I was having a good laugh (to myself as nobody else was listening) about the amount of requests coming in to review limited edition teenage kvlt misanthropy demos released around the festive season. I certainly don’t follow any traditional bullshit holiday celebrations myself but honestly, who on earth is going to really be that bothered about a 25 copy edition tape that’s going to be practically impossible to get hold of during this time (or any time)? Perhaps I was in a good mood and decided to pick this one up and give it a blast. For a start it’s not one coming out on the 25th and is available on CD in 300 copies or on Bandcamp. Also Nachtzeit is not quite a teenager being 30 year old Henrik Sunding and he is rather more established than many having also been recording under the name of Lustre since 2008. This is his second demo following on from 2015 and also 300 copy release ‘Där föddes en längtan’ and is atypical hard hitting minimalistic Swedish tremolo riffing, one-man black metal from Sweden.

These four ‘Tales Of The Night’ fly in with ‘Ett fjärran minne’ which does indeed invoke a distant memory of Nattens Madrigal Ulver, Ildjarn and Burzum with its strimming and repetitive riff-work delivered at a furious pace. Melody is however surprisingly strong with controlled undercurrents giving it a somewhat maudlin feel rather than one of complete triumph and jubilation. The vocals are handled admirably with a blood-curdling elongated clamour which howl in banshee like and work really well with the music. The second number sees us continuing to travel through the night and does not diversify from its path in the slightest making you think that this journey could well be placed on the one-dimensional side. However rather than get stuck in the bog we dip into ‘Över myr och mark’ for a short instrumental part that evokes a medieval pomp and takes back right to dark times explored by the likes of Mortiis and early blackened dungeon synth masters. It’s a really evocative piece and sticks right in the memory, having me eagerly awaiting it each time I have played this. Naturally it all culminates with more of an already established modus operandi with longest track ‘Där allting har sin början’ hitting a pagan furrow and fury and driving away at a mad gallop in the night-sky as though desperate to escape the oncoming dawn.

Admirable and well composed this is a demo that I’m quite glad I didn’t overlook as it’s a good slice of traditional Scandinavian blackness that’s quite worthy of your time. Rumours that select HMV’s will be opening their doors on the stroke of midnight on release date with one copy available to the first lucky person in the queue are however unsubstantiated.

(7/10 Pete Woods)