Extreme Productions, 2001
Genre: Black Metal
1. Forest of Damned
2. Winds of North
3. Freezing Lake
4. The Eternal Sleep
5. The Throne
It took me quite a while to track this demo down, but I managed to find it. Reverence first turned up on my radar when they did a split with Blut Aus Nord, but I have never been able to obtain that split vinyl for a decent price. Anyway, Reverence began their career with "Winds of North" which is self recorded demo on CDr limited to 500 hand-numbered copies and I have #242.
Reverence's sound is a very traditional vein and comes right in at the tail end of the 90's. I think Lord Ipes Luciferia put this together during that time frame where one felt the need to distinguish between "true" and "false" Black Metal because in the booklet he states "Fans of false Black Metal; DIE!!!". To be honest there were times this really made sense, I feel a lot of people that really didn't get the genre started appearing around this time. To some degree people still don't really understand it, but I feel like this problem was a lot more prevalent back in the early 2000's. Call me an elitist if you want, but that's honestly how I saw things, and it really stemmed from a general lack of understanding genres as a whole, never mind Black Metal specifically in a lot of cases.
Musically I think "Winds of North" is similar to what bands were producing in the late 90's, with some heavy influence from Satyricon's "Dark Medieval Times". Ipes Luciferia seemed to use a similar format as Satyricon where they had distinct Black Metal sections then some folk influenced sections. So needless to say, Reverence doesn't blast their way through this CD, in fact a lot of the tracks come off as rather soothing and calming. The songs are actually quite well composed and this is actually a great demo in terms of an early Black Metal sound. However, this is something far too many bands have done before, so I'm not entirely surprised this didn't win over any hearts to Reverence immediately for a larger signing. But this is where their career really begins and in the end it is actually quite a fine beginning looking back on this. I still really love the cover of this demo though, even if it is just printed off a home printer.
The recording is definitely well done and of a very high quality for a demo. You can hear all the instruments and vocals in terms of the mix. The only complaint I think I have on this end is that the vocals sound a little dry. If he had just put a little reverb onto them, I think it would have added another nice layer to their atmosphere. I would definitely recommend checking this out, but it is not nearly as compelling as their modern material. It is still a good taste of an early Black Metal sound performed quite well.