One of extreme metal’s most revered labels, Cacophonous Records, is set to unleash a formidable double reissue featuring Norwegian black metal kings Dimmu Borgir and Sheffield’s symphonic black metal warriors Bal-Sagoth. The lid will be lifted on re-mastered versions of Dimmu’s Stormblåst and Bal-Sagoth’s Battle Magic on September 9. Both will initially be available in CD and digital formats, with vinyl to follow.
The third and final release under the original Cacophonous label from Bal-Sagoth was Battle Magic in 1998. The CD re-issue features new artwork from Martin Hanford and expanded lyrics booklet.
“We recorded our third album Battle Magic during the late autumn and early winter of 1997, once again at Academy Music Studio in Yorkshire,” said singer Byron Roberts. “We had just returned from a successful European tour with Emperor and were ready to conclude our First Trilogy in style.
“This album was so artistically elaborate that it pushed the analogue facilities at Academy to their absolute limit, and by his own admission almost gave engineer Mags a nervous breakdown! If nothing else, this album proved that we were a band not afraid to take risks… a band who prized art and originality above all else. Now, almost 20 years after it was originally recorded, this glorious third chapter in our epic hexalogy has once again been unleashed upon the world as a special remastered edition to commemorate two tumultuous decades of Bal-Sagoth’s immortal crusade.”
Widely heralded as one of the classic albums of Norwegian Black Metal, the 1996 release Stormblåst was the second studio album from Dimmu Borgir and was their last album sung in their native Norwegian. It was also the first Dimmu album where keyboards were heavily used and introduced as part of their trademark sound.
Neil Harding, Cacophonous Records founder, said: “As we only had the DAT recording of the album we were limited in what we could do to enhance the original recording, but I think it’s improved enough that fans will welcome the remastered version. The re-issue also contains additional new photos of the band alongside extended lyrics.
“I’d been told about Dimmu Borgir by Samoth in mid ’94 when Emperor visited the label offices. Aldrahn of Dødheimsgard put me in touch with them, as he’d just recorded vocals for a song on their debut album For All Tid. I asked Dimmu Borgir if they wanted to work with Cacophonous on their follow-up album they should contact me in the future.
“I didn’t hear from them for a while, until after the recording of Stormblåst, they wrote and said that the label who were going to release the second album couldn’t pay for the studio costs and as they only had a verbal agreement, if we paid for the recordings the band would let us release the one album. It seemed a good idea, if only for a single release, and so we secured the rights and put out the record.”