Solitary Winter Night. Three words, three simple words. Stark yet beholding so much power, so much spiritual energy, the essence of BLACK METAL manifest. Winter of Apokalypse: the prophets of that dread communiqué, and three equally stark words to nail the coffin of uncertainty dead shut. Taken together, we have Winter of Apokalypse’s debut album, Solitary Winter Night. One of the most anticipated black metal records of the decade– and particularly for a “mere” debut, since half the band comprised legendary MORIBUND CULT warriors Thy Infernal – Winter of Apokalypse’s CULT debut is guaranteed to be an underground landmark on both sides of the Atlantic.

But the story goes back nearly a decade, to the winter of 1996 in Portland, Oregon. Under the banner Thy Infernal, the songwriting core of guitarist Slut and bassist/vocalist Armageddon perfected their black metal mastery with a live show that terrifyingly featured blood-spitting, spikes, boar heads, smoke, animal guts, six-foot inverted crosses, and more headbanging than has been seen in America since the 1980s. As a result, playing with such legendary bands as Mayhem, Cannibal Corpse, Incantation, Angelcorpse, Krisiun, and Morbid Angel quickly earned Thy Infernal a reputation as the most extreme live band in America. Throughout 1997, the band recorded a demo and some highly sought-after compilation tracks, and by the beginning of the next year had signed in blood with the MORIBUND CULT.

The winter 1998 saw Thy Infernal in the studio again, this time to record their Satan’s Wrath debut album, which would go on to be widely lauded in the underground upon its release the following year. Still, the best was yet to come, and it came in the form of LP#2, the even-more-masterful Warlords of Hell. Released in 2001, this second album would reap more bountiful critical acclaim, drawing favorable comparisons to such classics as Slayer’s Reign in Blood to Morbid Angel’s Blessed are the Sick, from Dissection’s Storm of the Light’s Bane to Destroyer 666’s Unchain the Wolves. At once brutal, intricate, melodic, epic, but above all unforgettable, Warlords of Hell was a middle-finger to Eurocentric snobs and Christian lambs alike – above all, unforgettable proof that true American metal is not only possible but far superior despite trendy contentions otherwise.

All thing must pass, and indeed they did for Thy Infernal: In 2002, the band more or less called it quits. But like the proverbial phoenix, we find a new blaze in the northern sky: Winter of Apokalypse. Although the band did record an untitled demo in 1999, the quartet – again, led by ex-Thy Infernal tandem Slut and Armageddon – began the bulk of its hellish activity early 2004. Recorded at Mammoth Studios by Noah Cambell (Engorged, Whore) and mastered at Nettlingham Audio (Leviathan, Xasthur, Drawn and Quartered, Sargeist), Solitary Winter Night is every inch the “perfect” black metal record and one guaranteed to be as legendary as both Thy Infernal albums combined. The formula’s simple yet powerful; attacks commence between galloping blast and into-the-abyss crawl, bolstered by hideously vomiting lungs of hell, the haunting atmosphere of Mayhem’s De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, the cryogenic aggression of Peaceville-era Darkthrone, more than a trace of Thy Infernal’s soul-searing, Dissection-influenced melody, and even a shred of blackest rock ‘n’ roll from the first couple Bathory records. Cold, grim, dead, and yet breathing foul life, Solitary Winter Night is a landmark in the making, so kneel down already. An old, black soul in a new body: Winter of Apokalypse has arrived.

Solitary Winter Night CD - 2005 Moribund Cult
Warlords Of Hell CD - 2001 Moribund Cult
Satan's Wrath CD - 1999 Moribund Cult