Sunday, September 30, 2012

COUNTESS - Bloed In De Sneeuw 2012

This song was the first Black Metal song with lyrics in Dutch. It was written in 1993, when we had just started rehearsing with the line-up that would eventually record the demo 'The Wolves Awake'. At the time, we listened a lot to bands like Master's Hammer and Masacre, who sang in their own languages, which inspired us to also try that.

I came up with the title 'Bloed In De Sneeuw' and wrote a lyric for it. At the same time, Othalaz showed me a riff he had that I liked and we began constructing the song. Othalaz' riff became the verse riff and I came up with the chorus. However, the lyrics didn't fit very well so I changed those (as far as I remember, the original lyrics were much longer, but these have long since been lost). When the song was finished, we decided to record it. Since we weren't sure how this would turn out, we decided to record it as a 13 Candles project track and put it on the 'Hymns Of Winter' compilation rather than include it on 'The Wolves Awake' for which we had enough material anyway.

When the compilation was released, reactions to the song were very enthusiastic. Besides being a really cool song musically, admittedly heavily inspired by 'Viking era' Bathory, the Dutch lyrics gave the song something 'extra' that was apparently more than just the novelty factor. So we started rehearsing the song with Countess and we even played it live once (in May 1994). However, for reasons I cannot remember - if any - we didn't include it on the next Countess album, 'The Return Of The Horned One' when we record that later in 1994. Then when we were signed to N.E.P. and we were preparing the album's release, Opyros insisted we add 'Bloed In De Sneeuw' to the album because he really liked that song. We didn't have time to record it again, though, so we just did a remix of the original 13 Candles version and tacked that onto the album as the final track (admittedly, there is hardly any difference between the remix and the original mix).

When the album was released, again the response to 'Bloed In De Sneeuw' was really good. So when, in March 1995, we had another Countess line-up together and began rehearsing, we decided to include the song in our live set. We did change the song a little: we moved the lead section from the end to after the second chorus, before the break in the middle. We felt that made the song 'flow' better. As far as I remember, we played 'Bloed In De Sneeuw' live at every gig we did from then on. It was also recorded for the live album in 1996. While the full live album was never released, the live version of 'Bloed In De Sneeuw' was eventually released as a bonus track on 'Heilig Vuur' in 2004. 'Heilig Vuur', of course, was an album entirely in Dutch. A few years later, we recorded a new studio version that was released as a bonus track on 'Blazing Flames Of War'.

This year, we decided to do another new version, in celebration of Countess' 20th anniversary. While the 2007 version was a very 'stripped down' version, without any keyboards, this version is closer in spirit to the original version.

Taken from the Official COUNTESS Blog :

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