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It's good. No really, it is. - 64%

Shadespawn, October 2nd, 2008

Moonblood's first plastic release, in form of a tape in 1994. It bears the simple name of the band itself "Moonblood". Moonblood have been around for quite a while now, hailing from Germany and rising from the ashes of the second wave of black metal, which was severely decimated in about 94'. They only release material on tapes or vinyl for whatever reasons they may have. Moonblood represents the spirit of black metal that they try (and succeed for that matter) to preserve and conserve. 2005 was my first encounter with them and at that time at least, it was still a bit difficult to get a hold of their stuff. But with the growing number of "specialist" amongst friends and the Internet nowadays, it has become fairly simple.

The musical presentation on this tape is amazing. Epic themes and interesting song structures are what make this release majestic. There have been many connections to the "NSBM" scene considering this band, but the way they present their music is (almost) ideology-free and shouldn't be a bother for that matter. Since this tape is very limited (about 160 copies), the only place to get it from is the Internet or, if one is inclined to spend a small fortune on one of the original tapes, from traders. First time I listened to this, I was hypnotized by the dark and sinister sounding intro with a very desperate and old sounding guitar tone. It's a simple melody that can be played on only one string. Simple, but very effective. A very high pitched guitar tone accompanies the songs as they progress, as well as a tormented, guttural screaming M. Schmat. The guitars and vocals are recorded well and do not overlap each other, which makes it more pleasant to listen to. One can barely hear the bass, but since this is only a rehearsal demo tape, it's not surprising. The atmosphere the tape creates is really evil and without compromises, once you turn up the volume, it really grasps your attention. For the trained ear, this tape may be an excellent, flawless piece of black metal, but for listeners of better quality such as Burzum or Darkthrone, listening to this may indeed prove to be a rather difficult task.

So why the 64% low rating, if I like this tape so much? As this tape may be recorded in stereo, or at least sounds like it is, there is one major flaw: the drums. The quality of the drums on 1994 - Moonblood is really awful. It's almost intolerable. In fact, it's so difficult to enjoy this, solely because of this fact. It goes even as far, as the musical coulisse becomes a soup of mushy cymbal and snare strokes, sounding more like an annoying hissing than actual drum patterns. Now, normally I wouldn't complain, as listening to such artists as Merzbow and liking them really builds up your endurance for buzzing or hissing in music. While that may be true, that doesn't change the fact that Merzbow is intended to sound like that, whereas Moonblood actually have nice drum parts and beats and it's really annoying when one can not listen to them due to their poor quality. In other words: noise music fills different holes with different initial emotions, whereas black metal fulfills other needs.

A nice highlight on this album is track nr.4, which reminds of Chopin's funeral march, as it shares the same melody. Recommended for fans of great black metal, who have nerves made out of steel.