Review: Mörk Gryning “Hinsides Vrede” [Season of Mist]

Review: Mörk Gryning “Hinsides Vrede” [Season of Mist]

- in Reviews

After 15 years of silence, the Swedish black metal formation Mörk Gryning has returned with a totally new record “Hinsides Vrede”, and that’s their first release in a collaboration with the famous metal label Season of Mist. They’ve decided to disband in 2005 due to a lack of interest in extreme metal of their leader Goth Gorgon. They’ve returned again into full force in 2016, and after some years of preparation and rehearsals, this year their newest creation finally was released.

Mörk Gryning has started their musical path in early 90s, when melodic death metal was a recent phenomenon. But that was exactly when the black metal has started to lighten up, and from aggressive true Nordic black metal and melodic death metal mixture, fresh movement was created. Bands like Dissection or Catamenia were the first ones to occupy the melodic black metal niche, and Mörk Gryning soon has joined them, enriching the Scandinavian scene with their own unique sense of black metal.

After such a long pause the musicians have returned without surprises or experiments, they have continued to develop their melodic side of black/death metal with the same kind of passion and vigor. Maybe this pause was necessary for them, to gather the strength and not to fall into stagnation, because “Hinsides Vrede” turned out to be a very dynamic and coherent release. Their music now sounds even more calm and satisfyingly melodic, but with a brutish force of black metal aggression, and their simple structural side made the material visibly appealing without need of progressive over-complication.

The black metal spirit leads the main line of this album, but even the heaviest songs (like “The Night”) are far too melodic to make them truly evil in a real black metal fashion. Some songs are rather similar to dark/gothic metal, like the song “Sleeping in the Embers”, melodic and catchy. The rare glimpses of atmospheric mood are very audible in tracks “Fältherren” (the only song in native language) or “Black Spirit”. The acoustic parts sometimes soften the highly structured guitar riffs, adding some melancholic and nostalgic feelings to particular compositions. There are four instrumental introductions during this record – “The Depths of Chinnereth” is creepy and depressive with religious chanting in the background, but “Hinsides”, “For Those Departed” and “On the Elysian Fields” are acoustic sad pieces with a reference to a mournful classical music.

The album isn’t too fast, the songs are casually played in mid-tempo with some acceleration in the most blackest moments (with typical blast beats, dirtier sound and shrieky screams), but the slowest and calmest moments provide with some melodic tranquility. Draakh Kimera is their lead-vocalist, his screaming isn’t too prominent or unusual, but it perfectly fits into this harmonic release. Only “Black Spirit” has some singing surprises, the main parts belong to their leader Goth Gorgon (he uses the clean, half-harsh voice and screaming as well) and a guest female singer Lora Ute. There are some occult passages here, and her oriental manner of singing makes this song very special for them. But beyond that, Mörk Gryning has managed to fit in melodic black metal concept, releasing solid and traditional release without disappointing old fans.

Mörk Gryning has gained the cult reputation throughout the years, they are one of the pioneers of melodic black metal genre, so their hiatus saddened thousands of fans of this Swedish band. Before disbanding they have delighted the audience with a new release every two years. And now with a 15 year long gap their comeback gave an impression, like they have never left the scene! They feel so confident now amongst the mdm/black metal new names and legends, that no wonder, that “Hinsides Vrede” was received so warmly.

Release date: October 23, 2020

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About the author

I am into metal music from the school times, started from traditional genres, and now exploring the experimental scene. I'm also interested in modern architecture and contemporary art.

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