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Moondark > Demo #1 > Reviews
Moondark - Demo #1

From The Crypt They're Coming... - 88%

CHRISTI_NS_ANITY8, April 10th, 2008

I didn’t know this band ‘till this album saw the light in a re-mastered version and, since I’m very curious for these old school sounds, I decided to listen to it. This is unbelievably obscure and rotten! I mean, I rarely listened to such a brutal sound by the guitars: it’s not only the classic chainsaw Swedish guitars sound, but it’s even more extreme and rotten. For example, take the very first Grave period with their debut and add to that sound an early gore distortion in Repulsion style. This is total madness.

The vocals are truly growly and low tuned. The tempo is not so fast and in the title track as opener, we can find almost doom passages during all the length. There are no melodies at all and everything sounds so cold and evil. “Inside The Crypt” has some speed restarts but they concern only the bass drum work, that at the end is not that fast. The snare drum is always on very slow tempo and the whole drum kit sounds a bit too low compared to the guitar's violence.

Forget completely the solos or some more high pitched lead guitars lines because here it’s all about the power chords brutality and nothing more. Sometimes the growls turn to a sort of whispered, malignant vocals always with the raw touch. Well, at the end you can say: “Man, this is too boring or monotonous!” but it has something that makes me say the contrary…I don’t know…I’ve always preferred faster things but it’s like the case of some suicidal black metal bands: they’re not fast at all but maybe the atmosphere and the sounds are something I find very interesting.

“Trespassing Into… The Abyss” is truly one of the most obscure things I’ve ever listened to. It features background screams, long growls and pitch black atmosphere. The tempo in some parts is faster but suddenly it turns to doom, as usual. There’s no light in this album, there’s no hope…just suffering, depression and obscurity. This album is blacker than the 90% of the black metal albums put out in all these years and I can say this without a shadow of a doubt.

The songs seem so long and it’s not for the real length or because of the boredom but it’s for the suffocating atmosphere. The growls have just one tonality, as the instruments during the whole 35 minutes and that is just sick. I feel myself to recommend this album to a more black oriented part of metalhead, to understand really why I’m saying that this is blacker than black…but obviously, it will be good to any death/doom metal fan.

Brutality from the vaults - 75%

Pestbesmittad, March 19th, 2008

Although best known for its black metal releases, No Colours Records has also dug up and released some old Swedish death metal stuff over the years. Now the label continues this tradition by giving Moondark’s full-length a proper release. Well, what can I say? It’s a rather pleasant listen. Rough mid-tempo early 90s death metal with a pretty thick, crunchy and somewhat putrid (in a positive way) guitar sound. The production gives the music exactly the feeling that death metal from this particular era should have.

Unlike most other Swedish death metal bands of the early 90s, Moondark doesn’t use fast tremolo picked melodies at all. They stay almost exclusively with power chords, thereby coming off as more primitive than many of their contemporaries. This isn’t negative in itself but it does make the music somewhat monotonous and the inclusion of e.g. fast parts in the music would have brought more variation. Most of the time the music sounds influenced by bands such as Grave, Funebre, Gorement and etc., but it’s indeed a bit more primitive. When they use melodies as on e.g. the title track, “Trespassing into the Abyss” and “World Devastator” these are always kept simple. “Trespassing into the Abyss” is an instrumental where one can hear some terrified female screams. Poor girl, she really sounds like she’s lost it. The few melodies on this album are more like a spice to the music instead of being the main focus. “Dimension of Darkness” remains my favourite track due to its chorus, in which the word “obscure” is brutally repeated over and over.

Mats’ vocals are darker than those of most of the other Swedish death metal bands, good evil growls (obviously pitch-shifted though). At times the vocals also remind me a bit of American gore death metal. The vocals play in important role in creating an abyssic feeling to the music. “The Shadowpath” may not be mind-blowing enough to be able to dethrone “Left Hand Path”, “Like an Everflowing Stream”, “Into the Grave” or “Dark Recollections” but it’s still a worthy addition to your collection if you’re a fan of old-school Swedish death metal.