Thursday, 25 September 2014

ELISABETHA / VOW DREAMS split


Band: ELISABETHA
Title: Elisabetha / Vow Dreams
Format: Proposed split release from Hugin's vampyric creation Elisabetha and Italian Black Metal project Vow Dreams.  The artwork shown was intended for a digipak CD pressing.
Edition: Never released

Track Listing:
Elisabetha
01. Prolog (Schrei des Todes)
02. Down There (Concerto del Beherit appropriato all Orgono)
03. Countess Bathori (Concerto del Venom appropriato all Harmonium)
04. Der Fall Valdemar (Nach einer Erzählung von Edgar Allan Poe)
05. Transilvanischer Hunger (Deutschsprachige Prozessaufnahme des gleichnamigen Darkthrone Liedgutes)
Vow Dreams
06. The Living Cemetery
07. Nightmare In The Night
08. Destroyer Of The Creation
09. Fall In Trance

#15 From the Vaults of W.A.R.

"Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more; Or close the wall up with our English dead!"

Thus spake King Henry V (according to Shakespeare) and the sentiment of 'once more into the breach' is most pertinent for this latest foray into the weird world of previously unseen and abandoned works from our favourite son of Austria.  The principle of 'closing up walls with our English dead' may also become relevant should the Elisabetha's vampyric legacy and Vow Dream's living cemetery merge into one almighty outpouring of bloodlust.  Let's proceed with caution...

Taking the Elisabetha tracks first, what we have here are a collection of cover songs from the likes of Venom, Beherit and Darkthrone, augmented by a couple of other songs of the band's own creation: 'Prolog' and 'Der Fall Valdemar'.  The cover versions of 'Countess Bathori' and 'Down There' later appeared as reworked Hrossharsgrani tracks, rearranged and with vocals, on their "Dead:Meat" album.  The other pair of songs are not immediately familiar, but fear not!  Good news from deepest Austria - Hugin has located the master CDr from this proposed release, so more details may well be available soon!

The strangely named Vow Dreams, on the other hand, hail from Italy and according to their entry on Metal Archives are a 'Death/Black Metal' band whose lyrical influences and coverage span 'ghosts, entities and evil'.  Quite what a vow dream might be is open to speculation, though if you venture into those parts of the Internet where dream analysis has credence, it would seem that a dream with a vow is one where the dreamer needs held in honouring the promises they have made.  Then again, perhaps it's just one of those names that when translated into English from its native tongue doesn't quite work?

Anyway, with all this mention of ghosts and anonymous 'entities' it's a case of so far, so supernatural.  Nazgul hasn't had the pleasure of hearing the band's music, though their sole review on Metal Archives in respect of a 2007 demo "Fog on a Cold Cemetery" was not particularly complementary: the best that can be quoted describes it as is "insanely varied Black Metal with a lot of tricks from the book employed to make it sound interesting. I'm talking palm muting, clear guitars, samples, strummed riffs and several caves of trolls worth of vocals."  Palm muting is a guitar playing technique, incidentally!  

This damned with faint praise review is rather better than a second critique of the same demo, which includes the classic line, "This project exists since 1997 and is still stuck at the level of two 30+ years old retards with Emo Borgir and Marduk shirts taking pictures of themselves with candles in their kitchen with the refrigerator in the background -  think 2 men trying to imitate Cradle and Emo Burger and mix classic guitars, keyboards and disgusting screams of a dying frog."

Notwithstanding such verbal assaults on their character, this would have made a tidy little release in its day.  Cool hand-drawn artwork of a distinctly creepy nature (designed and created by Hugin) and interested track listing.  Hugin tells Nazgul that 'Uwe did all the work for this split', presumably in the sense of coordinating with Vow Dreams and getting all the music finalised.  It would seem the the reason for the album not being pressed was simply down to the label (possibly Bloodmorfog Productions, thinks Hugin) losing interest in releasing it.  A great shame.

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