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memento mori

v/a * The Fossil Dungeon (cd 2000 memento mori)

Dark Age Productions (DAP) was ‘founded’ to make the Cernunnos’ Woods demos look more “official”. This man now runs the Battle Helm heavy metal magazine for which I do the alternative pages When three demos had seen the light of day (94/95/96) “Bard Algol Eriboas” decided to release the demo of another band “Under Crushing Wings” (usa 96) which was more or less the start of DAP growing into a label. Then a folkrock band caught Bard’s ear and he urged the band to go for a more medieval approach and two …The Soil Bleeds Black demos were released. Two of the three members of this band (the Riddick twins) proved to be active music makers who also ran a tape label of their own called “7th Key Creations” that for example released the early Equitant demos (known for playing in the metalband Absu). Later the Riddicks and Bard decided to work together and more later sir Prosciptor MacGovern (also of Absu) joined the ranks and DAP from then on consisted of three “Towers”.
The three towers more of less independantly released their material under the DAP banner and still all releases were limited to about 100 copies in most cases. Of the 20 releases before the split of the towers, I only miss two items. The full discography is (with all other information) in the booklet of The Fossil Dungeon.
Somewhere in 1996 Cernunnos’ Woods was asked by the Swedish cultlabel for a cd on a to be founded sublabel “Cruel Moon International”. Roger Karmanik also showed interest in …The Soil Bleeds Black (in my ears always the best DAP act). Things didn’t exacly go as planned.
In 1996 DAP released a red double 12” of Prosciptor called “The Venus Bellona”. This would be released on cd by Cruel Moon being the third DAP act on CMI. CMI not only released the cd, but also a vinyl version that more or less made the DAP vinyl superfluous. Other problems caused the third act (Prosciptor) being the first Cruel Moon release, the second act (TSBB) the second and Cernunnos’ Woods was released after two long years. Plans for an Equitant on CMI were never carried out.
Profane Grace also became quite well-known, but more in the dark industrial scene, releasing cds on the same label who made this compilation possible (and for who Michael Riddick does the artwork).
As you probably know …The Soil Bleeds Black was the fastest rising star of the DAP firmanent. After the cd on CMI, they released two cds on Draenor Productions (a sublabel of Napalm Records from Austria) and now they are on the notorious World Serpent label.
The tracks on “The Fossil Dungeon” as mostly taken directly from the mastertapes for the demos. 4 Tracks are exclusive, Cernunnos’ Woods, Profane Grace, Prosciptor and …The Soil Bleeds Black. The music ranges from medieval, to atmospheric and extremely dark ritual industrial.
Because of the ‘strange’ and mostly pretty good music, DAP was called the “American CMI”. After several years of activity, changing interests, quarrels and maybe a lack of things to be released, caused the demise of DAP. The second Prosciptor cd “The Serpentine Has Risen” was released after the break-up by Prosciptor himself. “The Fossil Dungeon” may be regarded as DAP 022, the final release of the label.
The Riddicks have plans to continue DAP as a new sublabel of CMI under the name… The Fossil Dungeon.

Profane Grace * Serenity Of The Endless Graves (cd memento mori)

Some of you may remember Profane Grace as one of those dark electronic black metal side projects. I must say that their music still sounds like those projects of years back. It’s dark, monotous and has ‘evil vocals’. Years back I liked these crappy demos sometimes, but I never figured that such projects would end up on quality labels as Cold Meat Industry (Valor, Valefor) or Dark Vinyl (of which Memento Mori is a sub). There’re much better and darker projects within the industrial scene itself too!
The great artwork of Michael Riddick fits perfectly in the CMI/Dark Vinyl style though.

Penitent * Roses By Chaos Spawned (cd 1999 memento mori)

Penitent made it. s debut in 1996 on the notorious Cold Meat Industry label, but this cooperation was only for one cd. The debut was re-released by Prophecy Productions and then two albums where released by Draenor/Napalm records from Austria. After this Karsten Hamre went to Memento Mori (a sublabel of the Dark Vinyl cultlabel) with both Arcane Art (see review elsewhere) and Penitent.
Roses By Chaos Spawned. is just like the Arcane Art cd very orchestral. The vocals are done by a certain M. Andrew Goldfine (a name that doesn. t ring a bell here), which is often spoken, but there are also a few beautiful sung parts to be heard.
The music itself is rather simple and however there are a few good moments, most of it is not my taste.

Arcane Art * The Cursed Artist (cd 1999 memento mori)

Nicely provided by mr. Hamre himself I got to listen to the latest albums of Arcane Art and Penitent (see elsewhere). This project I knew from a few contributions to compilation cds.
“The Cursed Artist” opens with a very nice orchestral track and continues with relatively primitive orchestal sounds in combination with the spoken words that you might remember from Penitent. The cd is full of orchestal sounds, but besides spoken word, you. ll also hear some female voices and there are also instrumental tracks.
Overall it sounds pretty good. Especially the two tracks at the end which are a bit darker than the rest which sure does good to them.