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Released in 1996, The Black Tower is the first official recording from Finland's Warloghe. Emerging from the depths of the black metal scene just a year earlier, these guys sound nothing like most of the other bands from their country. One should not expect the chaotic sounds of Beherit, Archgoat or early Impaled Nazarene. As well, this really does not possess the level of Norway-worship that is present in the old recordings from Horna and Behexen, among others. There is an element of that, but mostly Warloghe seems to take inspiration from the French Black Legions.
Musically, this is very dismal and bleak. The guitar melodies are cold and somewhat depressive, emphasized by the bass lines. Of the three real songs on here, only two are well-developed. "Nightly Storms" is rather dynamic, though more fast-paced. The drumming can be a bit sloppy, at times, but this really does not matter. The haunting and melancholic tremolo riffs, as well as the extremely grim vocals, are the main focus and create a very dark feeling. "He Who Comes With the Dawn" is more mid-paced and possesses a very morbid atmosphere. It speeds up, later on, but never for too long. This is the sort of black metal that there should be much more of, these days. Grim, ugly and dark.
The production is fairly alright, for a demo. It sounds pretty rough, though is clear enough for the riffs to be heard while still possessing a raw feeling. The guitars are kind of thin, but this helps provide a sharp and cold sound. Drums are not really much of a factor. The bass is, surprisingly, more audible than is often the case. The vocals are a little high, but not so much as to take away from anything. All in all, everything comes together very well.
Warloghe is a band that should be better known in the underground. Fans of Mütiilation and Moonblood would likely appreciate the sort of raw and mournful black metal that is present on The Black Tower. It is a shame that these guys vanished after only a few recordings, as they had a much better sense of what this music is about than so many others that will seemingly never die. Seek this out in whatever manner that you must.
Written for http://ritesoftheblackmoon.tripod.com
Warloghe are for me the unsung heroes of the Finnish black metal scene. Bands like Horna, Behexen and Satanic Warmaster get a lot more attention, while Warloghe seem to be lurking in the shadows. If I remember correctly, the band’s name means “oathbreaker”, as in breaking the oath with god. So, let’s check out what their only demo has to offer. “The Black Tower” starts with a nice acoustic piece in the shape of “The Mist of Aeons”. The three tracks that follow consist of raw and somewhat melancholic black metal without synths. Musical comparisons can be made to early Graveland and 90s French black metal. Despite the fact that we’re dealing with raw black metal the sound isn’t that bad at all. The instruments are well balanced in the mix with the bass taking a surprisingly prominent role.
Even though Warloghe aren’t doing anything that revolutionary here, I still like the music a lot. The band stay faithful to their influences and are obviously content with that. What I further like about Warloghe is that there is a kind of sickening feel to their music. When you listen, it’s like something takes possession of you and forces you into a negative state of mind. The only other band that has given me the same type of sickening feel is early Mütiilation material. The biggest reason for this sickening feel lies in the vocals of Eorl Torht Tyrannus aka Glaurung. They’re very cruel and affect me in a way that I start to experience a lot of negative emotions. Every track on this demo is good but I’d say my favourite is “He Who Comes With Dawn”. During this track I get the strongest feelings of negativity and melancholy. The only serious complaint from my side concerning “The Black Tower” would be about the fadeout of the last track. It sounds very rushed, the track just ends too abruptly.