Mock "Cold Winter/Vinterlandet" LP
25 years after it all started Hammerheart Records presents the complete Mock recordings on limited vinyl, pre-Kampfar!
Mock was essentially the predecessor to the longstanding Norse Black Metallers Kampfar, active through the early to mid 90’s and releasing a demo (Cold Winter) and EP (Vinterlandet). Both of which are collected for this compilation LP that Hammerheart Records releases 25 years after Hammerheart Records released them the first time. It is interesting to delve into a band’s and label’s history and seeing where the roots lie.
So be surprised to hear that the progression from this material flows quite naturally into where they were at when they the original Kampfar EP later on in 1996. That is not to say that there wasn’t also a significant amount of progression in quality, because the Mock material is simplistic and True as you might imagine from crude Black Metal of olde. It’s also necro produced. Audible, but the levels are all maxed out as it should be. Guitars are insanely minimalistic, but the loudest instrument, with an obvious Hellhammer influence that gleans through each series of brute chords blurted out. Once in awhile Mock also hit a pretty evil groove, and that’s a highlight of the featured material. The difference between Mock and Hellhammer is you can occasionally get a little Viking melody or something that shows these blokes were about to embark upon the Scandinavian path, and certain tunes like “Her af Vikingum” are already boarding the longship, clear indicators of where Kampfar would get their own start, and the chord progressions are often ‘warmer’ in feel than evil or hostile.
Once you move on to the EP’s material, it’s instantly more washed out and atmospheric, with some spoken word narrative and clean guitars set against the distant chords of the electric rhythms. Those recordings are much more evenly produced. The vocals are more powerful, the use of the rhythms are certainly to be counted as another influence on how a lot of the Viking-themed Black Metal bands would travel, the keys are a decent, non-intrusive complement, and the whole deal just seems more potent, wintry and nasty. Obviously we think Kampfar was a major step forward compared to Mock, but if you are a big fan of Bathory’s “Blood Fire Death” or Enslaved’s “Frost” then you might really dig the Mock material.