Released in 1996, The Black Tower is the first official recording
from Finland's Warloghe. Emerging from the depths of the Black Metal scene just a year earlier, these guys sound nothing like
most of the other bands from their country. One should not expect the chaotic sounds of Beherit, Archgoat or early Impaled
Nazarene. As well, this really does not possess the level of Norway-worship that is present in the old recordings from Horna
and Behexen, among others. There is an element of that, but mostly Warloghe seems to take inspiration from the French Black
Musically, this is very dismal and bleak. The guitar melodies are cold
and somewhat depressive, emphasized by the bass lines. Of the three real songs on here, only two are well-developed. "Nightly
Storms" is rather dynamic, though more fast-paced. The drumming can be a bit sloppy, at times, but this really does not matter.
The haunting and melancholic tremolo riffs, as well as the extremely grim vocals, are the main focus and create a very dark
feeling. "He Who Comes With the Dawn" is more mid-paced and possesses a very morbid atmosphere. It speeds up, later on, but
never for too long. This is the sort of Black Metal that there should be much more of, these days. Grim, ugly and dark.
The production is fairly alright, for a demo. It sounds pretty rough,
though is clear enough for the riffs to be heard while still possessing a raw feeling. The guitars are kind of thin, but this
helps provide a sharp and cold sound. Drums are not really much of a factor. The bass is, surprisingly, more audible than
is often the case. The vocals are a little high, but not so much as to take away from anything. All in all, everything comes
together very well.
Warloghe is a band that should be better known in the underground. Fans
of Mütiilation and Moonblood would likely appreciate the sort of raw and mournful Black Metal that is present on The Black
Tower. It is a shame that these guys vanished after only a few recordings, as they had a much better sense of what this
music is about than so many others that will seemingly never die. Seek this out in whatever manner that you must.
(12 Aug. 2013)
Warloghe is a lesser-known Finnish Black Metal band, existing since 1995.
Their first E.P., Unlighted, was released in 1997 on Demonion Productions. Listening
to this, one almost gets the sense that this band is like a distant relative of the French Black Legions, as they create the
same type of atmosphere.
The first song is "Waaslandia", which displays some influence from Vlad Tepes, from the opening
moments. The main riff is mid-paced, interspersed with tremolo melodies. After a couple of minutes, things speed up to where
one would expect and the sound is slightly reminiscent of Black Funeral's second album, Empire
of Blood. This is especially true of the vocals. The playing is a little sloppy, at times, but not to the extent that
it distracts from what is going on. The music does well to create imagery of ruined castles, desolate forests and vampiric
evil reaching from beyond the grave.
"Foretold Vast Sorceries Unfold" gets off to a shaky start, as the drumming is
a little awkward and the song appears to be moving at an inconsistent speed. Once the pace picks up, things smooth out. Though
this recording possesses a very raw and underproduced sound, it never breaks down into pure noise. It is very easy to follow
the melodies and to hear what is going on. During this song, the vocals hearken back to the early Mütiilation demos, to a
degree. There is a sense of desperation in Glaurung's voice that aids the gloomy atmosphere of the song.
and not terribly original, Unlighted is still worth tracking down for fans of the
aforementioned French Black Metal bands. Warloghe really sounds nothing like most of their Finnish peers, though many of them
came later anyway. This is far more in line with the LLN bands and even stuff like Moonblood rather than looking to Norway
(30 Oct. 2011)
The First Possession is the debut full-length from Finland's Warloghe.
After releasing a demo and an E.P. the band managed to get into contact with Drakkar Productions, who released this album
in 1999. It is rather appropriate, since their music seems to have a lot on common with the French Black Legions, at times.
The songwriting for this album is not terribly consistent. Rather than
expanding upon the more grim and mournful sounds of The Black Tower or Unlighted, and following the path of
the LLN bands that so inspired them, they opted for a safer and more generic approach. It starts out with a couple of unremarkable
tracks, but they soon redeem themselves. "Witchcraft and Blood" is exactly what one would expect from Warloghe, though there
seems to be a strong Darkthrone influence that was not present before, mixed in with riffs that sound reminiscent of Vlad
Tepes. This is followed by "Tower of Flies", which is more mid-paced and possesses a morbid feeling. The vocals come through
a lot better and help to create a dark and miserable atmosphere. Unfortunately, the band fails to build on the momentum. After
another disappointing song, "Desecration" and "Angelreaper" at least show a bit of promise. Both are fast-paced tracks that
rely on the standard high-speed drums and tremolo riffs, though the guitars are not as audible as they should be. By the time
"The End of All Life" begins, the Darkthrone influence has completely taken over, sounding like something from Under A
Funeral Moon. Still, one must also keep in mind that 1999 was a rotten time for Black Metal, so any band that was keeping
a pure and raw sound was very much needed, even if the compositions lack originality.
