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I disagree with Gelal - 85%

Pestbesmittad, February 24th, 2008

This demo was recorded while GBK’s former drummer Lord Vlad Luciferian was still in the band. It differs from the usual style of GBK by adding Nordic black metal and vampiric influences to the band’s trademark sound. Guitarist Gelal doesn’t like this demo at all. According to him, “the lyrics hinted at some vampire shit and the whole idea of being mistaken for a fucking vampire Nordic black metal band sickens me to this day” (quote from a fanzine interview). Well, I really doubt anyone would mistake GBK for such. Besides, this is absolutely not a bad demo even if Gelal hates it. I must confess that I like the vampiric and Nordic black metal influences a lot.

“In Rapture by the Fenrir Moon” starts with the sound of wolves howling accompanied by drums, which gives me a vampiric black metal feeling immediately. For some reason, the intro was dropped from the re-recorded version on “Mocking the Philanthropist”. The version of the track on this demo is rougher than the one on the album and it also highlights the main problem of “Triumph of the Hordes”: the guitar is mixed too low and the guitar sound is also pretty thin. During the blast parts it’s almost impossible to understand the riffs, as the drums and vocals tend to overpower the guitar. Only by listening to the re-recorded version on “Mocking the Philanthropist” was I able to understand all the riffs well. Having said that, the guitar sound and the mixing of the guitar are the only negative points here. Both the vocals and the music on this demo are very good in my opinion. Vlad has a good vampiric voice and his vocals really fit the atmosphere of the music.

“Sleeping Princess of the Arges” is 100% guilty of Gelal’s vampire/gothic accusations but it’s a very good track nonetheless. Gelal doesn’t like the female vocals on this track, as Vlad apparently added them without the others’ permission. However, I think the female vocals fit the mood and the lyrics of the song very well (there’s a kind of dialogue going on between the male and the female voice throughout the track). This track has no blast parts, so it’s easier to hear the riffs - not to mention the fine melodies and the solo. “Sleeping Princess of the Arges” is one of GBK’s best tracks in my humble opinion.

The last track is a mid-tempo instrumental with a distorted bass playing the main melody while occasionally being supported by acoustic guitars. In the background of this track you can hear some guitar effects and keyboards. If GBK ever did anything that could be called dark metal, then it’s definitely “Erubus”. By the way, the riff at the end of “When Darkness Rears Itself a Throne” was later used on “The Holocaust Trumpeter” from the debut album.

Yes, this demo shows a somewhat different side of GBK, yet it’s definitely the GBK we all know and love. At the time this demo came out (1994) Nordic black metal was making big waves in the underground and influenced a lot of people. Keeping this fact in mind, it’s not difficult to understand that some of those influences found their way onto “Triumph of the Hordes” as well.