Vaakevandring - Demo 98/99


Ahhhh....Norwegian black metal.  You gotta love it!  This is the first material that hit the general public from Vaakevandring (the other being their song "Fall of Man" on the In the Shadow of Death compilation).  The title is Demo 98/99 because the band didn't want people to get the idea that this was some full-blown professional release.  However, it doesn't sound half bad.  The production suffers somewhat, but I can live with that.  This album was actually recorded with the help of former Dimmu Borgir member Stian Aarstad.  The sound of the band is rooted in black metal, but they rely heavily on keyboards for a symphonic black metal sound not too distance from Crimson Moonlight's early work.
The first and third songs on this 17 minute release are sung in Norwegian and the second song "Someday" is sung in English.  The band uses two different vocal styles, one is the shrill black vocals and the other is clean vocals that sound very deep and haunting.  The band eases back and forth between aggressive black metal and calmer passages which include one of the most moving synth pieces I've ever heard in the middle of the song "Someday".  It's about a minute long and is sweeping and majestic before the shrill vocals and heavy guitars come raging back in the mix.
The band is now broken up with certain members playing in Antestor.  This and the song "Fall of Man" are the only recordings that I know of that Vaakevandring released.  Which is sad, cause this band had some serious talent.  This release is very hard to find, so if you locate a copy I'd snatch it up on first opportunity.  (Review by Matt)