GOREMENT – The Ending Quest (1994)
Review by Estelle on the 6th of June 2014
- My Ending Quest
- Vale of Tears
- Human Relic
- The Memorial
- The Lost Breed
- Silent Hymn (for the Dead)
- Sea of Silence
- Obsequies of Mankind
- Darkness of the Dead
- Into Shadows
Genre: Death Metal
Label: Crypta Records
Jimmy Karlsson – Vocals
Patrik Fernlund – Guitars (lead & acoustic)
Daniel Eriksson – Guitars (rhythm)
Nicklas Lilja – Bass
Mattias Berglund – Drums
The Swedish Gorement’s only album named The Ending Quest is exceptional in many ways. Firstly, the record was released in 1994, and even though there were still many fine death metal albums released after 1993, it wasn’t common that a death metal band put its first full-lenght record out in the middle of the ’90s. And secondly, the musicians are extremely skilled when it comes to songwriting and creating a special atmosphere, giving us a smashing shot of haunting melodies compounded into varied slowly rolling, louring, twisted riffs.
The guitars on the album are incredibly downtuned and the bass is quite prominent at most parts; these two elements are the ones that mainly define the obscure, gloomy atmosphere which almost chokes the listener in its stranglehold.
However, there is something soothing and comforting in the music. The elaborate songwriting and composing, the feeling that the album was a round, complex and complete musical experience, the neat variation of slowing, ‘flying-away’ and ripping fast parts, the depressive issues, also the appearance of acoustic guitar and sometimes clean vocals cause the listener to feel some kind of a strange acquiescence.
Even though Gorement is usually noted as a simple death metal band, I think it can easily be called doom/death because of the obvious doom influences, the dark atmosphere and the typical subjects in the lyrics. The words that we can sometimes catch while listening the songs totally describe the music and the feeling it creates: “dark”, “cold”, “silent”, “alone”, “gloom”, “slowly”, “endless”, “dying”.
The quite abstract, minimal-style cover fits the obscure, misty music and is catching our attention with its striking, conspicuous deep purple colour at the same time. The guttural, low tuned vocals also fit the overall sound, Jimmy Karlsson is one particularly talented and technical vocalist of the genre whose name everyone should remember after hearing the record. Lilja is emphasizeable as well: the bass is not only following the music well but it also shines in itself at the right sections; I would especially mention the bass lines in ‘My Ending Quest’ and ‘The Lost Breed’.
The songs quite differ from each other: there are some with the already mentioned clear(er) vocals, some where we can hear acoustic guitars that make an eerie but matching combination with the downtuned, dark guitar sounds, ones without any solo and one which seems to be instrumental for a while because of the lack of vocals. The most outstanding tracks could be the slow, peaceful ‘Sea of Silence’, and ‘Silent Hymn (for the Dead)’ with one of the most beautiful and depressing solos of death metal and with just a few lines sang in a clearer way.
The only common point in the songs in this case is probably the amount of mesmerizing riffs.
As ‘Into Shadows’ ends with the echoing guitar sound and voice of Karlsson, we simply feel like we heard something complex, massive and round – it’s like it slowly rolled along us like a huge, stiff, heavy stone. The structure of the songs, the timing, the track-order and the diversity created by mixing different elements into the music all prove that these precise, deliberate Swedish guys knew what to do when it came to making some old school death/doom metal music.
Outstanding tracks: My Ending Quest, The Memorial, The Lost Breed, Silent Hymn (for the Dead)