Finnish post started strike that halts most of letter post. Also package shipments has problems. None of out-of-EU shipments will move. Letter post is heavily delayed, but large packages inside Europe may be effected only by some days. It is expected for strike to last at least couple of weeks, but news have mentioned plans of extend it for even month. This is one of the reasons why some NH releases have been postponed a bit.
Recent re-issue releases are available, but for above mentioned reason, copies that are ordered now, are not shipped instantly, but only after situation clears.
Besides making all NH’s Annihilatus releases available again, one of the most well known landmark of NH’s catalogue is first time published as digipak CD: SATANIC WARMASTER ”Strength & Honour”.
First version of this album was published in 2001. Instead of sounding like Satanic Warmaster’s Bloody Ritual demo (1999), it reminded heavily of Blutrache (fin) first and only demo published in 1999. Album music was recorded with analogue 4-track cassette player, and due running out of tracks, vocals were added in studio. Result had slightly odd mix of ultra raw music and ”clean” vocal tracks. To make everything blend together, measures were taken at NH headquarters and sound was butchered with distortion and compression. That ripping and brutalized version of album is that became audio source of the first three pressings.
All these three pressings can be clearly recognized. Very first edition of LP and CD included image known as ”Spirit of Wolf”. There is a story behind it not everybody is aware of: Spirit of Wolf image was published in the Greek Black Metal ‘zine Medieval Tortures # 1 (1999), was mistakenly interpreted by Satanic Tyrant Werwolf as masterless, although it was printed below Russian band Draugwath bio. When members of Draughwath (& Blackdeath) informed that they are the makers of Spirit of Wolf image, further editions of Strength and Honour were published without cover art. 2nd and 3rd press included only black cover with logo.
Starting from the 4th press of S&H in 2007, album went over modifications. Band went back to studio with original un-distorted master recording, and used professional methods to compress and adjust levels of the album material. Of course it remains raw and ripping, yet heavier bass frequencies and some more clarity made it even better. As addition to album material, since 2007 there was included Blutrache demo as bonus tracks. It may appear confusing, yet the birth and legacy of Satanic Warmaster is strongly related to atmosphere of that one-off project created in same year as SW was born.
Since 4th pressing, also new cover artwork was applied in pressings that have been made after it.
Now, 20 years after SW was born, new edition of ”Strength & Honour” is done. It has the same audio it has been since 2007, but with permission of the Blackdeath, we can present this digipak version with the first cover design. Satanic Tyrant Werwolf has modified release slightly, yet it fits perfectly in place of iconographic SW look.
So to be clear, despite Blackdeath used the nearly similar cover for their ”Bottomless Armageddon” few years later in 2003, they are the original source of the image. Northern Heritage has had long standing connection and support for Blackdeath and have also released in licensed vinyl series ”Bottomless Armageddon” LP! Blackdeath has remained active all these years, publishing multiple unique albums. Their almost entire discography can be found from NH’s distribution list. If for some reason band remains unknown to you, it is recommended to check out. You can listen sample from latest album https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1o2UyHnbyP0
Northern Heritage is in process of reissuing and/or repressing titles from the back catalogue. For example, during 2020 should happen multiple old Baptism releases available on vinyl. 2020 will not be all digging the past archives, but also new releases.