Interview: Mörk Gryning

Interviewed: Goth Gorgon

Today it’s an honor to present the interview with one of Sweden’s most influential black metal bands, Mörk Gryning. Their debut album from 1995 “Tusen år har gått…” is a pinnacle of black metal music where many newer bands have come to list as one of their favorite albums and influences. After leaving the scene due to lack of interest in extreme metal back in 2005 the band eventually got resurrected in 2016. Now finally we can eagerly await a new album release from the band and what better time to interview one of the founders, Goth Gorgon, to talk about black metal in the past and present, what made the band reunite and of course discuss the new album.

What made you resurrect the band again?

It was about time. Me and Kimera had talked about it some years before but it didn’t happen then. In the end I guess we felt we weren’t done with it yet and I always had songs/ideas haunting me and finally it was time to put them to tape.

Was it easy to get the old team of Draakh Kimera, Goth Gorgon and Avathar back together again?

No, Avathar met former live drummer Baron Samedi at some gig and started talking about it. Kimera was keen and I came along as well. That show (at Party San) was fun enough so we said yes to one more and after that there was no going back.

How do you feel the response from the fanbase has been since you got back? Did it overwhelm you or did you expect it to be as it was?

It’s been incredible, we’re stoked about it. It’s cool that people remember us after all these years and also that younger fans are coming along.

You’ve always switched between English and Swedish lyrics, have you ever thought of doing a whole album in Swedish?

It’s funny, this is nothing we plan. The language just comes, which one feels more natural. Usually when I write riffs I get some words in my head that I build the lyric around. Theoretically maybe if we’d plan a whole album in Swedish then it would work cause then you’d have the mindset already. I don’t know, time will tell.

Tusen År Har Gått… is a black metal masterpiece and the title-track is probably your most known song. What’s your personal favorite track you’ve done so far though and why?

Thanks a lot. “Tusen år har gått” is probably my favorite as well. It’s just a very strong song, in your face, brutal and atmospheric at the same time. I also like the lyric a lot. It was the first song I wrote for the album, except for “Journey” and “Min sista färd” which already were on our demo. I don’t remember if we had already had the idea to make it a concept album but it fit in pretty well in any case.

Mörk Gryning has been away for quite a few years, how would you say the scene has changed during this time?

I don’t know if it’s so different from when we left it, but when we started it was something entirely different. The whole world was entirely different so it’s not so strange. Before internet, when you had to be tape trading with people from all over the world to hear new stuff. It was exciting times for sure when everything was new and at one point every new album or demo you heard opened new doors. It’s impossible to compare a scene to when it starts to how it is 30 years later. Back then everybody had to invent their own thing, today all the rules are carved in stone. I’d be happy to see more bands not following them so strictly.

You’ve started to record a new album, how far into the progress are you and when will we hear more info on the album?

Sverker (Wing Studios) has just started the mixing and we are extremely excited to hear the end result. My songs I wrote more then a year ago and they still feel fresh to me, that’s a good sign. I reckon a release date should be set in a month or two and I hope the album will be out in early autumn. But of course you never know, we have to get the cover and all ready first…

Now when you got the first live show after the comeback out of the way and a new album incoming. Will we see a Mörk Gryning tour in 2020?

We’re going to the states at the end of April for a week but apart from that we need to wrap up the album first. We’ll probably tour Europe early 2021 and there might still be some random gigs here and there this year.

You signed with Season of Mist for this coming album, how did this partnership come to happen?

Season of Mist are one of the few independent labels that still are around. We had just heard good things about them and just had good experience with them so far so we’re very content to sail under their flag. We’re still good friends with the old No Fashion people (Sound Pollution/Black Lodge these days) but we felt it was time to try something else.

What would you say is the biggest influence to Mörk Gryning?

