of an evening headlined by WATAIN. The T.O.M.B. lineup was NO ONE, Panther Modern, Joseph Curwen (GHORAGEIST) and Samantha Viola (SKULSYR).
T.O.M.B. live is not ‘performance’ or a typical show. Through stone, metal, bone and blood they channel pure unholy energy and have a dramatic, physical effect on those in attendance:

…the guitarist began scraping an animal horn across a what looked like slab of slate amplified through a guitar pickup and subsequent PA system. The overwhelming but intriguing sounds caused several in the audience to buckle while others straight up blacked out. – 2012 w/ Sunn O)))

A video was captured of the June 2014 evening. The visuals, combined with our new audio recording – taken directly from the source, removing all extraneous sound and professionally remixed – recreates this powerful effect!!

Over the past year of remixing and remastering, this project has grown into an essential T.O.M.B. collection and presents NO ONE’s vision across different eras and settings.
T.O.M.B. has expanded it’s sound, experimented, explored sinister and dangerous new paths. Through it all the original manifesto has remained, since we first discovered the mysterious entity NO ONE in 2003 and the bond was formed. Still a unique force in underground art!

T.O.M.B. has been an experimental/spiritual journey in the development of myself as an artist and a person. The experiences from the disturbed places I have recorded, the influential people I have met and worked with, have stayed with me and are reflected in my material. The name Total Occultic Mechanical Blasphemy, clearly defines this project’s divine intentions; TOTAL freedom and expression through OCCULTIC ritual, beliefs and invocations. This is captured using MECHANICAL recording devices and equipment, with a subconscious intent to open and unleash the diabolical audio effects and essence of pure BLASPHEMY.

Future T.O.M.B. —

I wrote my material based upon three fazes. My more industrial black metal/noise was the first faze. I used what abilities and resources I had during that creative time period. This was the beginning and birth of the project. Once I began the second faze, I had developed several new types of recording techniques and tactics. I also expanded on my equipment arsenal. Combined I wanted to create audio that when played together,effected the senses. Mind, body and soul. So we started conducting ritual practices of invocation, using instruments and objects associated with primitive ritual, and record this inside abandon hospitals or asylums were negative malevolent energy can be easily conjured. Conjuring was the second faze. Fury Nocturous marks the third faze of the project and exposes the results from the past fazes, cryptic occult audio experimentation and extreme black magic.