Geimhre / Shade - _For the Blood of Our Hinterland / ISA_
(Stellar Winter, 2005)
by: Quentin Kalis (7 out of 10 and 6 out of 10 respectively)
Although Stellar Winter primarily focus on Ukrainian and Russian NSBM, apparently they are not averse to releasing material by bands from other countries -- in this case, Canada. Presumably, they conform to the ideological expectations of a label synonymous with Slavic NSBM.

Geimhre's contribution was recorded in 2003 and consists of eight songs of raw black metal with an acoustic guitar surfacing occasionally to lend atmosphere. Whether deliberate or accidental, the fretboard squeaks complement the underproduced feel of the album. The distorted vocals (could it be a broken microphone, as in Burzum's _Filosofem_?) sound particularly apt against this background.

Whilst not groundbreakingly brilliant, it is a more than adequate representation of underproduced black metal -- enjoyment which is not expected after opening with an unimaginative sample from Romper Stomper (the exact same one that has used by Der Sturmer on 2001's _The Blood Calls for WAR!_).

Shade's three song EP was originally released in 1998 and constitutes their sole release, with the band splitting up shortly afterwards. The reasons for the break up are unknown, but given that the remaining band members (apart from vocalist Vargr) are described in the CD booklet as the "lowest breed of scum", I can only assume that the break up was not amicable.

It is not apparent why Stellar Winter resurrected this EP. The poorly produced black metal with strong overtones of Darkthrone's seminal _Transilvanian Hunger_ and Immortal's _Pure Holocaust_ is far from original; nor is it such a particularly compelling interpretation that a re-release was warranted. While the tracks do contain more riffs per song than the average _TH_ number, they retain the associated simplicity. Shade may be better than average, but there are many active bands that perform the exact same style with greater conviction.

Contact: http://www.thepaganfront.com/stellarwinter/eng.html

(article published 20/9/2006)


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