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Enthroned – Promo 94 [Demo / Re-Release]

enthroned – promo 94 [demo / re-release]


Enthroned is without a glimmer of a doubt one of the most important bands of the Belgian extreme metal scene. Though being formed back in 1993, in those very thriving formative years of the Black Metal scene, the band’s roots go back further into the late 80’s through bands like the massively underrated evil Death Metal band Blasphereion (and its predecessor Morbid Death). Throughout those three decades plus the band have managed to release quite a few genre defining Black Metal records that helped shape the local Belgian scene as well as the all-hell-breaks-loose sort of Black Metal in general.

Though Enthroned was taken less seriously during the 00’s, I think it is fair to rehabilitate them as they have stayed true to the very beginnings of the band. Basically their musical blueprint is pretty one-dimensional, in a good way. Enthroned has never been a band that tried anything new in the sense of adding things overly industrial, symphonic or anything that remotely reeks of commercialism. While the band has no original members left from their earliest days, the band still is very much recognizable to this very day.

The result of Enthroned’s first step in the studios was a promo tape that they simply titled ‘Promo 94’ – you wouldn’t have guessed it, but it was released in 1994. This promo eventually landed them a deal with both after Dark Records and Evil Omen Records. The first released the 1995 split 7” with Ancient Rites on a great looking picture disc, Evil Omen Records opted for the band’s first full-length album, ‘Prophecies Of Pagan Fire’, which was also released in 1995.

The ‘Promo 94’ tape is surprisingly well-recorded demo, you can even debate that it sounds much better than the average full-length album recorded in those early Black Metal years. It is no surprise that the band had no trouble in striking a deal with these recordings under their belts. But, it wasn’t only the recording quality that amazes, the songs are of an equally impressive level. It is hard to believe that these songs are really about thirty years old. They didn’t only age well, the band was convinced enough of their first recordings that they have re-used them for later recordings. All of the tracks eventually ended up on their 1995 debut album, but ‘Scared By Darkwinds’ was also Enthroned’s contribution to that split 7” EP with Ancient Rites. And right they were, the faster sections do contrast well to the more melodic riffs and the sporadically used keyboards form a wonderful backdrop and fully enhances the ambiance of this almost 25 minute clocking promo tape.

Of course the band would go on and perfecting and refining their craft over the years that would follow. The first albums, arguably their finest hour, are deeply rooted in that 90’s Black Metal sound with lots of nicely tucked away melodies and rhythm changes while their later records opted for a more Marduk-styled war themed Black Metal, performed at breakneck speed. Still, this ‘Promo 94’ tape sounds wonderfully magical and is truly a not to be missed little masterpiece of 90’s Black Metal.