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This release should give hope to every starting metal band on the planet. Look guys, even if you don’t master your instruments, even if you suck a bit, with a bit of exercise and motivation you still can have an international musical career.
The atmosphere of the CD is what we can expect from early Dimmu Borgir. Threatening and melancholic, with single string strum black metal riffs and chaotic drums.
The music sounds like typical 90’s black metal: very raw and poorly produced. While it translates the feeling and mindset of the scene at the time, the result is hardly enjoyable. I don’t know how skilled the musicians were at that time, but the songs are not very well played, which also could mean it was recorded and edited hastily. Was it a budget thing or just mediocrity, I guess we’ll never know.
“EP” is a keyword here. If this was released as a demo, the standard would be lower, and some things would make more sense. But the band (or label?) released it as an EP, and so it shall be reviewed as an EP. This means the quality falls short on every front: the drums are floating and the other instruments try their best to follow, but don’t quite succeed. The overall sound quality is quite low, even for earlier standards. I wonder if they used a guide track while recording, my guess is they didn’t.
Not all is horrible on Inn I Evighetens Mørke (“In eternal darkness“), the band put the riffs quite coherently together and the songwriting skills are there, it’s just that they are buried in amateurism. Luckily they realized soon enough they had the potential to actually make good music and evolved into a really good band. As I said: there is hope for every starting metal band.
The year was 1994, and a young an dback then unknown Norwegian band had just released their very first effort in the form of a limited 7" EP, in true underground Black Metal style. This offering was called "Inn I Evighentens Mørke" and over the years it has become an insanely sought after item by the many band fans.
Most of these early releases are rarely worth all the attention and cult status they get, but it's not the case here. To this day, "Inn I Evighetens Mørke" still stands as a courageous and impressive debut offering.
On the first side we find the title track, a bleak, dismal epic which is divided in two parts. Part I is instrumental and very slow, almost Doomish at points. A sad piano melody introduces us to a windswept landscape of majestic, depressive moods, painted by a good set of riffs which flow one after another like a freezing stream of melting ice. In their early days, Dimmu were striving for a beautiful yet sad atmosphere, and they definitely accomplished their mission here.
Part II changes the mood completely, being short and pretty fast (by early Dimmu standards). It opens with a cool guitar riff, soon joined by the other instruments and Silenoz's deep, echoy screams; the opening sounds a bit like "Hunnerkongens Sorgsvarte Ferd over Steppene" which would later appear on the first album, but soon gives room to more and more riffs compressed in such a short song, without sacrificing cohesion. There are also some unusual key changes to be found here. A little gem.
The other side presents the best known song of the band's old days, "Raabjørn Speiler Draugheimens Skodde", which would also resurface of "For All Tid" and, in a re-recorded version, on both "Enthrone Darkness Triumphant" and "Godless Savage Garden". This track is another great example of the enthralling atmosphere the band was striving for: a slow and very melancholic riff soon gives way to a more heavy passage, and finally the more groovy verse kicks in, followed by a chorus built on a simple yet extremely effective riff, one of the band's best. After another verse and another chorus, we get back to a slow tempo which lasts until the song fades out. A classic which deserves its status, although over the years this song got really overused.
The sound on this EP resembles the one of the original edition of "For All Tid" issued by No Colours Records (actually I believe that the material for these two releases originated during the same sessions): echoy and creepy, with buzzy but stil decipherable guitars and a lot of reverb on drums and vocals. Surprisingly enough, the bass can be easily heard, which is a definite plus because the band's first bassist, Brynjard Tristan, always had a good number of interesting lines to add to the texture. The synths, played by their original keyboarder Stian Aarstad (which was a session member back then) sound nothing like the grandiose, pompous arrangements to be found on EDT or even Stormblåst, yet their subtle presence strongly enhances the mysterious atmosphere of the music, and if they weren't there, it would be clear that something is missing, especially on the first part of the title track.
As I said, this EP is nowadays hard and expensive to obtain (I'm not even sure if Necromantic Gallery Productions, the label that originally released it, even exists anymore), but you can find its material on the Nuclear Blast re-issue of "For All Tid, although with a slightly different sound due to the remastering process.
However, it's safe to say that "Inn I Evighentens Mørke" marked a very good beginning for a very good band.