October 24th, 1996
Release length: 37:50
One thing that definitely sticks out with this release would be the vocal work. The vocals were added to this recording at a later date, which explains why everything sounds muffled except for all the vocals. The only problem with this is that the music doesn’t mask any abnormalities in the music, and there are times where the vocals will reach a higher pitch and crack, or are somewhat off key with the music. It happens periodically throughout the release, and noticable primarily on “Black Daimon” around the end. There happens to also be somewhat operatic female vocals present in various songs, such as “Pure Demoniac Blessing” and “(The) Grimness Of Which Shepherds Mourn”. They are very low and often sound atrocious and off-pitch. “Pure Demoniac Blessing” also has some low spoken parts through it, which kind of sound cliche and comical against the rest of the vocal work present on this song, including the gutteral vocals.
Musically, it’s easy to tell that much of the album was inspired by bands that are considered the “first wave” of black metal. “Toward(s) The Thornfields”, for example, definitely has the feel of bands such as Venom in the speedier aspects, as well as the vocals. This song, however, also has some rather lame background vocals that are of a male, and sometimes female, moaning “no” or what the vocalist just said. But as you continue to listen to this release, you realize that it almost acts as a blueprint for future Darkthrone releases, and shows one hell of a death metal album that really should have been professionally recorded.
But given some of the problems, such as vocal irregularities in pitch, volume and clarity and the off key operatic female vocals, this release is a nice piece of history. The music is done very well and, even for a rehearsal recording, sounds great for the time period it was recorded. It’s a shame that it was never professionally recorded, but at least we have this, and our dreams.
01. Rex – 3:48
02. Pure Demoniac Blessing – 2:35
03. (The) Grimness Of Which Shepherds Mourn – 4:23
04. Sadomasochistic Rites – 4:04
05. As Desertshadows – 4:42
06. In His Lovely Kingdom – 3:24
07. Black Daimon – 3:50
08. Toward(s) The Thornfields – 3:37
09. (Birth Of Evil) Virgin Sin – 3:25
10. Green Cave Float – 4:02
|Initial Pressing: 4.5/10
2006 Reissue: 4.5/10
Physical review copy of this release provided by personal funds.