Getting emotional by holding the CD of one of my favorite bands ever: TIMEGHOUL…

TIMEGHOUL (USA) “1992-1994 Discography” CD (Dark Descent Records) 10e

I’ve been waiting for an official TIMEGHOUL release for 20 years now. There is absolutely no exaggeration in this statement. “Tumultuous Travellings” was the first demo tape I’ve ever ordered. Eventhough I’ve lost it a long time ago, while relocating at the end of my studies from Paris-France to Athens-Greece, it still remains one of the recordings that had the bigger impact on me. Not because of nostalgia, not because I’m getting older and miss the days of my youth. Because TIMEGHOUL were an essential fucking band playing music way ahead of their time.

The muddy sound of 1992 demo “Tumultuous Travellings”  did not keep this recording from becoming a timeless classic.  The band displayed their intentions straight from the beginning of the first song, “Rain Wound”. It kicks off with some fast technical death metal, then slows down and the first vocals to be heard are clean ones reciting awe-inspiring verses:

Here my bones bleach
before the blazing light of purity
chained to the mountain top
the waste of heaven falls upon me
my wrists are a grisly red
from the bonds of justice
now I understand
why men look to the ceaseless sky

The band nailed it in all departments. The music was unique, challenging and unheard at that time, combining the USDM of their epoch with the atmospheric edge of what was going on in Europe with the newborn doom/death current of Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride, Anathema.

The vocals were heavy and growling when that was needed, which was most of the time. They often gave place to recitation or plain singing like in “The Siege”:

Listen to the sound of the pounding
battering rams
their black winged echoes
fly down these desolate halls
each catapult stone defeats the walls
we labor to repair what falls upon us…

The lyrics, concept and aesthetics were as eerie as the music and the vocals, inspired by science fiction and fantasy. Hell, I liked everything about that tape, even the band photo…

Admittedly, I’ve lost from my sight Timeghoul after the first demo. I’ve discovered their 2nd demo “Panaramic Twilight” only a few years ago, thanks to the magic of the webernet. To be honnest, it broke my heart to listen to it almost 10 years after its release in 2004. Not because it wasn’t good. Hell no, it was excellent! Two long, well-produced tracks displaying the full potential of the band, making them truly shine as one of the brightest hopes of the death metal scene of that time. What saddened me so much was that they fell into oblivion and remained unknown and ridiculously underrated – unless until today.

I guess things would be different if they had been signed… A look at the bio page of their official site a few years ago, rang a bell:

an attempt at a signing to a french metal label which said they liked the atmospheric part of timeghoul, but said we sounded too american.  what a shock, we sound american.  go figure.

Back in the early-mid 90’s, I was in contact with french label Holy Records. It’s from them that I’ve ordered “Tumultuous Travellings” after the label owner Phil (also the leader of french metal band Misanthrope) had dubbed one of the demo songs for me on an improvised comp. cassette. It had to be them. I confirmed it by mailing to the band’s drummer Antonio. Would things be different with proper label support? This question still haunts me.

Listening to the “Panaramic Twilight” promo, you experience a unique death metal experience. Bombastic, transcendental, overwhelming with three guitar harmonies and staggering dynamics. What is  funny to notice, is that there’s a few passages that hint to what Nile would become – several years before Nile! A look into the future, literally!

As my modest tribute to Timeghoul comes to an end, I must say that I am extremely satisfied by this edition. This CD compiles both their demos (unfortunately no bonus tracks – not even live), 6 tracks clocking at almost 45 minutes. The sound is very good. The new artwork is extraordinary and courtesy of a fantastic artist, Mark Riddick. Mark is also a longtime fan of the band and volunteered to the task. The original artwork are also included, as well as liner notes . Impossible not to feel a pinch of nostalgia for the mid-90’s by reading the enclosed biography that accompanied demo#2…

Well, that’s it. Grab the CD if you want, but even if you don’t make sure you listen carefully to this stellar band. Oh, and we’ll definitely distribute the double LP when it will be release by Crypt Records

~ by Πάνος Αγόρος on March 9, 2012.

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