Friday, May 23, 2014


Sorhin - I Fullmånens Dystra Sken
Self-Released, 1994
Genre: Melodic Black Metal

1. I Fullmånens Dystra Sken
2. Den Mörke Härskaren (Svart Lyser Tronen)
3. Ett Fornnordiskt Rike

What began in the "Svarta Själars Vandring" release sees more development in the new demo. This time we have a live drummer in the form of the mighty Shamaatae known for his work on the Arckanum project. This makes this particular demo pretty heavily sought after in the collectors community. Here we also see Daimonic Occasus from the prior demo change his name to Nattfursth and from here he would be known under this name. I feel like "I Fullmånens Dystra Sken" is really where Sorhin started to truly come into their sound and from here they would develop things further with each release.

This would certainly be amongst the classic demos of the early 90's and this is one of the finest out there. They've greatly improved upon the foundation laid down in "Svarta Själars Vandring". The songwriting is far more mature and well constructed than ever before. I think by 1994 the notion of a Black Metal style was more globally understood. In the early days I think the Swedish bands still had a lot of Death Metal in their early influence, but by '94 things were a lot more solidified around the world motivated by some key releases out of Norway. This album feels a lot closer to what we would expect from a solid Black Metal demo and for '94 it is a truly incredible release for it's time! The riffing on this release is simply spectacular and at this point you can really tell Sorhin is ready for some proper studio treatment and hopefully a full-length not too far in the future.

I would class this as one of my must hear early demos in Black Metal. The style Sorhin laid down here would influence so much in the future, even if they would become a more forgotten band twenty years later. I don't think Sorhin ever had great distribution and you really had to know someone in order to find the new releases if you lived overseas. At least that's how it felt to me when I was trying to get their material.

Sorhin - Svarta Själars Vandring
Self-Released, 1993
Genre: Melodic Black Metal

1. Svarta Själars Vandring
2. Enectum
3. I Skuggan av Nattens Herre

If you followed Swedish Black Metal in the 90's there's almost no doubt you've heard of the mighty Sorhin. They were one of the first to play a sort of melodic style in their Black Metal. I am pretty sure this demo uses programmed drums. Here it is listed as "Drums by an unknown spirit", which would make sense if they used a program. This tape was limited to 400 copies and I honestly have no idea if my version is a bootleg or not. It actually may not be.

The music is actually quite good for 1993 and we can hear that Sorhin are more rooted in a Black Metal sound, but with a lot more melody to their writing. This is probably influenced by the early works of Marduk and bands of that nature, aside from the standard Norwegian issues. It's incredible how much their sound has advanced over the years. Going back and listening to this demo is challenging after hearing such polished and wonderful work of their debut full-length. Naturally the production is incredibly harsh, but the real problems show up because the vocals are way too loud in the mix and it really mars the experience. What you can make out, musically, is quite good and different though.

A curious aspect of this demo is that it was recorded at Dark Abyss studio and it makes me wonder if this was a pre-cursor to The Abyss studios. I actually don't know the history of that famous studio very much. In any event another classic band of Black Metal begins with this release.

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