Article By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker ‡ Edited By: Leanne Ridgeway
On April 25th, Arachnophobia Records will reissue a remastered edition of ‘Vae Victus‘ from the Polish entity December’s Fire. The 1996 album was the pinnacle of the recorded material from the one-man solo project of Piotr Weltrowskiego.
He himself was a member of Hefeystos and an early keyboardist for Behemoth. In fact, Behemoth’s Nergal contributes vocals to the songs on ‘Vae Victus‘, which is streaming below.
Piotr began experimenting with his own musical endeavors under the name of December’s Fire in 1994. The multi-instrumentalist created music that was atmospherically gothic in nature. Rife with symphonic elements and intense emotional output, he self-released his first demo, ‘Across The Snowfields Of Baltic‘, in 1995. Another demo, ‘Deszcz Ma Lza, Piorun Mym Krzykiem‘ (translated ‘My Tear Rain, Lightning My Cry’), followed that same year through Witching Hour Productions.
The first official full-length effort from December’s Fire, ‘Vae Victus‘, released in 1996, through Epitaph’s Last Productions. It was the first recording to feature Adam ‘Nergal‘ Darskiego and consists of four songs. Intricately arranged, emotionally fluid, melodic, and haunting, the synth-driven music maintains an epic feel to it at all times.
During the recording of that album, other material was also recorded for an intended second album, ‘Ars Infernali‘. It was never released, however, excerpts from it were later used in another musical project of Piotr’s named The 4th Is Eligor. Those selective portions were utilized in the soundtrack for a Paul Orchards-directed film, ‘Cycle‘.
In 1997, Piotr Weltrowskiego / December’s Fire released a limited edition EP comprised of two instrumental tracks, ‘Fire‘. The recording was limited to 200 copies and issued via Moonwheel Records. It was to be the final recordings from December’s Fire, as Piotr soon disbanded the project altogether.
As I alluded to at the start of this article, Arachnophobia Records will reissue the remastered edition of ‘Vae Victus‘ on April 25th. Marcin Rybicki of Left Hand Sounds Studios remastered this cult-revered album, one that holds a special place in the hearts of many Behemoth fans to this day. You can stream the newly remastered, and revitalized, reissue below.