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Cold, Melodic, Swedish Perfection - 100%

Retro Death Reviews, April 26th, 2018
Written based on this version: 1997, CD, Near Dark Productions

In The Glimmering Depths Of Darkness.

I'll be the last to admit that I was not expecting an album nearly as good as this when I first stumbled across it. It's not my all-time favorite album, but it's definitely one of them and one of the ONLY albums I would give a perfect 100% rating to from a critical perspective, and for good reason. As most of you fellow metalheads know, Sweden is the king of melodic metal. (Black/death in specific), hailing bands like Dissection, At The Gates, Unanimated, Dark Tranquility, and so on. There are many underappreciated bands from Sweden as well that for some reason just didn't get on that radar like they deserved, and Sorhin is one such band.

This is their debut album, and I mean I don't even really know where to start with this one. It's just so damn good. Every second of the album from start to finish is a dark, wintry masterpiece. They are extremely melodic as most Swedish bands are, but they do something with their guitars that make them stand out from other bands of the time, so you'll know when it's Sorhin that you're listening to. The vocals are not super unique, they're your typical black metal vocals, but they are pretty cool to hear and sound very crisp. The lyrics are great, though entirely in Swedish to keep its authenticity. Despite using pentagrams everywhere in the album booklet, I applaud them a lot for writing lyrics based on nature, depression, Winter, Darkness, etc. Though this is pretty common in black metal, I much prefer this stuff instead of the typical satanic stuff that you hear in a lot of other black metal albums. The album title loosely translates to "In The Glimmering Depths Of Darkness", which I think is a VERY fitting album name. Despite the high amount of melody, there is an undeniable sense of a very cold, gloomy, dark and evil atmosphere. Usually, most black metal bands excel very well with one of the two things but fail at the other. I can say without a shadow of a doubt that they manage to perfectly capture the atmosphere they were aiming for while surpassing my expectations of melody. The drums are also well varied and well paced. They are slow but effective on the slower songs, yet they sprinkle in blast beats when they need to. (Something that a majority of bands in extreme metal tend to overuse.) Don't get me wrong, I love my blast beats but I feel like they have to be used when needed, instead of being used almost entirely through the whole song. As I've said more than I probably needed to, this album is just so melodic. The guitars really steal the show here over everything else. The guitars have their own harmonies that sound perfect with both guitars together (i.e how the harmonies work in other Swedish bands like Dissection, Sacramentum, etc), but there is a very dark tone to the guitars despite being tuned only in standard. This dark tone helps it stick out more, as I haven't heard another "Melodic Black Metal" band that has the same tone as Sorhin, at least in this album. The bass is pretty much inaudible as with most other black metal albums, but if you pay attention, you can hear it and it harmonizes well with the guitars.

Lastly, the production was perfect. It hits that "Just right" spot. My major gripe with most black metal albums is that the production is TOO bad and it both hurts your ears to listen to it, and the quality is so bad, you cant hear ANYTHING aside from the vocals and the drums, while the guitars just sound like static. This is a huge problem because it ruins the ability to fully listen to the songs. I'll admit that there is something grim and raw about lower quality production in albums, but usually, most bands overdo it. However, I think Sorhin saw this. They kept the quality low enough to sound fresh and raw, but they also didn't make it inaudibly low. You can hear everything perfectly. (aside from the bass as I mentioned, but if you're focusing you can even hear that too.) So all in all, I think this album has the perfect production quality as well, which is also very rare for me to find.

Standout tracks: "Svartvintras", "Och Om Natten Min Själ Dansar", " I Skuggan Af Nattens Herre", and "I Det Glimrande Mörkrets Djup", but if you have the time you should definitely listen to the entire album from start to finish. There is not a single second on this that I didn't enjoy. Definitely recommended, don't think about passing this one up!

Into the Unknown... - 85%

Noctir, January 22nd, 2008

This is another lesser-known gem from the Swedish Black Metal scene, being Sorhin's debut full-length. Scathing, hateful vocals, sharp guitars and blinding speed assault the listener from the very beginning of "Godhetens Fall" and it does not let up. I discovered this on a freezing Winter day, and I think this was a very appropriate time to do so.

The sound is more reminiscent of early Dissection, without really sounding like them at all. By that, I mean that the sense of melody reminds me more of the early Norwegian bands rather than the blasting, lifeless sounds of some of the better-known bands. Their use of Swedish lyrics is also very fitting, as this language suits the music quite well.

