NAEVUS (Demos & Unreleased 1993-1999) 2CD
Formed in 1991, NAEVUS was one of the first German doom metal bands, together with Mirror Of Deception, Dreaming, and Dawn Of Winter. They became known more or less worldwide, when Rise Above Records released the debut album 'Sun Meditation' in 1998. Shortly afterwards, NAEVUS was dropped and it didn't last long until the band broke up in 1999. Uwe Groebel didn't retreat from the music scene and founded Voodooshock shortly thereafter, while Oliver Grosshans teamed up with Sacred Steel, My Darkest Hate and Thy Bleeding Skies. All this is, without a doubt, an important part of the history of doom metal made in Germany and 'Demos & Unreleased 1993-1999' consisting of two pitch-black discs that look like miniature records, offers an detailed insight in the history of NAEVUS.
Disc number one contains the first three demo tapes recorded during the period 1993 - 1995. Some may be surprised if they listen to the first one 'Quixotic Dreams' for the first time. At that point, NAEVUS have much more in common with early Paradise Lost and early Cathedral, than with Trouble or The Obsessed. Even Uwe Groebel's vocals are much harsher, and when the pace is speeded up than the band enters briefly death metal territory, without losing their Sabbathian roots. The musical performance is convincing though the bassplayer overacts in some moments. With the second demo 'A Sad Illusion' all death metal influences have been jettisoned. NAEVUS have almost found their style in 1994, which could be due to the fact that guitarist/vocalist Uwe Groebel and guitarist Oliver Grosshans had chartered a new rhythm section.
'Autumn Sun' is the last demo, recorded in 1995, and in the meantime the band had found their musical identity. It seems as if Uwe Groebel was a big fan of Lee Dorrian's singing style in that year. By this I in no way mean Dorrian's tortured style, but Uwe has taken over some of that 'yeah, let's groove' nonsense. Fortunately, he doesn't exaggerates. The songs are mature and perfectly presented. It's no wonder Rise Above Records signed NAEVUS two years later. At that time, there was no other doom metal band in Germany that were heavily influenced by bands like The Obsessed, Unorthodox and 70's heavy rock, except for NAEVUS.
That brings us to disc number two containing a total of eighteen tracks. And so it begins with 'Bazar of Illusion', the band's contribution to the 'Fourteen Inches of Fury' 7" on Game Two Records. Then comes the unreleased 'The Wizard's Universe' 7" from the year 1996 followed by two unreleased rehearsel recordings. The highlight is the 'Sun Meditation' demo from 1997. For me personally here we have the pinnacle of their career. Precisely because the sound is more organic and earthy than on the album, it's pure enjoyment listening to this demo. There are also three more unreleased rehearsel recordings as well as 'Lost Confidence', which was recorded for the 'I Am Vengeance' movie soundtrack on MeteorCity Records. The book ends with a cover song named 'R.I.P.' for a Trouble tribute compilation in 1999 on Freedom Records. In all 'Demos & Unreleased 1993-1999' comprises 32 songs, rare photos, and additional liner notes. Here we have an extremely exciting history lesson in heavy doom, which can be ordered directly from NAEVUS' myspace site for only EUR 12 plus postage. Very recommendable.