Monday, December 10, 2018 14:01

Posts Tagged ‘Vlad Tepes’

VLAP TEPES – ANTHOLOGIE NOIRE (Drakkar Productions)

Sunday, May 5th, 2013

Anthologie Noire’ is a double CD compilation gathering well over two hours’ worth of material from five hard-to-get demos plus a rehearsal. ‘The Return Of The Unweeping’, ‘Celtic Poetry’, ‘Into Frosty Madness’ and ‘Dans Notre Chute…’ were also each released on 12” LP around the same time (last month) and – even though these records cost only €12 each – they were still prohibitively expensive to acquire as a collective in the vinyl format once the cost of shipment was factored into the equation.

Why not put them all on one double LP for €18? After all, we are in the midst of a global fucking recession! The elite nature of Black Metal was never meant to be due to the fact that people can’t afford it. Fuck me ragged.

Anyway, rant over. I decided to wait and go for the budget option and, as the 2CD also includes ‘The Black Legions’ and ‘Rehearsal’ as bonuses (Is bonus the right word? I mean, if somebody punches you four times and then kicks you twice, are the kicks bonuses?), this was really a no-brainer. Trust me, I’m not dumb enough to put vinyl ahead of compact disc if it’s going to cost me almost €50 extra (including postage – and with less songs) to do so!

Must say, I’d be sickened if I’d bought the records because some of the music on here is total garbage. Quality-wise, ‘Anthologie Noire’ captures (a bit of) the best and (a lot of) the worst of Vlad Tepes, so it’s a fair enough representation of their history. Fluctuating from some utter dross to rare moments of inspiration, this is a triumph for quantity over quality (if for anything – maybe I should say a defeat for quality at the hands of quantity…).

For those who love Vlad Tepes unconditionally (what an unfortunate affliction that would be), it’s a great way to catch up with a bucketload of rare material in one go. For the rest of us, we are at least getting lots of material for the relatively-modest (compared to the vinyl) price of admission (even if much of what we’re getting is – for want of a better word – shit).

Evilometer: 222/666

VLAD TEPES – MORTE… LUNE LP (Drakkar Productions)

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

I really enjoyed ‘March To The Black Holocaust’ and ‘War Funeral March’ was reasonably good. But ‘Morte… Lune’ is a decided disappointment. Considering that this was Vlad Tepes’ penultimate recording, one would reasonably expect it to be fresher and better than the other two recent reissues mentioned above, but the opposite is the case.

The sound on here is ropey and unstable; the music is bland and amateur-ish; the playing is shoddy. It’s just lazy Black Metal that was thrown together with total disregard for the listener and very clearly captures a band that was in interminable decline. Just as well Vlad Tepes called it a day not long afterwards.

Even though it has its (oh so fleeting) moments, I can derive no joy from owning a recording as sloppy and careless as this and the fact that I bought in on the more-expensive vinyl format serves to amplify the insult. Nous sommes Satan, my arse.

Evilometer: 111/666

VLAD TEPES – WAR FUNERAL MARCH LP (Drakkar Productions)

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

War Funeral March’ was first released as a demo tape in 1994. It’s only 20 minutes long but there is some truly fantastic Black Metal to be found on this ‘til-now hidden gem. As far as I’m aware, this is the first time it’s been made available on vinyl and I suppose that makes it a historic release is some ways (maybe).

Drakkar has endeavoured to produce a decent-value record with the four cuts from the ‘Rehearsal Winter ‘93’ demo thrown in as a bonus on Side B, bumping the whole thing up into something approaching proper full-length territory. A nice eight-page A5 booklet is also included so, all in all, there’s plenty to get you chops into.

While adding in the bonus tracks was a good idea theoretically, unfortunately ‘Rehearsal Winter ‘93’ isn’t really much use and it serves only to detract from the overall quality of the album. But ‘War Funeral March’ is monumental stuff altogether – great atmosphere, superb vibe, classic feel to it – and certainly worth the price of admission alone.

To summarise: one amazing demo and one worthless one on either side of a landmark(ish) record.

Evilometer: 444/666

VLAP TEPES / BELKETRE – MARCH TO THE BLACK HOLOCAUST 2LP (Drakkar Productions)

Monday, March 11th, 2013

It’s been quite some time since I looked forward to acquiring an album as much as this one. Featuring two of the leading lights from Les Légions Noires, ‘March To The Black Holocaust’ was originally released in 1995 but has just been reissued by Drakkar on both CD and double vinyl. The records caught my attention straight away…

I hadn’t heard this split before, so it’s been quite an experience getting acquainted with it. Both duos are part of French Black Metal folklore and it quickly becomes apparent exactly why they are so infamous: this is sheer, murderous underground pestilence of the most insane variety imaginable. It’s far from easy listening from both parties and at times I am almost in pain as I let the music wash over me (or tear through me).

The eight crimes of Vlad Tepes are contained on the first record, ripping through the speakers like some ancient curse. Belkètre also serves up eight evil, evil contributions, which hiss and spit and reek of hatred and disgust. I can assure you that none of the offerings on this reissue have been remastered! Yet, somehow, the true spirit of Black Metal seems to pervade this hour-long odyssey.

Everything about this release is packed full of hate and the invective contained (or barely contained…) within the substantial liner notes leaves us in no doubt as to the nasty wishes and ill intent of the creators. Eighteen years may have passed since these bands were fully relevant, but they still sound great (strictly in the most analogue and underground of fashions) and, therefore, their legacy lives on.

Evilometer: 555/666