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

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.