Yee-haw cowgirls and cowboys. This here is my first crack at a Re-issue Round-up Rodeo. Metalstorm's review focus is primarily on what's coming out NOW as there is an awful lot of cool shit springing up from all corners of the globe. However with metal a more resurgent force around the world more and more labels and artists seem to be re-issuing older albums that morons like 22yo me might have once hocked for beer money back in the day and you young ones might have missed out on entirely.
And while I have so many review requests that my "plate" is more like an all you can eat buffet, I didn't want to skip over the cool old shit that arrived in my mailbox courtesy of Peaceville. If this concept works out, y'all are interested, and other labels take a page from the PV Playbook and arm our staffers with old classics getting new light.
So with that said, giddy-up.
Various Artists - Darkthrone, Holy Darkthrone
Back in '97 Peaceville wanted to honor 10 years of Darkthrone with a best of album. In typical Nocturno Fenriz fashion, they responded "Just release a back patch instead." (I like to imagine a few f-bombs and maybe a hurled beer can as part of this exchange.) After discussion it was decided that it would be far more interesting to hear others' interpretations of their works. The end result of the project was a release which undoubtedly caused many a case of priapism amongst kvlt and tr00 black metal fans. An all-star cast of Norwegian black metal artists lined up to pay tribute… Immortal, Emperor, Enslaved, Satyricon, and more walked Infernal fields, assembled under a funeral moon, and cranked this comp out.
Kudos should be handed out to Emperor and Dodheimsgard for picking tracks outside the three most obvious albums, with "Cromlech" (Soulside Journey) and "Green Cave Float" (Goatlord), respectively, as well as Thorns for perhaps the most out there take with their vision of the song "The Pagan Winter".
That said, I think Satyricon's version of "Kathaarian Life Code" is perhaps the best track on the album.
So you know the band being paid honored, you know the songs, and you know the bands paying homage. You know what to do.
Neptune Towers - Caravans To Empire Algol & Transmissions From Empire Algol
Speaking of Fenriz we have Neptune Towers. Back in 1989 he picked up Timewind, an ambient space album by Klaus Schulze and had a yearning to do his own similar project. In 1993 he formed this project and a year later released these two albums. Then, like a 48 flu, his interest in the project was over - before a 3rd Neptune Towers release, Space Lab saw the light of day. Peaceville has reissued both the original albums, the second of which, Transmissions From Empire Algol includes four of those previously unreleased tracks from the Space Lab.
For starters, this is NOT metal. Not in the slightest… but is included as it might be of interest to metalheads. These albums are far more Hearts Of Space than Darkspace. The tunes in both albums are trippy ambient journeys through the cosmos that sound perhaps like the score to a bad late 70's Sci Fi film or even an episode of Baker-era Doctor Who.
These albums are enjoyable if you like that style, made more amusing considering at (roughly) the same time the composer was recording this he was working out drumming for Transilvanian Hunger.
I guess space is also so pure, so cold.
Like at the local watering hole, let's call the Algol's 7 & 7.
Gehenna - Murder
Murder was originally released in 2000, and now, a 12 pack of
What points they gain for execution they lose in the originality department. Gehenna were basically a second/third tier Norwegian BM act, so it's not terribly surprising they didn't get the attention that, say, pretty much everyone contributing to the aforementioned Darkthrone tribute received.
Khold - Mørke Gravers Kammer
This marks another early 00's Norwegian black metal album reissue. Khold formed from the ashes of Tulus (so kvlt they aren't on MS), and is further connected to the other half of Darkthrone, as drummer Sarke also plays with Nocturno Culto in Sarke. Phew.
Unfortunately the description and connections are more interesting than the music. As with Gehenna above, this album just pales in comparison to what their countrymen had been spouting, and by the time it came out in '04, was further distanced by what the those initial bands had become… Emperor,Ulver, Enslaved, Satyricon, had all gone places, so doing a second-rate version of what those bands had been doing (significantly better) almost a decade prior isn't likely to fire people up. It's not bad by any stretch, it's just not particularly inventive or exciting.
Dødheimsgard - Supervillain Outcast
And more from Norway… These deviants, well, deviate, from the approach of their kvlt kuntrymen. For starters, it's not orthodox black metal, no, it's blackened avant-industrial chaos. Furthermore, rather than just re-issue a prior album, they opted to toss in a full seven more tracks. Weeee!
The band's approach helped make them stand apart from the other metal bands within the context of the Darkthrone comp, and it serves them equally well in comparison to the other releases Peaceville necro reanimation package.
So you have a primarily mid-paced assault here, with plenty of spastic outbursts - both in terms of velocity and musicality. There is always a chaotic edge to whatever the band has going on. So not only is this the most unorthodox, and thus interesting, of the BM re-releases, it's also the one with the most added. Worth checking out if you aren't married to the notion of black metal as just tremolo riffing and pounding drums recorded on a Fisher Price "My First Microphone" in an abandoned bank vault.
||Written on 11.09.2012 by BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.|
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