At the very end of 2022 Medieval Prophecy Productions released this compilation LP that contains both Gouffre demos, 2019’s ‘1: Grim Spirit’ and ‘Crawling Death’ from 2021. The product is presented in a minimalistic way, which serves the underground spirit well.
On side A we find the first demo, which was originally released by Rempart Immortel label, run by Sidney Schmitz, one of the main underground activists and musicians from the Belgian extreme metal scene. It got a second run two years later by Medieval Prophecy Productions, so this Gouffre demo tape is probably the one that is spread best. It were, however, the first recordings that the world heard of this Belgian band and it is a downright treat for anyone who loves their Black Metal without any frills, raw and to a large extent drenched in Norwegian traditions. The four tracks, including an instrumental intro, breathe an authentic ambience that resembles bands like demo-era Armagedda and both early Mayhem and Gorgoroth.
The second demo is obviously added to the B-side of the LP, and largely offers the same sort of Black Metal as on ‘Grim Spirit’. The sound of this second demo is basically the only difference, a little rawer even than its predecessor but overall a damp and dense sound that fits the music equally good. The music itself is still very much in the vein of the three Norwegian bands that I used to draw references with. Yet, the music tends to lean more towards early Gorgoroth and less to ‘Volkermord’-era Armagedda, but the hateful, fierce and ferocious riffs are equally cold and sharp, serving us with some of the best Belgian Black Metal of the recent years.