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Balor

Best Black Metal Demos

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I think that it is really fascinating to listen to demo albums.  Not only do they represent the beginnings of a band, but they can also provide hints about what they will become in the future.  What bm demos are your favorites?  Among my favorites are the following:

Burzum: Demo 1

Peste Noire: Macabre Transcendence...

Paysage d'Hiver: Nacht

 

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I know this thread is more about sharing good new black metal demos, but I thought I'd cover some nostalgia with some black metal demo material in my collection:

The Darkthrone 'Frostland Tapes' box set that came out a few years ago is a great package with four of their demos including the mighty 'Cromlech',  as well as the original 'Goatlord' album and a live show. Brilliant and comprehensive release. 

Dissection's 'The Past is Alive (The Early Mischief)' is another compilation of demos that is mandatory listening. All of the demos and early versions of their classics.

Taake's 'Helnorsk Svartmetall' is an excellent compilation of the Hoest with the most and his demos both under the Thule name and, later, Taake. 

Enslaved's 'Yggdrasil' is basically unlistenable in its nekroness, but good fun. 

Satyricon's 'The Forest is My Throne' is awesome, particularly the title. I was obsessed with the title as a teenager. 

Emperor's 'Wrath of the Tyrant' is supposed to be a demo but I see it more as a cool EP. 

Mayhem's 'Pure Fucking Armageddon' provides a lot of history, if not the most hi fi of listening experiences. 

Can't think of what else I have off the top of my head. I've got more demo material than I realised when it gets added up. Could be more but I can't be bothered going upstairs to check because I'm too black metal for poser acts like that. 

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1 hour ago, Requiem said:

I know this thread is more about sharing good new black metal demos

I think it's more about sharing black metal demos in general, not just new releases. Some video links with your post would be cool for people that haven't heard that stuff yet.

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21 minutes ago, FatherAlabaster said:

I think it's more about sharing black metal demos in general, not just new releases. Some video links with your post would be cool for people that haven't heard that stuff yet.

True demos should be listened to on cassette exclusively.

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Here's an odd duck - Ulver's "Vargnatt" demo from 1993. It doesn't sound a whole lot like the turn they'd take on "Bergtatt" - among other thing the lineup changed significantly between the two recordings - but the acoustic folk elements are there, along with some clean vocals, even if they are silly and pretty bad considering how Garm's voice would develop over the next few years. Carl-Michael Eide of Ved Buens Ende, Virus, Aura Noir, etc. played drums on this, and somehow it feels like he injected his avant-garde idiosyncrasies into the songwriting.

My copy of this is a split CD with Immortal's self-titled demo from 1991 (the one that leads off with "Suffocate The Masses", not to be confused with the self-titled EP from the same year), and I'm fairly certain it's a bootleg. It improperly attributes this recording to the "Bergtatt" lineup, which I didn't know was incorrect until years later. Thanks, internet, for putting me straight. That version is up on Youtube, but here's the remaster from 2009, which has a different track listing and is actually listenable:

 

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27 minutes ago, FatherAlabaster said:

That version is up on Youtube, but here's the remaster from 2009, which has a different track listing and is actually listenable:

 

But is it a really true black metal demo if it is listenable?

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6 minutes ago, FatherAlabaster said:

Here, you be the judge. 

 

The clean version was definitely better for Ulver.  Incidentally, the acoustic portions on the version with the poor quality remind me a bit of Peste Noire.

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10 minutes ago, Balor said:

The clean version was definitely better for Ulver.  Incidentally, the acoustic portions on the version with the poor quality remind me a bit of Peste Noire.

I agree, although there's something appealing about those hopelessly overdriven acoustic parts. They actually released the cleaner version officially on Bandcamp a while back, I may pick that up.

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23 hours ago, FatherAlabaster said:

I agree, although there's something appealing about those hopelessly overdriven acoustic parts. They actually released the cleaner version officially on Bandcamp a while back, I may pick that up.

I think that sonically, it is an interesting dichotomy.  The natural and earthy tones of an acoustic instrument, and the hopeless, mechanistic background echos of a poor recording.

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