CRIMSON EVENFALL is the oft-overlooked predecessor of one of Finnish black metal’s most cult names, Musta Surma. As Musta Surma, the duo of Thyrgrimmr and Strigoi Mort have spent the better part of 25 years releasing demos, EPs, and splits but never a full-length record, with rumors frequently abounding about the band’s status, unreleased recordings, and general air of elusiveness. However, what Musta Surma lack in quantity, they more than make up for it it in quality: dirty-yet-mystical black metal time-locked in the ’90s, a veritable portrait of Dorian Gray forever covered in the ashes of the past.
But, the roots of Musta Surma began with CRIMSON EVENFALL – in fact, it’s fairly accurate to say that Musta Surma was simply a name change and that they built upon the work laid down as CRIMSON EVENFALL. In any case, the band began life/undeath in 1994, then as a trio with bassist Krieg. Their first demo arrived in ’96, bearing the title Nocturnal Storms of Infinity, and duly displayed the sound of the times: grim-yet-medieval black metal with a raw-yet-clear soundfield, subtly dusted with mystical synths. The Winterheart demo followed the next year, burning with more fire compared to the regal gait of its predecessor, and here showing the roots of the Finnish black metal paradigm that would spread across the underground in the next millennium, but thankfully still bearing those mystical synths. Later in 1997 came the Ad Inferos Ante Christum Natum demo, CRIMSON EVENFALL’s longest recording yet at nearly 28 minutes. Arguably, it’s also their strongest, bringing together its predecessors’ finest points and putting them into sharper focus – more fury, more medieval, more rawness, more regal – and altogether sterling songwriting, suggesting the further mastery of Musta Surma. Alas, Krieg left that year and then Musta Surma was officially “born”…but that’s an epic for another time.
Drink the “Unholy Blood of Immortality” with this reissue of CRIMSON EVENFALL’s entire discography!