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Arnaut Pavle – Arnaut Pavle [Demo / Re-Release]

arnaut pavle – arnaut pavle [demo / re-release]


Arnaut Pavle, also known as Arnold Paole, was a Serbian Hajduk living in the town of Meduegna. His particular name was remembered as a curious case study documented by two Austrian doctors. In 1725, Arnaut had claimed he had been plagued by a vampire in the location of Gossowa, and had only been cured by eating the soil of the vampire’s grave and smearing his body with blood. Not much later Pavle was killed when he broke his neck falling off a hay-wagon, but some three weeks after his death, four people complained claiming they had been plagued by Arnaut himself. Not much later, these four villagers too died. Upon investigating the grave of Arnaut Pavle, the townsfolk noticed he had not decomposed at all, with fresh blood flowing from his eyes, nose, mouth and ears, and new grown nails on his hand and feet. Convinced he was a vampire, the villagers drove a stake through his heart, causing Arnaut to shriek as if he lived, after which his body was burned by the villagers. The poor deceased victims of Arnaut ended up suffering a similar fate. About five years later, as many as 17 villagers more fell victim to this curious disease. This too was attributed to Arnaut Pavle, concluding that the vampire had tainted the blood of sheep when he still lived, thereby passing on his vampiric curse to wreak havoc years later.

This fascinating story about vampirism serves as a backdrop for a band with the same name, hailing from Finland. Much less is known about the band’s history, but their 2013 debut demo released by Vlad Tapes left quite a stir in the scene. After a vinyl release by Mystiskaos in 2019 that quickly ran out of print, the demo has once again been pressed on vinyl coinciding with the band’s latest album, ‘Transylvanian Glare’.

While the band Arnaut Pavle may hail from Finland, the music played on the self-titled demo is further removed from typical Finnish Black Metal. Instead, the sound is very distinctly inspired by Darkthrone. To be more specific, the music is a bit of a blend of the sound of ‘Under a Funeral Moon’ combined with the more punky approach that the Norwegians adopted on somewhat later albums like ‘Ravishing Grimness’ and ‘The Cult is Alive’. Once in a while some riffs might also be a bit more in the vein of Dødheimsgard’s overlooked ‘Monumental Possession’ album, but most of it has the distinct Fenriz and Nocturna Culto stamp on it. So, what you get is punky old school Black Metal, with a raw guitar sound spewing forth catchy and rocking riffs, a rumbling bass and bareboned drum providing the pulse and raspy vocals topping off the filthy grooving madness. The band doesn’t shy away from a melodic lead here and there either, only enhancing that 80’s origin of the music further. But the true triumph of the band is their ability to write memorable riffs that are hooky as hell, raw and rowdy and authentic yet fresh in sound. As such, there is not a dull moment in any of the seven tracks, and conveniently, the same tracks repeat on the B side so you can just flip the record and play the demo again once you’re finished. In other words, an absolutely great demo that is very worth being re-released!

Arnaut Pavle

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