The mix of an exclusive song, three classics from their earliest days re-recorded and four live tracks means that INCANTATION’s self-released anniversary compilation, XXV – Quarter Century Of Blasphemy , is aimed at their most hardcore fans.
But this package sweats so much passion and goodwill (liner notes, massive photo collage, killer sound) that even if this wasn’t a limited-to-LP format and only 1,000 copies, this could be used as an example on how things should be done.
It’s just a shame that, being sold solely through their website or on tour, the insane US postage rates make it so pricey. Originally released in 2002 and 2006 respectively and now available again via Relapse, First Daze Here  and First Daze Here Too  perfectly document the early, pre-Victor Griffin PENTAGRAM when they were, unbeknown to most, maybe America’s most promising classic hard rock act. Despite the enthralling liner notes of former drummer Geof O’Keefe, it’s still hard to grasp why some A&R hotshot never snatched them up and rose them to stardom in the first place. Whether you’re already a Pentagram or just a classic 70s hard rock fan, you need this. Released 10 years ago, WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM’s first album, Diadem Of 12 Stars  (Southern Lord) did what most debuts from future forerunners do: exploring new paths while learning to distance themselves from their influences without rejecting them. Maybe they were still stuck in the shadows of Burzum and early Satyricon, and had yet to add ambience to their palette, but there was already something eerie about them, underlined by the extreme length of these four songs. They had yet to achieve the brilliance of its follow-up, Two Hunters, but they were already firmly on their way.