Before we started MG we would buy demos in the local record stores or at shows. CDs and vinyl as well of course but there weren’t many bands with a record deal. So we’d buy demos or tape trade and pick the songs we liked. Some bands we did covers of were Unanimated, Desultory, Necrophobic, Afflicted, Pan-Thy-Monium, Edge of Sanity, Marduk etc etc. Personally, Tormentor “Anno domini”, Mayhem “Live in Leipzig” and Rotting Christ “Thy Mighty Contract” had a huge impact, and of course Dissection “The Somberlain”. But also their last demo and rehearsal tape were insane. Then all the Bathory albums. If you’d ask me my favourite band I think Bathory would have been the answer.

At the time of writing songs for “Tusen…” we had rediscovered classic heavy metal like Iron Maiden, Helloween, Judas Priest etc. For “Return Fire” it was the same but with Kreator and Slayer instead. We were huge fans of them. Other thrash bands we listened to were Nuclear Assault, Anthrax and Selpultura.

That’s all for me, thanks for doing this interview. You got any parting words?

Thanks a lot for the interest. Stay tuned for the album and nearby gigs. See you on the road!

Bildresultat för mörk gryning tusen år har gått cover

Albums of the month: October

With October being done and dusted we’re closing in fast on the end of the year. As expected heavy hitters of the month such as In Mourning, Insomnium, The Great Old Ones, Mayhem and Hour of Penance delivered wicked stuff while we also had some pleasant surprises (in my book at least) from bands such as Xoth, Vukari and Shadecrown to make October yet another stellar month for extreme music. Has October even been the best month of the year so far? Many thinks so but I’m still on the fence there but I do think it’s been one of the strongest months for sure (along with May and August) we’ve had so far. Will November and December end it with a bang or has the best of the year already been released? Who knows but we will know very soon! Again don’t forget to drop the bands and labels a like while also checking in The Metal Gamer playlist for all the latest in music! Also a side note but this post is the 500th blog post for The Metal Gamer! Hails and thanks for all the support over the years!

Album of the month

In Mourning – Garden of Storms

When a band like In Mourning produces their best album since the crown jewel Monolith then you know it’s one that will be high up the album of the year lists for most. A must listen! You can read the review here.

In Mourning – Garden of Storms was released October 4th via Agonia Records.

Runners-up

The Great Old Ones – Cosmicism

The Great Old Ones are back with yet another stunning Lovecraftian atmospheric black metal album. They seem to be able to do no wrong and the band has only strengthen what is already a very strong discography.

The Great Old Ones – Cosmicism was released October 22nd via Season of Mist.

Insomnium – Heart Like a Grave

I’ll be honest I didn’t get into Winter’s Gate as much as most people seem to have. A great album sure but I don’t think it was close to the levels of Above the Weeping World nor Across the Dark for example. I do think that’s the case with Heart Like a Grave however. Their best album in ten years!

Insomnium – Heart Like a Grave was released October 4th via Century Media Records.

Necronomicon – Unus

One of the best albums I’ve heard this year and the best Necronomicon has done to this date where the Necronomicon of old and new fuse together seamlessly, creating some of the best music of 2019 over 30 years into their career. You can read the review here.

Necronomicon – Unus was released October 18th via Season of Mist.

Shadecrown – Riven

Finland has a new mighty warrior to push their melodic death/doom music forward! While Insomnium is obviously a giant in the scene we now have Shadecrown who surprised me big time with Riven. The album is insane and it’s funny to think what this band can do in the future when they have already gotten so far into creating a quality sound with only a couple of full-length albums under their belt.

Shadecrown – Riven was released October 11th via Inverse Records.

