Paysage d’Hiver – Schattengang
Reissued in August 2018 by Kunsthall Produktionen
Mountainous trance-inducing sounds emerge from the ambient lightless void. Instruments flounder in muted tones as everything seems to be transmitted through a black hole, distorting the familiar hyper-speed characteristics of Paysage d’Hiver. The vocal performance here invokes the final echoes from the pulverized lungs of man flying through the weightless cosmos. Starry textures eventually overtake the bleak scene of extraterrestrial pain, and remain at the forefront to overtake the entire second track in their mysterious whisper. The mind is among deep throes of relaxation when after a while, the clanging bells from up the road become more and more prominent, announcing the arrival of a winter chariot bound for new lands.
Upon our embarkment, the chariot bursts forth with an undying will as “Die Zeit des Torremond” blazes down the snowed-in path with a flurry of speed, yet slows down just enough to catch a glimpse of vicious wolves preying on a fresh kill. Schattengang is a vast journey rife with exceptional visions and primeval energies that allow the sonic experience to extend across multiple planes of the universe. Just as the beginning launched us into a state of suspended confusion, the conclusion leaves us with nervous anticipation as the echo of one door closing sounds as hundreds opening.
Satanic Warmaster – Revelation… of the Night
Reissued in July 2018 by Werewolf Records
Blazing grandiose riffs pierce the freezing night sky, clearing the fog for this nocturnal rite deep in the snowy woods. Working within a lengthier framework for …Of The Night, Werwolf lures us into sonic warfare with high intensity songs that somehow seem both repetitive and varied, with subtle changes exposing themselves only to the dedicated. These two hymns would have been true highlights on the masterful Carelian Satanist Madness album with their triumphant icy riffing and clear production. Werwolf has always understood the importance of creating a solid musical backbone for each track, and it is upon this that the great variety of riffs feast and slither, propelling the tracks forward in an unquenchable bloodlust. As the epic finale of “Chronicles of Thy Astral Blood” fades away, we discover an opening in the forest floor that enters upon a damp cave, a crazed world subject to the delusions of a nocturnal vomiting overlord.
Revelation is dizzying in its nauseating rawness, possessing a more militant, frantic approach than before, with these tracks seeming to fit with the grotesque collection Nachzehrer. The battery is relentless as the rest of the soundscape is bound and buried by walls of noise and treacherous voices. These unholy psalms revolve around some sort of chorus, allowing for dangerous and unpredictable experimentation that serves to impale and kill, notably the hellish sounds in the guitar solo of “Sign of the Master”. The final track “The Will” separates itself not only from the other songs in this collection, but from the entire Satanic Warmaster discography. The imperfect primitive beauty of the main riff resonates across the frozen tundra as empowering howls encircle like ravens from the trees above. The passion contained in this recording is immense and personal, with the production sounding as if this song is being played live in front of you. An essential collection of rarity ends on the highest possible note.
Drowning the Light – From the Abyss
Reissued in December 2018 by Obscure Abhorrence Productions
Solemn echoes reverberate their way across the water, spilling ancient spells unheard before. Mysterious and watchful forces of antiquity are channeled from the opening note to the last; triumphant melodies under a bewitching aura of melancholic might. A massive swell of riffs keep songs moving forward with the absolute certainty of the tides. Thunder whips as each composition grows more formidable and urgent from the elements’ anger. “Below the Horizon He Stalks” royally beckons archaic energies with the piercing sound of an organ, so pure in its beauty that it creates a blinding ray of light amidst the stormy skies. This magic sensation is not something to behold merely once as its presence intermittently shines throughout the vast aqueous sonic expanse. These desolate lighthouses lingering throughout the oceans summon primeval beasts of the depths with their venerable sirens.
Arrogant creative ecstasy and passion is on full display in every individual performance. In phases like the self-titled track, each passing minute intensifies the dark forces within, creating a paralyzing aftermath once the build-up has imploded. “Sic Itur Ad Astra” maintains a similar fate, overflowing with anger and melodicism before being washed away by a monolithic tide that emerges from the calm shallows. From the Abyss delivers nonstop enchantments to a treacherous voyage under the waves and into the dark uncertain waters. Every second proves vital in building ancient atmospheres and conjuring conflicting emotions through unparalleled imagery.