Thursday, 8 September 2011

Eternal Darkness - Total Darkness

Eternal Darkness - Total Darkness (TEMPLE OF DARKNESS - LP 2006)
I must honestly say I've never heard about this band until I read somewhere that TEMPLE OF DARKNESS Records is about to release this album. The name Eternal Darkness was completely anonymous to me, but anyway I decided to buy this LP, hoping to get to know another great Swedish death metal band from the early 90's. And now I must say it was worth risking... The record comes in cool black / white gatefold, on white vinyl, with creepy front cover, lots of old band pictures inside, as well as short biography that will introduce you to Eternal Darkness even more.
"Total Darkness" is a compilation record, which contains previously unreleased and remastered songs, all recorded between 1990-92. From the very first track it became obvious to me that Eternal Darkness doesn't sound like other Swedish bands and their style is much more doomy, in the vein of the British legends, early Paradise Lost especially, but also Decomposed, Anathema and My Dying Bride. But it's not a minus to me, I also like such playing and I must say Eternal Darkness has recorded some crushing songs.
The album is opened by two stunning tracks from Eternal Darkness' "Doomed" EP from 1992. They're absolutely excellent, so brutal and massively sounding, slow, slightly melodic, but majestic to the bone. The band captured my attention instantly and I can honestly say they're some of the finest pieces of death / doom I've heard. So is also "Ceremony Of Doom" song, an alternate and unpublished version of the track... The similarities to Paradise Lost's debut LP or Anathema are easy to find, but that's not complain. Side A also includes one track from "Ceremony Of Doom" demo (1991) and one from "Suffering" demo (1991)... The production on these two songs is a bit rawer and dirtier, but the music still kicks ass. I think it's really a shame that TEMPLE OF DARKNESS Records didn't decide to include the entire demos on this LP, even if it would need to be released as a double LP. Without the whole demo materials, the story of Eternal Darkness is somehow incomplete, but those, who want to listen to all their materials I can recommend to buy "Total Darkness" CD version released by Necroharmonic Productions / Morbid Wrath Records.
Meanwhile side B of the LP has the entire, unreleased "Twilight In The Wilderness" MLP, which was recorded in August 1992 and was meant to be released by Necropolis Records. I honestly can't understand why this MLP hasn't been released for so many years, as it's just a fuckin crusher. It's opened by song titled "Psychopath" (which originally appeared on "Doomed" EP) and this track is excellent, but others like "Despair" aren't worse at all, especially the short instrumental "Twilight In The Wilderness", which reminds me also Amorphis on their first album. The band incorporated some great melodies into their music ("That Day Will Come" for instance), but the overall sound remained totally slow, brutal and crushing. I really love it.
To conclude, it's really a shame that such a cool band as Eternal Darkness never went any further with their music. Sadly they split up, even though they had some more songs composed and prepared, but Toni Pietila decided to leave in 1992 and the rest of the guys took a break. They were about to return in 1995 with new guitarist, but unfortunately Jarmo Kuurola was killed in June, the 12th and that led to the total decomposition of Eternal Darkness' corpse. Luckily here's this vinyl (and CD!) in front of me, playing loud, and "Total Darkness" may remind us what those Swedes were about. I'm more than happy that I had a chance to buy this LP and get to know such an excellent legendary act from my favourite death metal scene ever.

Final rate: 80 / 100

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