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A gem of the German Underground... - 90%

Harbardrsvolket, August 7th, 2019
Written based on this version: 1996, Cassette, Independent (Limited edition)

That here is no review of this release, can not stay that way.

The "Demo 96" is the best thing that Mayhemic Truth, later named Morrigan ever released in my view. The sound could be better, but you have to remember when it came out and that it was just a demo. I remember exactly when I bought the tape in 1996 and listened to it for the first time. I was blown away. Immediately I remembered Bathory's epic glories. A real milestone of the german Black (Pagan) Metal underground. For me, it's the perfect mix of epic and hardness, which bathory did not do well at the time. If you liked the later work "Enter the Sea of ​​Flames", you will love that Demo 96.

The intro is the perfect match for such a work. It has a very dark atmosphere and is strongly reminiscent of medieval darkness. The first song "Lady Morgaine" is a rather classic metal song, without much gimmicks in midtempo, but very good. I love the refrain part "sacrifice". The second song is a true classic of the band, just because of the godlike clear vocals in the refrain. The slightly playful keyboard again brings a medieval atmosphere into the music. For me the best song on that cassette. "Morrigan" then goes much more into the Black Metal direction and the tempo gets a little faster. Here we have probably the name of the later renaming of the band. From 2:45 a keyboard and a choir used, what is just genius, very bathoryesque. "Carrion of War" promises what the title would like to tell us. A very warlike mid-tempo song that lives and grows again from the short keyboard operations. "Fire and Ice" again hits the face with higher speed and hardness. When I speak of speed here, it is less about fast, it is more of a dignified speed which one knows from older Black Metal works from the first wave. The last song "Conspiracy of the Golden Angels" is again settled more in the slow area and interspersed with choirs and clear vocals. The screams are not missing, but here are rather less work. This makes the song very epic and makes a perfect end for the demo.

What has been accused the band more often that the melodies and riffs would be cheap, is completely nonsense. Such people did not understand the sense of black (pagan) metal. simple and catchy riffs, with an old school touch are the leitmotif here. And that was done very, very well. A real gemof the german underground.