13 Candles (1993)

Pilgrimage to the Gate of Sin

demo TAPE 1993

1: Through Crimson Mist
2: Pilgrim at the Gate of Sin
3: Elizabeth
4: Invincible
5: Seven Deadly Sins
6: Burning the Mirror
7: Dirge for a Witch
8: Long Ago in Darker Ages
9: Echoes of Darkness and Evil

line-up:
Orlok (instruments, vocals)




Hymns of Winter

track on compilation TAPE 1993 by Thurisaz Productions

1: Bloed in de Sneeuw

line-up:
Orlok (instruments, vocals)


I realise that this track has been put on the second Countess album The Return of the Horned One, and that that's a better place for it than on a compilation cassette, but we have to realise that it's predating that album a year and the Hymns of Winter cassette was released by Countess' Orlok himself. Bloed in de Sneeuw ('Blood in the Snow') is widely regarded as the first black metal track with Dutch lyrics, and I won't disagree with that. One could argue that Apator and Exmortis had been there before him, but Orlok's track is authentic black metal - orthodox, if you will - while Apator is subversive art and Exmortis always strikes me as a quite undefinable form of amateur metal. Bloed in de Sneeuw is one of those tracks that is oozing with proper black metal atmosphere, regardless of its 'soft' use of keyboards (I hear the Viking albums of Bathory in there, ergo the keyboards are okay) and/or slight mishaps in its performance and/or its unintended(?) rough unpolished production. After all these years it's still one of those tracks from the oldest days of Dutch 'Second Wave' black metal I really like! For those that are curious: I don't think there's really that much difference between the original 13 Candles mix and the Countess 'remix'...

Review: NLBMe Exclusive, October 2011.