25 Years Ago: IN THE WOODS... record a rehearsal tape

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25 Years Ago: IN THE WOODS... record a rehearsal tape

IN THE WOODS... recorded this rehearsal tape in February 1993.

We had a really bad rehearsal place in the basement of a school and every time we were to rehearse we had to find all the equipment from the bomb shelter. It took ages to put everything up and to even be able to rehearse. It was a truly horrible sound and stuff. That's probably the first picture I can imagine when I think of that period. You know, we were really young, so we just wanted to try and cope with it and do the best we can, I guess.

From the first rehearsal we had with In the Woods..., [making an album] was the basic aim we had. We wanted to record an album, maybe go on tour and so on, so we were really determined and were really into what we were doing. It was a good vibe in the band in those days, definitely.
- Jan Svithjod / In the Woods interview, Qvadrivivm #5, 2008

The band was formed by brothers "C:M." and "X" Botteri with Anders Kobro after leaving GREEN CARNATION in 1991/1992. Tchort (second guitarist on GREEN CARNATION's only demo) would join EMPEROR on bass in 1993.

Rehearsal / Demo 02.93 includes the songs "Creations of an Ancient Shape" and "...and All This from Which Was and Will Never Come Again...".

I think around this time when we recorded demos and stuff most of the bands were starting to go really fast, doing a lot of brutal stuff. It is almost like black metal went from going to folk metal back to death metal again. So I think we stood out in the manner that we kind of slowed things down. Still, we had the screaming vocals and we focused all the melodies on guitars and keyboards. That's the way I see it.
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Bathory was probably the biggest reason that In the Woods... started doing what we were doing. Some of us had had a fascination for Bathory for a few years, and I think this was maybe our only common preference when we started doing the band. Some of the guys liked this and some of the guys had other preferences, but each and every one of us liked Bathory. So it was a natural sort of meeting point.
- Jan Svithjod / In the Woods interview, Qvadrivivm #5, 2008

When we started out, especially when we did our first demo, we were very much into Bathory, especially Blood Fire Death and the Hammerheart album, and that had a lot to do with our sound in the first place, but I think it was even on the demo that I got really tired of doing those kind of screechy vocals, because at the time there were so many bands doing the same kind of things, so I thought we had to come up with something different.
- Jan Svithjod / In the Woods... interview, Chronicles of Chaos, 1999

The rehearsal tape also includes the earliest version of "Wotan's Return". This version is instrumental and several minutes shorter than it would be on their first demo proper, Isle of Men (1993), and the debut album, Heart of the Ages, released by Misanthropy Records in April 1995.

In the Woods... - Wotan's Return (Isle of Men demo, 1992)

I don't really see the [Isle of Men] demo as something that really stuck out but I think Misanthropy really saw the potential in the demo and I think they understood what they were doing when we recorded the debut album because I think it was with the debut album that we totally did our own kind of thing for the first time.
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I remember at the time we were doing negotiations with an Italian label, Avantgarde Music. We were almost about to sign with them but we were still waiting for a reply from them. We didn't hear anything and in between Misanthropy popped up and this girl, Tiziana [Stupia], told us that she had just started a label. I was really sceptical because I didn't know how the music business was working and she was really fresh in the whole thing, so we were just waiting. When nothing happened with this Italian label, we signed a deal with Misanthropy. I don't think we were shocked at getting a proposal to record an album because we knew that we were good enough to make one, but I don't think we expected to do anything with an English or Northern European label at all.
- Jan Svithjod / In the Woods interview, Qvadrivivm #5, 2008

In the Woods... - Wotan's Return (Heart of the Ages, 1995)