What was happening in your life in 1995? Maybe you weren’t into metal yet, or maybe you weren’t aware that there was something growing in the heart of Sweden that would soon be one of the most successful and influential scenes in the history of heavy metal. Between 1994 and 1996 a myriad of amazing records were released from Scandinavia, Sweden in particular, but also the budding black metal scene in Norway was going on and even Finland was producing Amorphis records. Katatonia released For Funerals to Come that year, as well as it being the year of the mighty Slaughter of the Soul in 1995 as well. Go through your iTunes or on RYM or wherever and check out what was going on.

For one group of Swedes, however, 1995 was a beginning that never really lead anywhere. The band was called Empuse, which was apparently some kind of blood sucking insect, and they won a contest. While they never got signed, they probably should’ve been. I was given their demo recently and I’m surprised at how forward thinking this record is, particularly having talked to the guy who wrote the songs who knew absolutely nothing of the other bands in the scene (and in fact has only recently started listening to Katatonia and Opeth). It’s like when you read about how certain things that are very similar to each other evolved in isolation (like the wolf and the dingo) from each other. It’s fascinating, and it’s a piece of metal history that unfortunately had been lost until now.

Check this demo out and try to put yourself in 1995 and see if you’re as impressed as I am with it. These are the two tracks and that’s the cover (just click and save it). They are definitely worth your time.

The Song of Revelation
Stirred by Blindness

Empuse - The Beginning of the End

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  • At The Gates is one of the tags?! I don’t hear At The Gates at all from these guys. Amorphis yes, but almost more a mix of Tales and Elegy era Amorphis. I hear Opeth a bit and Katatonia (minus the suckage). Not bad at all, a bit ahead of the ’95 era but not by much. Just don’t agree with the At The Gates tag, but it makes sense considering you’re wanting people to listen to it in a time frame mind set.

    • ATG gets tagged ’cause I mentioned Slaughter of the Soul. Just an idea of what was going on in Sweden at the same time. I tend to tag the hell out of posts. I believe in a loose network of tags linking shit together.

      Yeah, what’s fascinating is that it sounds like it should’ve been coming out of Sweden in ’95. But also just that it had grown up in complete isolation. Great stuff.

      • Yeah, that’s why I mentioned the time frame mind set at the end of my post. And yes, I agree very good stuff. I’m shocked they never got signed.