The production is a bit of a detriment, as it seems the band recorded
these songs in different sessions. Some of the songs are alright, but others are plagued with problems. The drums are a bit
too loud, which would not be such a bad thing, except for the hollow sound that becomes very distracting and annoying. The
vocals are too low, on several, reducing the grim effect that they added on the earlier releases. The guitars are just kind
of in the middle, accomplishing very little. This album would have benefited from a different mix, placing more emphasis on
the guitars and vocals.
Warloghe's debut album is not as good as it could have been. Some of
the songs seem underdeveloped and include ideas that do not mesh well with the rest. The arrangement of the record is poor,
also, starting out with two of the weaker tracks. Nonetheless, the bulk of the material delivers grim, old school Black Metal
that does well to live up to the potential shown on the previous releases. During a time when many bands were experimenting
with various outside influences and others were going toward a total synth route, The First Possession was a refreshing
dose of uncompromising darkness that held true to those that came before.
(20 Aug. 2013)
Released in 2003, Womb of Pestilence is the second full-length
album from Warloghe. In the four years between releases, the band managed to correct some of the problems that plagued the
previous album and held it back from being as good as it could have been. The material here sounds like more of a natural
continuation of what they began with The Black Tower and Unlighted, much moreso than The First Possession.
This is one of those times when a band actually realized their potential, rather than disappointing.
Musically, this is much darker than anything on their first record. This
is what many were expecting the last one to sound like. The songwriting is much more focused and there are no throwaway tracks.
This is clear from the moment "Opened and Tainted Graves" begins. There is a sense of urgency and, most of all, feeling to
the riffs. Everything fits together, cohesively, to create a very dark and gloomy atmosphere. Songs like "Fires Burn Black"
really hearken back to the old Mütiilation demos and bring forth an ancient darkness to consume you whole. The compositions
are more complete and dynamic, rather than each song being rather one-dimensional. There is still a rather straightforward
approach, though with subtle additions that do a lot for the music, such as the slow sections in "Illuminating Void" and "Dark
Spires Swirl in the Abyss". There are also slight changes in the drumming, here and there, that help to keep the songs from
being too monotonous. The vocals sound much more possessed than on the last record, particularly the hellish wailing on "Corpse-Altar-Light".
The effect is reminiscent of the demonic voices from 'The Evil Dead', but in a very serious manner. While some of the tremolo
melodies on the last offering were a bit generic and failed to move the listener in any way, the riffs that make up Womb
of Pestilence serve to haunt you and to create a very unsettling feeling that is sure to drag your spirit into the depths.
The production is more consistent and suits the music a lot more, compared
to the last album. The guitars possess a very raw and, sometimes, grating quality that are likely to make your ears bleed
if you turn the volume up. This is what an underground Black Metal album should sound like, as if it was recorded in some
forgotten crypt. The vocals are high enough in the mix, throughout, rather than sometimes being buried as on the previous
L.P. The drums are at a more appropriate level, as well, no longer dominating the sound. The guitars are firmly in control
as the dominant element, as they should be, and the music benefits greatly from this. At a time when a lot of bands were going
for a completely modern and plastic production, Warloghe's sophomore effort sounds like it could have been recorded a decade
Womb of Pestilence is a very solid album that deserves to be known
much more than it is. This is what Mütiilation might have sounded like, around the same time, if Meyhna'ch had a real drummer
and hadn't recorded his albums with such modern methods. Though some bands try very hard to proclaim themselves the standard-bearers
of Black Metal, whoring themselves out in every possible way, Warloghe was simply keeping the black flame burning in a genuine
manner, by creating dark and evil music that has stood the test of time. This should appeal to fans of the old LLN bands,
such as Mütiilation, as well as modern Finnish bands like Sargeist and Horna. Buy this.
(21 Aug. 2013)