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Mörk Gryning - s/t (9/10) - Sweden - 2005

Genre: Black Metal
Label: Black Lodge
Playing time: 48:55
Band homepage: -

Tracklist:

  1. Lazarus Rising
  2. Ingen Dyrkan
  3. The Sun
  4. Into Oblivion
  5. The Aurora
  6. Pure
  7. All Discarded
  8. Disguise My Parting
  9. Neverwhere (At The Gates Cover)
Mörk Gryning - s/t

In early 2005 band leader Goth Gorgon disbanded this band because he had supposedly lost interest in Black Metal. The info sheet says that this self-titled album was written and released by the band due to fan pressure. Just reading that made me fear that this album would be nothing but a half-hearted LP released just to please their fans. I am honored to say that the complete opposite is true – this is some of the band’s best work in years and it is filled with a passion that made me wonder how or why Goth Gorgon and fellow partner in crime Draakh Kimera would want to disband this project.

 

I have always been a fan of this band and I consider their debut “Tusen År Har Gått…” to be one of the better Black Metal albums to have come out of the burgeoning Swedish scene in the last ten years. So I obviously had high expectations for this album and they were exceeded tenfold! All the elements that have made this band so special (although not unique) are all still present: the searing vocals, tight drumming and very DISSECTION-esque keyboards coupled with Black riffs and a truly haunting atmosphere. But this time around the band have added a bit more Death Metal to the proceedings as well as increased technicality, all the while never losing that essential Black Metal feel.

 

After the effective intro, we get “Ingen Dyrkan” with its cold riffs (sounds cliché I know…) and hateful vocals. A great way to kick off the album and this continues into “The Sun”, a track that even throws in some very old school guitar leads. “Into Oblivion” is a fully realized Technical Death Metal track with Black touches, that sounds like an unholy marriage of GREEN CARNATION, VORKREIST and EDGE OF SANITY. It’s great to see (hear…) the band try out other avenues of extreme metal while still never losing sight of the fact that they are still a Black Metal band.

 

From there the album goes from grim depressive Black Metal (“The Aurora” – just listen to those underlying leads – kvlt), Doomy Black Metal (“All Discarded”) and just about everything in between. But the two best tracks are left for last; “Disguise My Parting” opens up with some very skilled guitar work that almost gives it a GAMMA RAY (god forbid) feel and then later impresses with some brilliant melodies around the 3:00 mark. To top it all off we are treated to a great cover of AT THE GATES’ “Neverwhere” – a track that MÖRK GRYNING pulls of admirably and even better than the seminal Death Metallers themselves!!

 

I know it might sound as if this album is too diverse or technical to be considered true Black Metal, but make no mistake about it: this is still Black Metal, but unlike most other second rate acts that peddle this kind of thing, this band employ their brains as much as their black hearts.

 

So, if this is indeed the band’s swansong, then they will go out on a high. One of the best albums of 2005. They couldn’t have asked for a better epitaph. (Online April 14, 2006)

Neil Pretorius



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