Prompted by the very good review of Ralf for the new MÖRK GRYNING-album "Maelstrom Chaos" I've taken on their debut "Tusen År Har Gått..." ("One Thousand Years Have Passed" - Alex). That one had been among my absolute favourites from the Black/Death Metal-corner some years back. "Tusen År Har Gått..." had been, in my wild time, next to DIMMU BORGIR's "Entrone Darkness Triumphant" and DISSECTION's "Storm Of The Light's Bane" in my heavy-rotation. The Swedish band, consisting only of the two guys of Goth Gorgon (bass, guitar, acousic guitar, keyboards & screams) and Draakh Kimera (Lead & acoustic guitar, vocals, keyboards, drums & screams) enthuses on a very special level. Musically MÖRK GRYNING indeed are best comparable to DIMMU BORGIR and DISSECTION. The atmosphere comes from both of these bands, the melodic guitar-leads clearly sound like DISSECTION. But to be fair I also have to say that MÖRK GRYNING have not copied, because both albums were conceived at roughly the same time.
The impending doom is introduced by the dark and at the same time majestic intro "Dågon", which seamlessly moves over into the opener "Journey". This track is a piece of pure hate. For the first time the all-annihilating lead-axe is pushing to the fore, mercilessly it conjures a great melody into the furious riff-hurricane, which is made even mightier by the keyboards. Brutal thrashing combines with an enchanting atmosphere and thus creates catchiness. Also interesting is the alternating screaming of the two guys. The title-track "Tusen År Har Gått..." also starts out with melodic leads, but here the drum-thunder gets even mightier and for the first time the bass is audible as well. The number offers a lot of variety as the band also includes some calmer parts. With "Omringningen" ("The Surrounding" - Alex) the band then presents us with the perfect counterpart to DISSECTION's "Night's Blood". For me clearly the highlight of this album. Especially well implemented are the atmospheric keyboards and the just plainly great lead-axe, which blows away everything, great. Besides the mainly Black Metallic sounds we also get some very traditional Metal-elements, this song alone would be enough for the Swedes to deserve more attention from the scene.
With the acoustic instrumental "Armageddon Has Come To Pass..." we get a litte breather before MÖRK GRYNING are unleashing the beast again. "Unleash The Beast" is the so far heaviest song. Blastbeats are accompanied by furiousness and mighty screeching. The song is not really accessible, but surprises the listener in the middle with a calm part before returning to the inferno of just before. That's what I call good song-writing.
"The Final Battle" hits the same vein as "Unleash The Beast", but the song is slower and a lot catchier by its cool melodies. With the last two tracks "Mörkrets Gryning" ("Dark Morningrise" - Alex) und "Min Sista Färd (En Visa Om Döden)" ("My Last Journey (A Song About Death)" - Alex) the duo doesn't make any mistakes anymore. "Mörkrets Gryning" is phantatic and "Min Sista..." marks a very good end of a gripping album.
If you look at it more closely, then "Tusen År Har Gått..." could be called a concept-album, because a complete story runs through all of the songs. I guess I won't have to tell you what they are about, the song-titles are obvious. Only a pity that the songs alternatingly are English and Swedish (But maybe our Swedish colleague can tell us what they mean in English or German) (A German with a slight little help from a Swede (Hej Kim!) works, too :) - Alex). The CD has been produced by Dan Swanö, which alone almost is proof for a great sound already. Remarkable is also that this duo has recorded this album twain and with a brilliance on all instruments, kudos.
In my personal hitlist "Tusen År Har Gått..." is a close second to "Storm Of The Light's Bane" and with this stands even before "Enthrone Darkness Triumphant" and that is quite a feat. The only point of criticism would be the short playing time, but for that it is very well filled. Metalheads that normally like this kind of music should check out MÖRK GRYNING, no question.
Check-out-tips: "Omringningen", "The Final Battle", "Mörkrets Gryning"...