Mork Gryning - _Mork Gryning_
(Black Lodge, 2005)
by: Jackie Smit (7.5 out of 10)
Mork Gryning recall Sweden's glory days; a time when bands like Dissection ruled the underground and albums like _Storm of the Light's Bane_ spearheaded a movement that had very little in common with anything even remotely socially acceptable. It was during this time that Mork Gryning first made their appearance -- on 1995's underwhelming _Tusen Ar Har Gatt_ -- and it's telling that a decade later, their once stayed formula sounds positively refreshing in the face of the literally thousands of In Flames clones that are flooding out of Scandinavia. Moreover, this latest effort is a posthumous product of fan demand, if the PR gurus at Black Lodge are to believed, which can only be a sure sign that Sweden is no longer the hotbed for innovative extremity it once was.

Of course, irrespective of one's opinion or frame of reference, there's not a lot to argue with when it comes to a song like "Ingen Dyrkan", which kicks off this record. Part neo-classical, blackened death and part blast-speed apocalypse, it's an exceptionally written track, convincingly performed and enhanced by a production job that's not too clean and not so raw as to cause one to confuse the record with _Filosofem_. Such bleak perfection, while hardly a rare commodity on this disc, isn't necessarily guaranteed all the time though. As early as "The Sun", Mork Gryning fall prey to sequences of disjointed and confused riffing that don't ruin songs completely, but certainly cast a blight on the overall listening experience. There's more than enough elsewhere to make up for this though, and while it's hardly in the same league as a band like At the Gates (who are incidentally paid tribute to with a cover of "Neverwhere"), Mork Gryning deserve top marks for sticking to their guns in a scene where a great many have since chosen to tread a much more comfortable musical path.


(article published 9/11/2005)

4/12/2002 A McKay 6.5 Mork Gryning - Maelstrom Chaos
10/11/1996 D Schinzel 9 Mork Gryning - Tusen Ar Har Gatt
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