While there are tempo shifts, the fast-paced songs dominate until we arrive at "Svartvintras" ("The Black Winter") which is slower and has almost a Burzum-like quality to the main riff. Of course, this song speeds up as well, but it is not without feeling. As much as I loathe to admit it, the vocal delivery here is quite similar to Satyricon's "The Shadowthrone." Luckily, this is a much more solid album than that and is not plagued with worthless keyboards to act as a crutch to create atmosphere.

There are many great melodies on this album, some violent and some mournful. The Swedish lyrics tell of death, darkness and hatred for Christianity. Really, nothing groundbreaking in that department and there's no need for it to be any other way. The production was done by Peter Tägtgren in Abyss studios, yet it doesn't have the annoying sound that many of his later efforts have. Everything was done well enough and I can't really complain about the production. While I would not call this a classic album or rate it up with "The Somberlain", I can recommend this as a solid piece of Black Metal history. There are some great riffs contained in this album and if you manage to run across a copy, definitely pick it up.

Complete Black Metal Experience - 100%

Kristenhat666, November 11th, 2006

For the majority of those who listen to Metal, SORHIN is a band that means very little. This is due either to the fact that they have never even heard of the band, or that they cannot digest their particular and extremely original style. Having said this, among the few who do like this band, most would tell you it ‘s an acquired taste. I am no exception. I first got a copy of SORHIN ‘s “I DET GLIMRANDE MÖRKRETS DJUP” many years ago, on a hot summer day. And although I found the album to contain some very good riffs, I was not too impressed. However, today, I would give this brilliant release a full 100 points without any hesitation. Sounds crazy??? Well, let me explain what brought about this change.

Now where do I start? Back in 1997, I saw the picture disc version of “I DET GLIMRANDE…” advertised in a Metal Catalogue. I doubt I’d exaggerate when I say that I was smitten with the cover! With its mysterious shade of blue, it portrays a sinister landscape swept by mist, whose laces seem to impale themselves on the bare funereal trees. But that’s not all. The band members’ war-painted faces emerge from this lugubrious setting, as specters from the deepest chasms of darkness. The album’s title, incidentally, means “In the Glimmering Depths of Darkness”, and this goes to show that neither the title nor the cover were chosen randomly. In fact, they were part of the band’s concept, and this is what most people have failed to understand. Now, it was impossible for me to get my hands on the album immediately, but when I eventually did (in SUMMER, I have to stress that), I did not make use of the clue that the CD’s name and artwork offered. My thought at the time was “pity the music does not match up to the cover”. Everything changed on the winter night I decided to listen to it on my discman and wander through the misty woodlands… You see, “I DET GLIMRANDE…” is far beyond a mere audio experience. It’s not meant for all year round listening. It was intended to satisfy those who, like me, cannot think of anything more beautiful and fulfilling than to walk upon disused paths lined with trees, caressed by the thick autumnal/wintry fog. And the songs SORHIN deliver here are a perfect musical expression of what is otherwise a visual (and physical) delight. Indeed the tracks heighten and intensify that experience even more.

So what about the music then? The typical style SORHIN have always played is both melodic and disharmonic, and the band’s ability to balance the two aspects is what has earned them their reputation for originality. The emphasis is on pure and straightforward Black Metal, suited for foggy winter nights, and one will hardly find anything else here. SORHIN have the right to be called a BM band, since they have not released anything else. Few bands can claim to compare. I doubt I could make readers understand exactly what the album sounds like. Experiencing the music on “I DET GLIMRANDE…” will separate those who will dismiss the album (as a result of their inability to fathom it) from the rare individuals who will realize its brilliance and uniqueness.

The lyrics are all in Swedish, and this is definitely one of the characteristics of True BM. I’m not asserting that English texts are unacceptable, just that the “true-ness’ is more accentuated when the songs are in Scandinavian. I personally find Swedish to be a dark and hatefully-sounding language, which means that it is ideal for the genre. Admittedly, I have been learning the language for a while, and this fact has allowed me to enjoy things even more, as I am not bored with it the way many Swedes might be yet can understand the meaning of the words so aggressively growled.

To summarize everything, I will say that SORHIN ‘s “I DET GLIMRANDE MÖRKRETS DJUP” is the most complete Black metal experience I can imagine. If, like me, you relish the feeling that you have when fog descends and you find yourself wandering alone on spectral pathways, free of the presence of the rest of mankind, nothing could ever boost your bliss and pleasure as much as this album!