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Pieces... Correct! This is an entire album of pieces, not once during the 51-minute listening experience trying to repeat itself. There’s nothing you can relate to as a “whole” here. Swedish crew Mörk Gryning always was a somewhat odd group of musicians, sometimes no more than a duo. Odd, however, doesn’t automatically mean bad. There’s enough diversity here to please most listeners. Rather than aiming for a certain group of people, they’ve gone for the whole scene. Therefore, the only problem lies within the fact that not many actually can enjoy themselves throughout the whole damn thing. And it’s not a minor problem.
So let’s see what we’re offered. “The sleeping star” starts out with a very Moonspell-ish rhythm and sound, and stays there for quite a while before blasting its way into hyper speed, only to move forward to melodic segments varied with more hostile parts. Verdict: Not too shabby. While there’s quite much focus required to enjoy this, they seem to be able to make it work without too much of an effort. Melancholic melodies do most of the guiding while the aggression seems a bit more laid back. There are quite a lot of those melodies around here, and almost every one is delivered with care. The breakdowns though, cause some concern for me. There’s no need to slow down a fast running part right in the middle of its peak. This happens sometimes, and it’s goddamn irritating. And to think all of these mysterious, almost spooky passages are delivered from a band which former album didn’t contain a song below 200 bpm.
The vocals could have been done better. The raspy outbursts quickly turn dull, since there’s merely a very little bit variation, and even then it sounds like another person singing / growling. Some passages include clean vocals, but they’re nothing out of the ordinary.
The production is somewhat thin, and it becomes annoying after a while. There could have been lower frequencies to be heard here, but they’ve obviously cut them out. Yes, it seems as if it’s all kind of stereotypical production-wise. A problem which in my opinion is too common.
I’ve owned this album for three full years now, and it still seems a little bit distant.
Once underground, Mörk Gryning certainly discarded everything related to that word with this release. It’s different and slower although equally as dark as before. If only they had explored their newer stuff more, and made it more fitting into the whole scenario they tried to create, this would most certainly have made a classic. Now, it’s left behind in the forgotten box of mediocrity.
Check out these songs : The Sleeping Star, The Cradle of Civilization, Perpetual Dissolution & And Old Mans Lament