At the same time as the release of White Rune’s debut album, Hammer Of Hate also releases this compilation containing both demo tapes from 2021 (both originally released by Cycle Of Horror Productions). The debut album and this compilation have similar cover art in a different hue, showing them to be a good two-unit.
Although I thought ‘Dawn Of The White Rune’ was a pretty decent debut, I did have my objections to the somewhat too clear and clean sound and also the slightly too thick layer of keyboards both making for a somewhat artificial sound. I cannot say the same for these demo recordings. On these demo tracks, the band sounds much more balanced and the sound is more natural. Of course, keyboards are also present here, but they are more supportive and do not play the leading role. Also, the production is a bit less sterile which makes everything fall into place a bit better and it also retains an authentic Black Metal sound. Finally, the melodic lead guitars also fall into better territory. In other words, on the debut, White Rune actually seems a little too far gone in its ambitions to bring bombastic, symphonic keyboard-driven Black Metal. The band sounds much better on both of these demos and it goes without saying that I prefer this compilation over the debut album. (FelixS)