Honorable mentions

Exhumed – Horror
Ehlder – Nordabetraktelse
1349 – The Infernal Pathway
Gatecreeper – Deserted
Entrails – Rise of the Reaper
Totengeflüster – The Faceless Divine
Xoth – Interdimensional Invocations
Vukari – Aevum
Cell – Ancient Incantations of Xarbos
Messora – The Door
Singularity – Place of Chains
Profanatica – Rotting Incarnation of God
Svartby – Big Boss
Esogenesi – Esogenesi
Signs of the Swarm – Vital Deprivation
Konkhra – Alpha and the Omega
Barbarian Swords – Totemic Anal Turbofucker
Sarcasm – Esoteric Tales of the Unserene
Thrashfire – Into the Armageddon
Blood Eagle – To Ride in Blood & Bathe in Greed II
Coffin Rot – A Monument to the Dead
Profetus – The Sadness of Time Passing
Mortiferum – Disgorged from Psychotic Depths
Rimfrost – Expedition: Darkness
Hour of Penance – Misotheism
Arx Atrata – The Path Untravelled
Sun Worship – Emanations of Desolation
Horrocious – Depleted Light and the Death of Uniqueness
Hell’s Coronation – Ritual Chalice of Hateful Blood
Defenestration – Scalped on the Pavemenet
Mayhem – Daemon
Rings of Saturn – Gidim
Temple – The Last Pact
Undead – Existential Horror
Cleric – Serpent Psalms
Vermicular Incubation – Chapter of the Vermain Domain
Shrine of Malice – Sheol

The Metal Gamer songs of the month playlist

Necronomicon – Unus (Blackened Death Metal)

Formed the same year I was born 1988 we have Canadian band Necronomicon. The name is taken from the book by H.P. Lovecraft and their music, as expected, has a lot to do with the occult, magic, death and mythology. Even though the band was formed back in 88 their debut full-length didn’t come out until 1999 and have since released five more albums with Unus being their latest work of art. Originally Necronomicon played a rather direct death metal style in the veins of especially Morbid Angel and Nile. Later on their symphonic elements (who were somewhat there from the start too) took more place and blackend/symphonic death metal became the identity. There has been some changes in the ranks as the founder Rob “The Witch” Tremblay is the only one left from their 2016 album Advent of the Human God. Instead we have the two new members Raum (ex-Dawn of Ashes) on bass and Jean-Philippe Bouchard (Magister Dixit and Necroticgorebeast) on drums coming in for Unus.

Let me start with saying wow, Unus shows a band that knows how to use their heritage well with the new. Every fan of Necronomicon will come to devour this and just want more. The pinnacle of this album is reached almost halfway in as “Singularis Dominus”, “The Thousand Masks” and “Ascending the Throne of Baator” totally annihilates everything with perfect symphonic elements, atmosphere and blackened death metal fused into one. Truly making the name Necronomicon justice and you’ll need a breather after this supreme showing. They even end the album with classic Morbid Angel death metal approach (actually could say classic Necronomicon music too) on “Cursed MMXIX” and “Vox Draconis” just to give you some sheer hard hitting metal with an onslaught of riffs. “Vox Draconis” then ends as you expect an album like this to do, in an epic scale with orchestral and choirs! What better way to close out this absolute behemoth of an album. The beautiful part is it’s produced so well. Unus gives the listener so much value, diversity and, of course, wicked metal it’s hard not to fall in love with Unus and wanting to experience this again and again. Unus is in many ways a perfect follow-up to Advent of the Human God, where they still continue in the symphonic steps they took then but yet keeps much of what made their first albums great.

One of the best albums I’ve heard this year and the best Necronomicon has done to this date where the Necronomicon of old and new fuse together seamlessly, creating some of the best music of 2019 over 30 years into their career. Even bands such as Behemoth, Hate, Dimmu Borgir, SepticFlesh and Belphegor would be jealous of an incredible album like Unus in their discography. While it’s not groundbreaking Necronomicon are still going strong and pushing themselves forward, who knows where there limit is or if there is any?

Written by J.B.

Artist: Necronomicon
Label: Season of Mist
For fans of: Behemoth & SepticFlesh
Release date: October 18th, 2019
Favorite song: The Thousand Masks
Score: 4.5/5 Incredible

Albums of the month: June

Half the year is over and with that we can look back and see there has been a lot of great metal albums released so far. Will the next half be even better or has the best music of the year already been released? Time will tell! I found June being a bit slower after having a couple months seriously stacked with album of the year contenders. Still there were good albums released this month as well and here are some releases you should check out!

Album of the month

Panzerfaust – The Suns of Perdition I: War, Horrid War

Having never heard of the band before this promo dropped into my mailbox I didn’t know what to expect. Safe to say their album blew me away and has been the album I’ve listened to the most since it’s release. Released June 14th via Eisenwald.
Read the review here

Runners-up

Organectomy – Existential Disconnect

Organectomy keeps on pushing brutal and slam metal forward. One of the best, if not the best, albums in the genre this year. Released June 21st via Unique Leader Records.

