Mork Gryning - Tusen ar har gatt
Melodic Black Metal
11 songs (40'38")
Release year: 2016
Mork Gryning, Eisenwald
Reviewed by Alex
Archive review

Re-releasing the first album by Swedish Mork Gryning Tusen år har gått is both a profound and a controversial move, just like the album itself is viewed by many. Depending on who you are talking to, Tusen år har gått is either a genius revelation or a big poser. After all, delivering a solid black metal album when you are a teenage duo is bound to capture attention of some, and there would be those who would be willing to proclaim Tusen år har gått a classic. Then there will be critics, who will say that doing what Mork Gryning did on Tusen år har gått is basically aping Dissection, riding the formula many were hungry for back in mid 90s. But then Tusen år har gått and Storm of the Light’s Bane were released around the same time … Trying to be objective is not entirely easy when you are dealing with a well-known cult offering, but I'm going to try. So here is my conclusive remark, before I even try and describe Tusen år har gått to those unfamiliar with it: to listen to Goth Gorgon and Draakh Kimera handle their instruments and compose music is very impressive, especially if you take their age at the time of the release into account. The mood, the atmosphere, the melodies are undeniably there. Yet, to call myself smitten by the feeling, to feel afraid of the supposedly emanating evil, to sense the cold blade slicing my heart - no, I cannot say that I'm a full believer. Dissection’s Storm of the Light’s Bane or Naglfar’s Vittra were more of a factor for me when I heard them for the first time. But enjoy Tusen år har gått I do, and therefore you have my wholehearted recommendation to seek out the re-release if you don't happen to possess the original.

Mork Gryning were mature enough to not just drill and blast on Tusen år har gått, but to space and punctuate with short atmospheric tracks, such as synth driven Dagon and dark acoustic rainy prophetic Armageddon Has Come to Pass…. In between, however, one can definitely see why Tusen år har gått professes to be the carrier of the Dissection mantle. The melodies are very strong (Journey), and guitars simply sweep you off your feet, flowing back and forth, without getting stagnant with the riffing. In fact, riff variety really impresses, as Mork Gryning do pack Tusen år har gått with a lot of ideas. Omringningen even has a touch of folky motif, reminding me of Windir on 1184. There is bravery and the sense of overcoming of harsh Nordic nature in this track. After Armageddon Has Come to Pass… promises the end of the world, Unleash the Beast then delivers a genuine sense of strength and pride, and The Final Battle does the same, although in less blasting but more deliberate double bass manner. Morkrets gryning is dark and forceful, while Min sista fard (En visa om doden) closes pulling out all the stops, even going as far as providing a touch of cleaner (female?) vocals. At times epic, at times soundtracky, Tusen år har gått is a full of quality music. Production on this album is surprisingly good as well. Guitars are very distinctive, bass is heard, and there is depth to the drums. It is if the sound on Tusen år har gått is almost too polished and too refined to be entirely believable of the Mork Gryning face-painted intentions. A touch of rawness is needed, and when it is provided, as in Morkrets gryning, the balance between beasty and harmonious is achieved.

And for those who do seek that raw feeling, but also for the collectors, the re-release has a pair of bonus tracks, the original demo version sounding Tusen år har gått, which explains what the band really was like before they got into the studio with Dan Swano, and also When Moonshine is the Only Light, with unintelligible vocals and upside down bucket sounding drums.

Killing Songs :
Omringningen, Unleash the Beast, Morkerts gryning
Alex quoted 84 / 100
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