DARKIFIED - Cthulhu Riseth - The Complete Works of Darkified (WOLFSBANE - LP 2014)
Here is a piece of vinyl, which I am very excited to play now! It is newly released Darkified LP “Chulhu Riseth”!!! I really don’t want to remind you the whole history of the band, as I suppose all those, who’re interested know it already and also remember the band perfectly. Let me just say that Darkified was very short lived band, active between 1991-92 and in those two years they managed to release “Dark” demo 1991 and “Sleep Forever…” EP 1992 (both also released on CD “A Dance on the Grave” by Repulse in 1995). Yes, these two recordings of Darkified are truly classics of the old Swedish death metal scene, even if musically this band wasn’t a typical Swedish stuff. Obviously we are living now in times, when everything what’s old is reissued on CD and LP… And some labels also decided to exhume old Darkified recordings. This is how “Cthulhu Riseth - The Complete Works of Darkified” has been released, first on CD, later on cassette and now finally also on vinyl!!! Yes, a Dutch label called Wolfsbane released Darkified on LP! In my opinion this is just awesome news, I really think that if we’re going to collect all those old Swedish, Finnish, Dutch, American, etc classic demos or records on vinyl, then when speaking of the Swedish scene we could not forget about Darkified. Even if – honestly – they’ve never been my favourite band from this country. But I enjoyed their music a lot anyway! And finally the LP is out and in my hands!
I guess I should write first about how it all looks like. And damn, Wolfsbane did awesome job! The whole LP is limited to 500 copies, with 100 on silver and 400 on black LP. It comes in great silver cover together with A4 size fanzine fully dedicated to Darkified! On many pages you’ll find liner notes from the band (also talking about the history of the band, memories) and people like Dan Swano and Uffe from Entombed. There are also some scans from old fanzines with old interviews, photos, finally lyrics and details on both recordings… Damn, this booklet / fanzine looks just fuckin excellent! And it is for me the only way to release such demos / EPs again on LP! Of course the music is the most important, but such compilations are to pay a tribute to these old bands, so we must also get some extra stuff, including as fully informative booklets as it is possible. Otherwise it is simply pointless. In that aspect Wolfsbane did perfect job, in my opinion. You play the record, read something about the band, get to know their history… and this is what it all is about!
And now the music… As I mentioned “Cthulhu Riseth - The Complete Works of Darkified” contains “Dark” demo and “Sleep Forever…” EP. The CD version of this compilation contains also some live and rehearsal tracks, but I am honestly happy that they’re not on vinyl. Usually I am just not interested in listening to some doubtful quality bootleg recordings, which have just nothing special to offer. When talking about Darkified only their two studio recordings matter and that’s it.
I mentioned that they aren’t my favourite Swedish band, although I do like their music. Stylistically they’re just different to such Grave, Dismember or Entombed. Sure, there is a trace of the Swedish sound, all in all it was recorded in the proper time at the Gorysound Studio… The guitar tone cannot be mistaken with anything else, but Darkified I think was putting more accent on being more atmospheric (using many keyboards and doomy parts) and at the same time there are also fragments of totally vicious and harsh death metal, with more insane, screaming vocals. Anyway, despite Darkified sounding so rough, both “Dark” and “Sleep Forever…” are awesome. I especially love their EP, as it has better production, the playing is tighter, everything is better executed… especially the song “Sleep Forever…” from the EP sounds great and so fast that it is almost close to black metal. Well, same for “The Forgotten City”, really, which is so damn vicious here. Obviously Dan Swano has been working on re-mastering these old recordings, to get as much as possible from them and I can honestly say that “Cthulhu Riseth - The Complete Works of Darkified” sounds better than ever before.
So, I have nothing more to say. Finally these songs have been released on LP and Wolfsbane did amazing job here. I sincerely advise you to get “Cthulhu Riseth - The Complete Works of Darkified” before it is too late, as it is just superb piece of Swedish death metal history.
Final rate: 85/100