Wednesday, 12 November 2008

CHURCH OF SATAN (UK) -- "Lonely Descent Into The Bottomless Pit" rehearsal/demo tape (1996/7?)

I'm fairly sure this is an exclusive, I don't know if many other people ever heard these recordings. CHURCH OF SATAN was a band that existed between Salem Orchid and Akercocke, formed by David Gray, Matthew Platts and Peter Theobalds. As such I assume it was a formative version of Akercocke; it wasn't too long after this that Akercocke appeared on the scene. I was sent the tape by David Gray himself after I contacted him about Salem Orchid.

The two sides of the tape, "Lonely Descent Into The Bottomless Pit" and "Orgiastic Rites At The Inner Sanctum Of Satan", each consist of 8 distinct pieces, which I have separated and named "Parts 1-8". I don't know if this was the intention, or if they were meant to be taken as two long tracks. For ease of naming I have made each side a separate "album", thus avoiding long track names such as "Lonely Descent Into The Bottomless Pit Part 1" etc.

I've cleaned and EQed the tracks as much as I can, but the quality is still poor. Musically, however the tracks are superb, consisting of tight and brutal Death Metal, interspersed with truly fantastic experimental moments. I may be wrong, but there is a definite feel of improvisation here and there, a feeling of a true experimental journey.

I do also have another (earlier?) rehearsal consisting of just two tracks, but the sound quality on these is so low as to be virtually unlistenable, so I haven't included them here. If I can miraculously make them vaguely presentable then I'll post them at a later date, but don't hold your breath...



1-8. "Lonely Descent Into The Bottomless Pit" Parts 1-8

9-16. "Orgiastic Rites At The Inner Sanctum Of Satan" Parts 1-8

Ripped from cassette. 320 kps

(updated 06/01/11)

Update: I have also finally uploaded the Salem Orchid material HERE.


Unorthodox said...

great post, thanx for this!

i'm waiting for salem orchid demo

Sloynes said...

Pure respect!

Please do put up those Salem Orchid recordings. Would love to hear them.

Many Thanks bro!

Sloynes said...

Shit! It doesnt seem to be working me after I've downloaded the file...

Any chance you could give us your email address and we can work out some sort of posting of the recordings...

My email is

I shall obviously pay for the postage fee.

Many Thanks,
Sam Loynes

witchclan said...

Would you please be kind enough to re-upload this as the link is no longer valid. Is there any chance of a quality scan of the inlay too? Been looking for this for a LONG time! Many thanks!!

balbulus said...

Link has been updated. There wasn't an actual inlay, but I've included the poster/flyer that came with the letter.


witchclan said...

Thank you so much - have just downloaded it - this is a great item to have - I salute you, thanks again

witchclan said...

Incidentally, I used to write to David Gray and when I interviewed him in my Crucifixion zine he sent me the 1991 studio demo and also the Live 1991 tape. Do you happen to have the 1990 demo and also the Fictional Experience Between Drowning Lovers tapes?

balbulus said...

David sent me a couple of tapes full of Salem Orchid tracks, listed below. They don't seem to totally conform to the tracklisting of the demos listed on Metal Archives, so I think it's David's own selection:

Tape 1:

1. Introduction (called "Luciferian Canto" on the ROTBN CD)
2. Sempiternal Suffering
3. The Nirvana Of Agony
4. The Many Quixotic Passages To Faith
5. GehennaTopethe
6. The Unholy Trinity
7. Carnival Of Souls
8. Litanies Of Darkness
9. GehennaTopethe (live)
10. Carnival Of Souls (live)
11. The Invocation (live)

12. In The Sand
13. A Garden Of Tears

Line-up 1-11:

Jason Mendonca - Vocals + Guitar
Stephen Wood - Guitar
Dan Temple - Bass
David Gray - Drums

Line-up 12-13:

Nikkie - Vocals + Guitar
Stephen Wood - Guitar
Matthew Platts - Bass
David Gray - Drums

Tape 2:

1. Indecision Plagues me
2. Summer Rain (live)
3. She Is Alone (live)
4. Another Sleepless Night
5. Diary Of An Insomniac (live)
6. Eternal August


Tracy Jackson - vocals
Stephen Wood - Guitar
Peter Theobalds - Guitar
Caroline Batt - Bass
David Gray - Drums

witchclan said...

These tapes sound excellent - will you be uploading these? I would love to hear these, Salem Orchid were my favourite demo band of the early nineties but some of these tracks listed here I have never heard.
I would like to contribute to your blog, let me know if you would like this - I am also in the Kent area.

balbulus said...

Witchclan, we need to establish a better means of communication than this. I think I've found you on FaceBook -- are your initials MB? If so, I'll add you and we can talk more.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I just stumbled onto the Salem Orchid material, saw the link and hopped on over to this download as well. You've outdone yourself, can't thank you enough. This is a real treat indeed!

Anonymous said...

wow! thanks for this!
Is there no chance you would release the other two songs even if the quality is crappy? thanks again

Pedro T. said...

dude could you drop me an email, I'd love to get a version of the tape 2 Salem Orchid tracks.


balbulus said...

Hi Peter, I have posted all the Salem Orchid tracks in another post. A couple were ruined by a tape fault.

Pedro T. said...

damn! I do have the original cassette somewhere too but in many moves over many years it could be almost anywhere! thanks for the reply dude, I'll check out the surviving track anyways.

Alhadis said...

OP, can you please put up COS's earlier rehearsal demo anyway? It might be unlistenable, but I'd at least like to know the tracklist... :)