Lengsel – Demo

1997 (no label)
Oslo, Norway

Tor Magne Glidje – Guitars, Vocals
John Robert Mjåland – Bass
Ole Halvard Sveen – Battery

  1. I det Stille er det ér Sterk
  2. Vakker
  3. Skjulte Skatter
  4. Inntil Neste Gang

This is some dark, bleak, black metal. Lengsel was eventually signed to Solid State Records to release a full-length album. That album was re-released and re-released on several different labels, so its kind of considered a classic in this genre. The sound on this demo is a bit more traditional black metal, where as the band kind of went a bit more progressive black metal on future releases. The vocals are both rough and shrill at the same time for most of the songs, with a few variations of singing or spoken word inserted here and there. Not a sound for everyone, but they are good at it if this is your thing.

Extol – Embraced

1997 (no label)
Bekkestua, Bærum, Norway

Peter Espevoll – Vocals
Christer Espevoll – Guitars
Emil Nikolaisen – Guitars
Ole Børud – Bass
David Husvik – Drums

  1. Embraced
  2. Track II
  3. Independent

Brutal stuff! For those that don’t know, Extol was an extreme metal band that mixed elements of death metal, black metal, and thrash metal. This was their first demo, and to my ears this sounds more on the death metal side with some hints of black metal here and there. I know that the song “Embraced” made it on to their full-length debut called Embraced, but I don’t know about the other two since they have such generic names and I am not as familiar with all of Extol’s work.

The Oblivious Kids – Bombs Away

The Oblivious Kids
Bombs Away
1997 (no label)
Hillsboro, Oregon, USA

Shaun Oblivious – Vocals, guitars
Brian Oblivious – Bass, vocals
Jeremy Oblivious – Drums

  1. Responsibility
  2. First Love
  3. American Holocaust
  4. Have Another Beer

This is one of several rare tapes you can find on BandCamp. Hopefully I can get some time to review and post others. This band was a straight up gutter punk band with vocals that ride the line between bratty punk style and horror punk style. Also lots of “Oi! Oi!”s on this tape as well.  The BandCamp address made it seem like this would be a ska/punk band, but it’s not. I can’t find much else about this band online, but the tape is free to listen to and download on BandCamp:


Sherri Smith – Wavering Deficit

Sherri Smith
Wavering Deficit
1997 (no label)
Clyde, New York, USA

Sherri Schmitz Smith – Most guitars, lead vocals, percussion
Shawn Harnish – Some guitar parts
Scott Andrezejewski – Bass guitar on some songs
Tim Reed – Bass on all other songs
Art Ralston – Drums
Jim Hinrich – Background vocals, congas
Tim Sampson – Harmonica

Side 1:

  1. Go Away
  2. Shattered
  3. The Room Inside
  4. Please Rescue Me
  5. Dusted Angel

Side 2:

  1. When Will I Learn?
  2. What Can I Say?
  3. Be Not Conformed
  4. It’s Always Something
  5. Salsa Picante

This was a blast from the past. Well, one song at least. Sherri Smith had a couple of songs on HM Magazine CD samplers, and one of those songs (“Salsa Picante”) is on this demo. This is kind of rock/hard rock – but most of the songs have vocals on them (which I wouldn’t have guessed from the instrumental songs she placed on samplers). Some music fans describe people like Ace Frehley and Lemmy Kilmister as having “can’t sing/don’t care” vocals. That seems to be the model on some of the songs here. Sherri shows that she can sing on some songs, but when she gets aggressive it kind of falls into the “can’t sing (this style)/don’t care” model. Really, I think this demo is mostly to show off Sherri’s guitar skills, which it succeeds at.

The Israelites – Israelite Train

The Israelites
Israelite Train
1997 (no label)
California, USA

Peter Trusty – Lead vocals, percussion
Richard Carlstedt – Guitar, backing vocals, lead vocals, percussion
Jackieblu Carlstedt – Keyboards, organs, backing vocals
Jennifer Villarreal – Drums, percussion, backing vocals
Ginger Reyes – Bass
Allen Trammell – Tenor sax, suprano sax
Justin Bernadino – Alto sax, keyboards
Gabriel Sundy – Trombone, baritone sax, chicken cluck

  1. Israelite Train
  2. By Your Side
  3. Jah Jah
  4. The Resurrection
  5. Over the River

If you remember the ska craze of the 90s, you probably also remember it being referred to as “third wave ska.” Bands like the Israelites were part of the first and second waves. So there is no punk rock influence on this demo. You still have the heavy island reggae influence here, with a large horn section. However, they are all playing to make music and mood rather than a mosh pit. I don’t know enough about earlier waves of ska to have much more to say on this, other than this is the type of ska for people that got sick of third wave ska back in the day.

Lonesome Monsters – Amazingly Alive

Lonesome Monsters
Amazingly Alive
1997 (no label)
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Bud Osborn
Graham Ord
Paul Blaney

Side 1:

  1. One Sacred Thing
  2. Dreams in the Americas
  3. Toledo Blues
  4. Amazingly Alive
  5. The Truth of Community

Side 2:

  1. Lamentations for the Downtown Eastside
  2. Jazz After Midnight Along Granville St
  3. Bury My Body

This is mostly spoken word over saxophone. It’s pretty trippy… and pretty bleak. I don’t mind some darkness, but three songs into this and I am getting pretty depressed. It seems to be all about street violence and crimes – but in pretty blunt and honest recollections. It seems to be the same person doing all of the spoken word (Bud Osborn I believe), and only one saxophone at a time – so I am not totally sure what all three people do (other than sharing song writing credits). Okay, so sometimes it does touch on some more positive themes – but it is quite the ride to get to those moments. Bud also does not feel the need to sanitize his language for Christian artists – which leads to some funny moments like yelling out “shout from my balls!” Apparently Bud was known for his work among the poor in Vancouver before he passed away recently. For those that like trippy different stuff, and can take a ride through some pretty dark bleakness at times, this is a good tape to track down.

Dethdoor – Beyond Death

Beyond Death
1987 Jeru-Slam Records
Pensacola, Florida, USA

Scottie Joel Cooper – Vocals, sounds, instruments

Pain Face:

  1. Introduction
  2. Industrial Generation
  3. This is for You
  4. Hellfire
  5. Human Fear

Hope Face

  1. Ecstasy
  2. DeathDoor
  3. Childhood Bliss
  4. There is Hope
  5. Who Can Write? (unlisted track)
  6. Scottie Talks About the Orthodox Church

This is probably the most well-known release by Scottie Joel Cooper, since it made it into the tape underground thanks to Jeru-Slam Records. I was sent a copy of the original master tape that appears to differ in a few places from the label release. First of all, it has a track list on the inside, so that really helps with the track names. It also has an unreleased album by Cooper on the back. Also, the track “This is For You” is not on the label release. You get the first words “This is for” and then it cuts right to “Hellfire.” Also, the song “DeathDoor” is two parts on the label release (the song and then a child reading the Lord’s Prayer), but it is three parts on this tape (the song, The Lord’s Prayer, and then a spoken word poem about Death Door). There is an unlisted track after “There is Hope” on the master tape, as well as 7 minutes of Cooper talking about the Orthodox Church and why he has chosen to go that path in his beliefs. The sound here is an interesting mixture of spoken word, noise, and industrial elements. Some songs are pure spoken word, while others have interesting metallic beats as a backdrop. Also some bits and pieces of found noise here and there. The only difference between the covers of the label release and this master tape is that someone wrote “Jeru-Slam Records” in blue ink next to “Distributed by:” (and they didn’t include the list of song names).