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I could say a lot of great things about The Ending Quest and all the demo recordings if I were to do a review solely on the material, but there's a lot in this collection I can't overlook that I'm sure a lot of other people will. The Ending Quest was one of my favorite death metal albums for the longest time, their demos from before that album were excellent as well, but the Promo 95 and live recordings turned out to be pretty forgettable.
My first recommendation to anyone about this release: track down the Necroharmonic release Darkness of the Dead. Dan Swanö's remastering sounds okay at first, until listening back to any earlier mastering. It's basically just a boost in the low and high frequencies, which weren't really necessary. He seemed to accentuate everything like high end hissing that didn't need to be in it, and.. I kid you not... go to 2:02 of the “Exhume to Consume” live Carcass cover... you can hear a Microsoft Windows noise. He also cut short the first second of the drums in “My Ending Quest,” which just confused the hell out of me when I first heard it.
The demo tracks honestly sounded a thousand times better on the Darkness of the Dead release, and at certain points you can hear the extremely bad limiting that makes you wonder if he even listened back to anything before sending it to be pressed. Halfway though the demo recording of "The Memorial" the volume just shoots down for a few seconds inexplicably, which didn't seem to be a problem on any other release. I was constantly noticing "changes" in the album as I had my first listen though, and I don't think any of them were intentional changes so much as ignored mistakes.
What I was originally most excited to listen to before I got this album was the Promo 95 tracks, since only “Profound Harmony” had appeared on Darkness of the Dead. Before this release, I had been searching everywhere I could to try and find this demo tape or even a download of it somewhere with absolutely no luck whatsoever. Honestly, “Profound Harmony” is the best track from the demo. The other two tracks were sort of a disappointment and made me feel like I had seriously wasted my time searching for these songs all those years. The live tracks are basically just blasted out room mic live recordings, cool to have as a completist, but not something you'll go back regularly to listen to.
After being extremely excited to see a complete collection of all things Gorement, this was a giant disappointment. While Necroharmonic did an amazing job providing a collection of rare tracks, Century Media couldn't even come close. The tracks that are left out of the Necroharmonic release aren't much of a loss at all, and overall made me shelve Within The Shadows of Darkness relatively quickly. If you're new to Gorement, the changes might not seem as terrible, and if you're looking to hear every single thing they've done, you may want to check it out. But if you're getting this expecting anything improved from previous releases, you're going to be disappointed. Also, Dan Swanö really needs to listen to shit before he sends it off to be pressed.