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Old School Metal. Sales Campaign + a lesson in metal history = win-win situation!

Dark Essence Records_Old School Metal Sales Campaign

We hope you’ve had a nice Summer and maybe even a bit of vacation. September is upon us now, and we continue our sale campaign. This week, we will focus on our old-school orientated metal bands.

At Dark Essence Records we’re old metalheads, so we do enjoy the classic metal bands a lot. Hence, it’s only natural that we’ve released some albums with bands that has the good old metal feeling.

The first of these bands we worked with was the Bergen-based band The Batallion, featuring Tore Bratseth from Old Funeral and the Motorhead cover band Bömbers on guitar and vocals. You could also find members from bands like Gaahl’s Wyrd, Grimfist, Taake and Borknagar in this classic band. The two albums we released with The Batallion are filled with testosterone fueled, classic thrash metal, and it’s hard not to bang your head to these records. Unfortunately, the band has been put on ice since 2012, but we hope they might re-emerge again.

Not long after we released the first The Batallion album, we did the first album of Dead To This World, which at the time was a duo consisting of Iscariah (ex-Immortal, ex-Necrophagia) and Kvitrafn Einar Selvik (ex-Gorgoroth, now main composer in Wardruna). The debut “First Strike for Spiritual Renewance” came out in 2007, and was a punch in the face of blackened thrash metal. The band changed a lot of members in that period, before they moved on to our friends at Soulseller Records.

In the summer of 2014 we went to Sweden and found the band Alfahanne, via Hoest in Taake. He had befriended the Swedes, and he introduced us to a band that had a great blackened mix of old-school metal, punk, hard rock and new wave, and they got a lot of recognition for the debut “Alfapokalyps”. We did the 2nd album as well, before they found a new home at our friends at Indie Recordings.

One of the greatest old-school bands from Norway in the recent years is Black Magic, and we were pleased to get the chance to re-release their classic debut, “Wizard’s Spell” in 2019. Originally released in 2014, this one has been hailed as one of the instant classics within the thrash, speed, classic metal world. Now, we’re just waiting for their follow up album to be finished.

To backtrack a bit, and maybe go to a more classic hard rock direction, we have to include the band Bourbon Flame in this campaign. Their only self-titled album was released in 2007, and the band consisted of Janto (ex-Hades Almighty), Ice Dale (Enslaved) and Erik Johnston (ex-Aeternus). Bourbon Flame was a homage of sorts to the bands the members loved when they grew up, but the band was a bit short lived due to the busy schedule of those involved.

We feel that our more death metal orientated bands are sort of in the old school thinking as well –  and since we just mentioned Aeternus, we’d like to offer two of the albums we’ve done with this legendary Bergen band. “…and the Seventh His Soul Detesteth” and “Heathen” were all very well received and stand well within the Aeternus catalogue.

After former Aeternus drummer Erik Johnston quit the band, he joined Sulphur, a band consisting of Øyvind Madsen from Vulture Industries among others. Technical, fast and brutal, both the albums “Thorns in Existence” and “Omens of Doom” got good feedback. It’s been a bit quiet around the band the past few years, but hopefully, something new will come up soon.

Another one-off project, this time started by Vgandr (Helheim, ex-Aeternus, Taake live), was Deathcon (originally called Cult of Catharsis). After a lot of line-up changes, the album “Monotremata” (2006) was a brutal, old-school death metal album, done by members who plays in/has played in bands like Helheim, Aeternus, Taake, Gaahl’s Wyrd, Grimfist and The Batallion among others.

Most of our old-school bands have been from the Bergen area, but there’s one really old school death metal gem which hails from Ukraine. Consisting of members from Drudkh, Blood of Kingu, Precambrian and others, Rattenfänger is a full-blooded old-school death metal band. Their two albums sound like they were written and released in the early 90s, and are as brutal, dark and heavy as you can imagine. All death metal fans should have their albums, “Epistolae Obscurorum Virorum” and “Geisslerlieder” in their collection.

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Rattenfänger album “Epistolae Obscurorum Virorum” is out now!

Earlier this autumn, Dark Essence Records, announced proudly the signing of Ukrainian band Rattenfänger! Now, the debut album “Epistolae Obscurorum Virorum” is finally out.

The band is a new project from the musicians behind cult acts like Drudkh, Old Silver Key, Blood of Kingu, Dark Ages and more, but Rattenfänger is a different beast entirely.

The debut album, entitled “Epistolae Obscurorum Virorum”, is a masterpiece of old-school death metal. Rattenfänger’s sound is pitch black and bone crushingly brutal. It is Death Metal in its original form – and it is devastating. Inevitably there will be nuances from the members other projects, and comparisons can also be made with bands such as Celtic Frost, early Darkthrone, Asphyx, Winter, Bolt Thrower and Nihilist amongst others, but Rattenfänger, is the epitome of old-school death metal and the album has its own, very distinctive, sound.

The name Rattenfänger is taken from the legend of the Pied Piper of Hamelin (Rattenfänger von Hameln), who was hired by the townsfolk of Hameln, Germany, to rid the town of the rats that had overrun it. Unfortunately he is deceived and cheated of his payment, and he exacts a dreadful revenge on the citizens. The lyrics are in Latin, written in style of medieval poets, thinkers and troubadours/minstrels.

So far, the reviews has been very good:
Rock Hard:
RATTENFÄNGER
Epistolae Obscurorum Virorum
Dark Essence/Soulfood (42:00)
Keine Angst! RATTENFÄNGER ist kein neues Mittelalterprojekt sondern steht für infernalischen Old School (Doom) Death Metal à la Winter oder den langsamen Stücken von Asphyx mit durchgehend lateinischen (!) Texten. Zwar nerven die eintönigen Growls und die zu simplen Schlagzeugarrangements mit der Zeit ein wenig, aber grundsätzlich ist das Debüt des ukrainische Allstarprojekts (aus u. a. Musikern von Drudkh) ein blutiges Leckerli für alle Death Metal Zombies, die den Blast Beat-Holocaust der letzten beiden Jahrzehnte überlebt haben. Alle, die ihren Death Metal primitiv, roh und vor allem auch atmosphärisch wollen, können hier nichts falsch machen. Und auch so mancher Funeral Doom-Fans wird an RATTENFÄNGER Gefallen finden. Reinhören!
8 Punkte, Bruder Cle

83/100 – Zware Metalen
12/15 – Twilight Magazin
8/10 – Metal Glory
8/10 – Metal.tm
8/10 – Xtreem Music
4/5 – Muziek.nl

Get your copy here!