Golgata – Skam

With each album Golgata grows stronger. Skam is their best release yet and this hidden gem of the finest Swedish black metal craft should be hidden no longer. Released June 17th via Satanath Records.
Read the review here

Enthroned – Cold Black Suns

It’s always a safe bet grabbing a new Enthroned album. Even with all the band member changes the heart and soul always remains intact and Enthroned is yet to release a bad album. Released June 7th via Season of Mist.

Kingdom – Rotting Carcass Arise upon the Burial Mound

Kingdom is another hidden gem from Poland and their vast death metal market. With their latest album they evolve their sound to new heights (or should I say underground lows?) and this was easily the best death metal album I head all month. Released June 6th via Godz ov War Productions.

Honorable mentions

Beheaded – Only Death Can Save You
Memoriam – Requiem for Mankind
Hate – Auric Gates of Veles
Serpent of Gnosis – As I Drink from the Infinite Well of Inebriation
Ingested – Call of the Void
Vulvodynia – Mob Justice
Temple Of Demigod – Onslaught Of The Ancient Gods
Heilung – Futha
Bestialord – Black Mass Wedding
Ov Lustra – Tempestas
The Odious – Vesica Piscis
Birdflesh – Extreme Graveyard Tornado
Flub – Flub
Shinda Saibo No Katamari – Saibogu
Yellow Eyes – Rare Field Ceiling
Putrified J – The Deep End of Horror

Albums of the Month: February

While January was in general a bit slow it still put out some solid albums, you can read more about my favorites here. Enter February though and it was a whole other level, the quality releases just kept on coming and I had a really hard time choosing my top 5 this month around. I can only imagine some months will be even harder two as there are ten more to go… Last month was filled with death metal from my part but you will find February had a more varied selection. The albums I pick from needs to be full-length releases (I didn’t mention that last month), but in the honorable mention section I will mention those too. Give the albums bellow a listen, comment on your own list (maybe I missed a release!?) and don’t forget to support the metal underground!

Album of the Month

Saor – Forgotten Paths

Maybe not the strangest choice as the Scottish one-man army that is Saor is probably one of the most known acts within atmospheric black metal by now. Forgotten Paths is in my opinion his best release yet and it just keeps getting better with time. This is not just the album of the month, this is a contender for album of the year! Released February 15th via Avantgarde Music.

Runners-up

Ossuarium – Living Tomb

Who doesn’t love old school death metal and especially the filthy straight from the severs kind that adds some doom elements to it? That’s exactly what Ossuarium does and this is very well executed, hard to tell this is a debut album. A crushing debut that bulldozed its way to my heart. Released February 1st via 20 Buck Spin.

Rotting Christ – The Heretics

I know this album has got some harsh review from some sites but God dammit I love Rotten Christ and this is black metal 100% their way. I don’t think it’s their best album ever but 32 years down the road this band is still one of the best in the business and The Heretics is another solid effort that many bands wish was their own. Released February 15th via Season of Mist.

Wretched Fate – Fleshletting

I am just a sucker for meaty death metal riffs, sue me. There are obviously a lot of bands from Sweden who plays the same kind of HM2 infused metal but not everyone does it as well as these guys, on their debut to boot! Their biggest influence is definitely coming from Bloodbath and in all honesty I think Fleshletting is on par with them at its peak. That speaks volume on how bright the future look for this band! Released February 22nd via Redefining Darkness Records.

Grafvitnir – Venenum Scorpionis

Six albums in and I still think Grafvitnir is the best hidden secret from Sweden. Their whole discography is filled with Dissection worshiping black metal that will make any extreme metal fan headbang with joy. Venenum Scorpionis is another great offering to the black metal scene and I think it’s about time they get the respect they deserve. Released February 22nd via Carnal Records.

