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A grim introduction to two underground acts - 67%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, September 19th, 2016

"Grim Moonlight Upon Transylvania" is one of very many early cassettes made by Mons Veneris and Forbidden Citadel of Spirits from nearly opposite sides of the planet (Portugal and Australia respectively). It's buried quite deeply in both groups' discographies but it's worth checking out for one song's near-experimental nature and the extreme primitivism of the other.

Mons Veneris leads off with "Vlad Dracul (Lord of Transylvania)", a long creepy atmospheric piece that steals up on you with quietly sinister background noise chitter - just as a real vampire might if s/he's not all that interested in social niceties like "My name is Dracula and I've come to suck your blood" - which becomes a juddery hypnotic drone of tippy-tappy cymbal, buzzy tremolo guitar noise and croaking vocal rasp. The song has a surprising bass groove lending a sinuous quality to the tinny rasping music. The song loops over and over, not changing much apart from increasing in intensity and the vocals appearing to split into a choir of screeching demons until the 8th minute when it all collapses into white noise slash, howling voice and skulking bass moan. This groaning, throbbing instrumental section of the song is the best part and it's worth the rest of the track to sit through.

Forbidden Citadel of Spirits' "Moonlight Cast Upon Thy Waters of Sorrow" is a raw and punky piece of primitive black metal played on crumbly guitar and biscuit-tin drums, presided over by a demon who obviously got out of the wrong side of bed with a splitting headache. The screaming is something to be heard in the constant complaining. The music bashes away for dear life until the halfway point where it almost collapses with drums trying to get back into a routine and the guitars just hanging repeatedly on one jagged chord. The song settles into a sedate routine before speeding up near the end where the demon gets more animated and agitated, perhaps because his splitting headache is splitting the rest of him.

The cassette is an interesting introduction into two very underground bands if you know absolutely nothing about them. Of course once you investigate more of these two bands' work, you might find you'll be listening to this tape much less to the point it becomes invisible. While both songs are good primitive raw noise BM pieces in their own way, they don't offer anything that's not been heard before and the sound quality is shitty to boot.