Dark. Cold. Silent. Gloom

Gorement

GOREMENT – The Ending Quest (1994)

Review by Estelle on the 6th of June 2014

TRACKLIST

  1. My Ending Quest
  2. Vale of Tears
  3. Human Relic
  4. The Memorial
  5. The Lost Breed
  6. Silent Hymn (for the Dead)
  7. Sea of Silence
  8. Obsequies of Mankind
  9. Darkness of the Dead
  10. Into Shadows

RELEASE DETAILS
Genre: Death Metal

Label: Crypta Records
Country: Sweden
Year: 1994

LINEUP
Jimmy Karlsson – Vocals

Patrik Fernlund – Guitars (lead & acoustic)
Daniel Eriksson – Guitars (rhythm)
Nicklas Lilja – Bass
Mattias Berglund – Drums


endThe 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’.

Gorement+2The 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)

10/9.5

Crawling like a dreadful creature in the dark

morbus1

MORBUS CHRON – Sleepers in the Rift (2011)

Review by Estelle on the 7th of May 2014

TRACKLIST

  1. Through the Gaping Gate / Coughing in a Coffin
  2. Creepy Creeping Creep
  3. Hymns to a Stiff
  4. Red Hook Horror
  5. The Hallucinating Dead
  6. Ways of Torture
  7. Dead Body Pile Necrophile
  8. Lidless Coffin
  9. Deformation of the Dark Matter

RELEASE DETAILS
Genre: Death Metal
Label: Pulverised Records
Country: Sweden
Date: August 29, 2011

LINEUP
Robert Andersson – Vocals, Guitars, Lyrics

Edvin Aftonfalk – Guitars (lead), Vocals, Lyrics
Adam Lindmark – Drums
Dag Landin – Bass


morbus_chron-sleepers_in_the_rfitThe four-piece death metal band Morbus Chron was founded in 2007 and released their first album ‘Sleepers in the Rift’ in 2011. Three years later in February 2014 they came up with a completely different and apparently more evolved and more mature concept with their second record, Sweven – but that is a horse of another color (and possibly another review).
The Swedish death metallers’ debut is most likely my personal favorite death metal album of our recent years, along with Asphyx’s Deathhammer from 2012. Why?

Incredibly wicked overall sound, incredibly heavy classic riffs, incredibly well-worked-out sections – and all these in the spirit of pure old school death metal. They still don’t make a mistake with going to the extremes of this old school-mania or dealing too much with being flawless: even though each beat, each cut is reasoned, thought-out and well-worked-out, we can still clearly feel their ‘easy-goingness’ and passion towards the music they play. They don’t want or try to be perfect, they are simply excellent songwriters and musicians who do their thing naturally.

As the first song starts with the little piece of fitting scary music borrowed from the good old horror movies we immediately get the beloved frightening, dark atmoshpere which saturates the entire music, creeps into the darkest depths of our souls and awakes our love for the evil in us. ‘Through the Gaping Gate / Coughing in a Coffin’ is a nasty, raw and complex beast which simply stinks of dirt – similarly to all the other segments of the album.
Each song has a beginning, a main part and an end, filled up with varied, twisted, mesmerizing yet classic riffs, disgusting raspy, agonizing vocals and a filthy atmosphere. The riffs are quite thrashy at some parts (especially in the fast sections of the tracks ‘Creepy Creeping Creep’, ‘Red Hook Horror’ or ‘Dead Body Pile Necrophile’), however, Morbus Chron seem to reshape the thrashy riffs by playing them a little slower and uglier than a thrash band would have. Along with the thrashy speed and riffs we can also hear some stunning doomy parts similarly to Autopsy’s way of building them into their songs; and on top of everything there is a little rock n’ roll feel in the solo of ‘Red Hook Horror’, bringing in a slight element of fun in the band’s gore-based music.

Morbus+ChronThe unpolished production is a strong point of the album – it’s just as clear as it should be to make the music enjoyable and to keep the retro-feeling at the same time. The obscure, evil yet colorful and lively artwork is also highlightable: it catches our attention right at the moment we look at it, leading us to a mysterious and still cruelly realistic world.

With their dirty old school sound Morbus Chron present a tribute to legends like Autopsy, Nihilist, Entombed, Dismember, Grave or Carnage. Still, in spite of what you might expect, the album isn’t full of cliches. It is old school without ripping from its influences too directly – one thing is to take influences from classic bands and another is to use them properly and compose them into some ass kicking death metal tunes, completed with a labyrinthe of tempos and techniques plus a little hint of humour. They show they don’t take themselves as seriously as we might thought with song titles like ‘Creepy Creeping Creep’ or ‘Dead Body Pile Necrophile’, or by overdoing the hysterical coughing or gasping at times.

‘Sleepers in the Rift’ is one perfectly satisfying album for those who love the old school, and even though they know this is not something that will bring back the glory days, they crave for hearing those catchy, rotten and twisted riffs and classic gory, evil lyrics without photocopying the old legends’ way of playing.

Outstanding tracks: Through the Gaping Gate / Coughing in a Coffin, Creepy Creeping Creep, The Hallucinating Dead

10/9