Kamphar- Mellon Skogkledde Aaser (1997/2004)

What ding-dong dreamed up the idea to “digitally remastered” this album? Emperor started that stupid trend. While that album did sound like it was recorded in a cave with a bear being water-boarded in the background. But that was the exception, not the rule. Messing with the original version of an album has the same mentality as moving Confederate war memorials. It is an attempt to make history “better” instead of allowing future generations to make their own judgments.

Bands want to make their work as good as possible, but at the same time I want to listen to a 1997 album, not the 2004 reworked version of the album. The raw, dirty, analog sound was what made Black Metal and brought it to the attention of the world. Cleaning up this album changed what was originally a blackened pagan/folk sound to Viking Metal/ Symphonic Black Metal. While good, great really, it is not the album that I wanted to review.

Here is a review that explains and dissects the album in great detail. richieblackmetal is more generous and forgiving giving it 85%. I can’t label it a dumpster fire, but by 2004 the best symphonic black metal album had already been out for seven years. This work is akin to Bob Dylan reworking Blowing in the Wind in a hip-hop style. Remastering Mellon Skogkledde Aaser destroyed it’s historic relevance. It was a piece of the Norwegian black metal story and now it’s just another album.

Random Download; Vinter II (2010)

Vinter II is a Swedish folk/layered-soundscape/psych album that I came across over at SpaceRockMountain. An interesting album, mellow, moody, erie, pagan and hard to listen to in the daytime, although it is defiantly one for the digital collection.
This album is so moody that the majority of the time it won’t be appealing, but once in a while, in the proper setting, this would be an excellent listen. Middle of the night, in the woods, alone, with a few too many dabs… It would rate a solid 98% (in that setting).
However, that is a rare experience in real life and so the intense mood of this album detracts somewhat, but as a free release it is a must have; 84%.