January 6, 2016

A final glance back at 2015 with two essential compilations - "Die...Hard" by Sarcofago and "Invocations of Darkness" by Vassafor.

Before turning my attention to 2016 and some of the beauties it’s already set to bring us I felt it was only right to take a quick look back at two very important releases from the tail end of 2015 that are absolutely essential purchases. This isn’t a review as such, just a bit of info on compilations that feature material not previously available on CD from two of the underground’s greatest bands – Sarcofago and Vassafor.


Greyhaze Records in conjunction with Brazil’s legendary Cogumelo Records, has just released “Die…Hard” by Sarcofago, an official demo collection and the only ever official release of the pioneers’ demos. "Die…Hard" features material that has never been made available before, including the band’s very first demo from 1986 as well as tracks that were recorded for the Rotting EP and The Laws of Scourge – all packaged nicely within a 6 panel digipak that includes a glossy sixteen page inlay. With the band’s demos being shamelessly bootlegged across the globe for many years it’s the stuff dreams are made of to have them officially released with the original recordings carefully restored and re-mastered to make it even more appealing. The inlay also visually represents the band’s career with photos capturing their evolution along with special liner notes by none other than Wagner Antichrist. It would be impossible to overstate Sarcofago’s influence and contribution to the world of extreme metal, classic releases such as I.N.R.I., Rotting and The Laws of Scourge helped shape and influence so many bands across the spectrums of black and death metal and Sarcofago’s influence can still be heard within so much of  today’s music. With a total of twenty tracks across eighty minutes there’s no doubting the value you’re getting here. This said there’s probably an asshole, somewhere, that will complain at having three versions of some tracks on this CD. Herein lies the beauty of “Die…Hard,” hearing the evolution of tracks from demo to studio is something that should and will appeal to anyone with more than a passing interest in extreme music and its evolution. This is the first official Sarcofago release in fifteen years and “Die…Hard” shows a band setting a standard for extreme metal that will influence it for many years to come. To officially release these recordings is possibly one of the most exciting releases for underground metal of recent years and this release will not only have Sarcofago fans salivating but will also appeal to anyone with an interest in the history and evolution of black and death metal. 
Do not underestimate the importance of this excellent compilation. 


1 - Intro da Satanas
2 - Satanas
3 - Nightmare
4 - Third Slaughter
5 - Intro da Satanas
6 - Satanas
7 - Nightmare
8 - Third Slaughter
9 - Intro
10 - Satanas
11 - Nightmare
12 - Third Slaughter
13 - The Black Vomit
14 – INRI
15 - Christ's Death
16 - Desecration of Virgin
17 - Satanic Lust
18 - Alcoholic Coma
19 - Secrets of a Window
20 - Satanic Lust. (Instrumental)

Vassafor - Invocations of Darkness (Debemur Morti Productions)

Back in January 2015 highly respected and prolific underground label Debemur Morti Productions announced their signing of one of New Zealand’s finest underground bands, Vassafor, who are one undoubtedly of the greatest proponents of blackened death metal to grace our world. Initially formed in the mid 1990’s Vassafor released their first demo in 1997 but it would unfortunately be 2005 before a second demo was released, followed by two EP releases in subsequent years – Southern Vassaforian Hell in 2006 and their self-titled EP in 2007. A further demo, “Promo MMX” was released in 2010 and the excellent compilation “Elegy of the Archeonaut” followed in 2012, along with their critically acclaimed debut LP, “Obsidian Codex.” A split release with Sinistrous Diabolus and live album “Death Transmission” saw Vassafor further increase their output during 2014. Vassafor thankfully maintained their momentum and 2015 was a fantastic year for them – first they brought us “Call of the Maelstrom,” a split LP with Temple Nightside which, understandably, grabbed the number 2 spot on my top 25 album releases of the year. This was followed by their first ever European tour where they played eleven dates alongside Ascension, Bolzer and Dysangelium, with special guest appearances from bands such as Destroyer 666 and The Ruins of Beverast along the way. With recording for a new album well under way there’s no better way to celebrate and round off such a prolific year than with this release – two and a half hours of unbeatable black/death metal spread across three CDs and packaged in a stunning digipak with foldout inlay/poster.

Invocations of Darkness is a massive and highly significant release that captures all Vassafor material released and recorded between 2010 and 2014 that, prior to now, was never released on CD. This is a perfect starting point for new fans of the band but also a brilliant addition to any current fans collection. This is most definitely one of the best value and most impressive compilations I’ve ever had the fortune to own, this release is an absolute “must own” for any fan of blackened death metal. Essential.

Invocations of Darkness features all the material from:

"Promo MMX" demo (2010) "Obsidian Codex" 2x12" LP (2012) Split LP with SINISTROUS DIABOLUS (2014) - "Call of the Maelstrom" split LP with TEMPLE NIGHTSIDE (2015) and "Obsidian Codex" tape. (2015)

The huge track listing of Invocations of Darkness is as follows:

Codex I - Mortis
1. Initium
2. Rites of Ascension
3. Phoenix of the Malestrom
4. Craft of Dissolution
5. Crowned in Irradiated Ashes
6. Obsidian King
7. Tormentum Aeturnum (MYSTIFIER cover)

Codex II - Fatum
1. Ossuary in Darkness
2. Nemesis
3. Abysmal Herald of Desolation
4. Makutu

Codex III - Antiquitas
1. To Your Grave
2. Sunya
3. Elegy of the Accurser
4. Obsessed by Cruelty (SODOM cover)
5. Archeonaut’s Return
6. Scourge of the Kingdom (ZEMIAL cover)
7. Son of the Moon (VARATHRON cover)

"Die...Hard" by Sarcofago is currently available from Greyhaze Records.

"Invocations of Darkness" by Vassafor is currently available from Debemur Morti Productions and also directly from Vassafor.

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