Long awaited but finally released during the last dark days of 2003.
Both bands play the purest black metal. Empire Of Hate contributes five tracks, which are the band's first ones to see the dead of the night. These morbid songs will appeal to those who like Mütiilation and Maniac Butcher with it's dissonant riffs and insane and extremely hateful vocals.
Morthond's tracks are previously released as "Somber Deathwinds" cdr, by Profane Productions in the early days of 2003. Their music carries the freezing cold atmosphere of the old Darkthrone releases to new, haunting levels, through the use of keyboards and sickened and tortured vocals.
Empire Of Hate review:
The Empire of Hate-Promo 2003
-Reviewed by jellyfish
Australia is seen by most people as a sunny place, a surfers paradise. Think Sydney, kangaroos, red rooster chicken, and of course, Nicole Kidman. Imagine our suprise when we got this cd-r demo handed over to us, played it, and realized we struck gold. The five songs presented here are extremely cold and dark, terms often flaunted like jewelery but rarely significant - yet in the case of The Empire of Hate, their motives seem quite clear: spinechilling black metal is key. Combining the rawness of French groups (think Remains...-era Mutiilation) with the winter air atmospheres of certain Polish groups (think Veles-Night on Bare Mountain), this demo had us gaga from the getgo. The thick haunted atmosphere that hugs the guitar is incredible here, providing the backdrop for the vocals, which range from sounding like a possessed incantation to whispered screams of someones final stages of death, and the drums which are played in a very barbaric manner. The production caps it off with a very full and silver-tone to it.
Comments: "The Remains..." is easily the best song to have ever been penned inside the shoreline of Australia. Apparently a rare item so look hard, finding this is essential for recapturing the black metal feeling.
Comparisons: Veles, Infernum, early Mutiilation, with a bit of something unheard of before.
Criticisms: None. We lapped it up like a dog in heat.
"The coldness emitted from the music here reminds me of early Nordic black metal, though the uncanny trance inducing vibe reminds me of Abyssic Hate's newer stuff. New one-man project out of the now festering California scene."
Morthond review from full length album "Paths of desolation":
"Picking up where the impressive "Somber Deathwinds" demo material left off, Paths of Desolation finds Morthond obtaining a more powerful production for this full-length debut album to further haunt all those who choose to open themselves to the experience. Obscure harmonies, uniquely twisted guitar lines and the tortured screams of Thorstadt yearn for the grave and urge the listener to follow along this depressive path. With an ideology that demands the destruction of elitist rhetoric and scenester mentality, Morthond is pure/volatile black metal for those who wish to stand alone and return to a time where this form of music was more about artistic expression than it was a fashion show. 8 tracks. Nearly 60 minutes of depressive black metal abuse. CD is available through Worm Gear Distribution (http://crionicmind.org/wormdistro/news.htm ) and will start filtering out to all our global distro contacts in the coming month. "
Album: Somber Deathwinds
This is a demo from Morthond, an American band that plays trancelike black metal
in the vein of mid-career Burzum or early Darkthrone.
The first thing you'll notice about this record is how much it sounds like it
was written in 1994. This band has done a great job in replicating the
second-wave black metal guitar sound, especially the extended high tones. The
drum parts are well-played but minimal, for the most part, and placed quite low
in the mix. Vocals are a tortured scream, and the sparse way in which they're
used is quite effective in conveying an oppressive atmosphere. Simple keyboard
parts are used every now and then, always as background to the guitar.
For the most part, the album is slow-paced. The sheer amount of repetition
reminds me of Darkthrone's Transilvanian Hunger, or more recently, Abyssic Hate.
Each song is built from seemingly simple building blocks, but the combination
thereof is quite complex, and tiny variations in the patterns are used to
tremendous effect. The songwriting here shows a good deal of quality, in that
the album is repetitive without being too predictable, and the riffs are obscure
but still hold emotional power.
While almost any competent band can ape the sound of the early black metal
masters, very few can manage to truly replicate the feeling of those works.
Morthond is one of these notable exceptions. This album is extremely
atmospheric, yet the individual riffs are quite memorable, making it very easy
to lose oneself in the music. All in all, "Somber Deathwinds" is a very
impressive demo, and holds a great deal of promise for an even better debut.
Standout tracks: "The Wandering Apparition", "Lost in the Fog of Dissonance"
"Morthond is for the very few who still view black metal as a form of art.
It has nothing to do with the pathetic and desperate practices that take
place within the scene today, such as: elitism over what releases one has
and what format they're on, having gay sex because its blasphemous,
reading the bible backwards to scare old ladies, claiming to practice
pedophilia because blasphemy and racism just aren't shocking enough
anymore, and any other act the weaklings in the scene practice today.
Morthond is not for scenesters, collectors, gossipers, BM fashion gurus,
wannabe elitists, and those who treat black metal as a social club.
Morthond is morbid and desolate black metal inspired by the likes of
Burzum, Judas Iscariot, and the old Polish and French scenes, yet contains
a style and feeling of its own. The music is designed to be an escape from
a backwards world that places the weak above the strong and rejects the
value of honor and strength." - Thorstadt for Morthond, 2004
Morthond crawled from abyssic obscurity in Jan 2001 with the intention of
creating pure and hypnotic black metal. Originally self released in April
02 by sole member, Thorstadt, the Somber Deathwinds demo offered 4 tracks
of minimalistic and vastly atmospheric blackness that inspired the
listener to escape into the cavernous reaches of the mind. The grim drone
of dissonance was the perfect catalyst for Thorstadt to explore and praise
his musical influences with this perfectly bleak sound canvas of sonic
isolationism. Impressed by the woodland aura of Somber Deathwinds, Profane
Productions then re-released the material in Nov '02 with an unreleased
intro track and different cover design. One year later, the demo is
re-released yet again, this time in cassette format as a split with Empire
of Hate (Oz) by Heiden Hart Productions in Holland. As the demo continued
to gain momentum and supporters, Thorstadt was hard at work writing and
recording the 8 tracks that would become Paths of Desolation, Morthond’s
first full-length effort and debut for Bindrune Recordings. Picking up
where the demo material left off, Paths of Desolation finds Morthond
obtaining a more powerful production for this material to further haunt
all those who choose to open themselves to the experience. Obscure
harmonies, uniquely twisted guitar lines and the tortured screams of
Thorstadt yearn for the grave and urge the listener to follow along this
depressive path. With an ideology that demands the destruction of elitist
rhetoric and scenester mentality, Morthond is pure/volatile black metal
for those who wish to stand alone and return to a time where this form of
music was more about artistic expression than it was a fashion show.