Honorable Mentions

Relics of Humanity – Obscuration (Best EP of the month!)
Electrocution – Psychonolarty
Ulfven – Folklore
Blodhemn – Mot Ein Evig Ruin
Candlemass – The Door to Doom
Continuum – Designed Obsolescence
Phrymerial – Xenomorphic Creation
Lucidity – Oceanum

Windswept – The Onlooker (Black Metal)

With a few turns on a child’s music box open Windswept it’s second full-length album “The Onlooker”. When the last tune vanishes out in uncharted space, fury breaks free to conquer.

Formed 2017 in Kharkov, Ukraine, as a side project to Drudkh’s mastermind Roman Sayenko (guitar/vocals) in companion with two of his fellow band members. The new album came to be as a relieving point to Drudkh. A contribution for expressing pure Ukrainian Black Metal with a dense energy and raw emotions. Windswept is very much inspired by the harsh emotions and reality by the eastern European landscape and even mentally of the people there, especially the three members themselves.

The entire album can be seen as one long chapter with different plots, with a few changes in diversity but never any lack of meanings and aggression. The opening of the album is a false invitation of security until it’s rightful colours appears.

The rythmn section is very solid and tight, which you can hear the record through, a brilliant example is on the track “Gustav Meyrink’s Prague” that just feel like a progressive thunder on a clear day. The album almost feel like an old punk rock album because of it’s intestines. The only numb moments is the fraction of time when next song is on it’s way. From a vocal perspective you can just listen to the following track “Insomnia Of The Old Men” that can very well be the closest recording sound of a being tortured.

If you are expecting a live show, then sadly you’re waiting for an miracle. Windswept is a studio project only. A sanctuary for the band members, that they now are blessing our ears to enjoy.

Written by K.P.

Label: Season Of Mist Underground Activists
For fans of: Sargeist and Whoredom Rife
Release date: February 8th, 2019
Favorite song: Stargazer
Score: 3/5 Good

Albums of the Month: January

Welcome to a new section of The Metal Gamer! You’ve already noticed two changes these past few months with both interviews and gaming reviews being new segments to the TMG camp. I’ve always thought something has been lacking, that I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Especially in the sense of finding new great underground metal in a quick and easy way, which is one of the key things for me when starting this blog. Each month you will find the five albums I’ve enjoyed the most, a few lines on why and of course a link so you can listen to it yourself.

Album of the Month

Desecravity – Anathema

As a fan of the technical and brutal this is a no brainer for me. Japan’s heavy hitters Desecravity has made their best album yet and is a must have for fans of Cryptosy, Origin and Defeated Sanity. Released January 25th via Willowtip Records.

Runners-up

Malist – In the Catacombs of Time

Atmospheric, dark and sinister. This black metal band from Russia is one of the most promising new acts I’ve heard in a long time. Released January 25th via Northern Silence Productions.

Festerday – Iihtallan

What can I say I am a sucker for old school death metal. Finnish Festerday are veterans of the scene and shows the old dogs got bark. Their blend of death metal with both punk and even hints of grind elements to it makes it stand out. Released January 4th via Season of Mist Underground Activists.

Rendered Helpless – Suffer, Seraphim

With a new direction from their previous releases and lyrics that draws influences from Warhammer, Diablo, Doom the third album from Rendered Helpless became an instant hit to me. A change that was much needed for me to get into the band for real! Released January 25th, 2019 as an digital independent release. Out on CD February 25th via
Inherited Suffering Records.

Malevolent Creation – The 13th Beast

It was my most anticipated album of 2019 and while it didn’t quite live up to those it’s still a very solid death metal album. Seeing the loss the band had I am honestly surprised they are still going, and going hard too! Released January 18th via Century Media Records.

I also need to name some honorable mentions that I’ve had a few spins with but didn’t quite make it. Who knows if they would of knocked one of those mentioned above if I had more time with them though?

Noctambulist – Atmospheres of Desolation
Altarage – The Approaching Roar
Barshasketh – Barshasketh

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoy this new segment of The Metal Gamer and that it gives you some new great music! Did I miss any great album? What’s your top five of the month? Feel free to comment metal gamers!