Within The Shadow Of Darkness -
The Complete Recordings

Label: Century Media
Three similar bands: Morbid Angel/Evocation/Grave
Rating: HHHHHHH (3/7)
Ratings: Caj Källmalm
01. My Ending Quest
02. Vale Of Tears
03. Human Relic
04. The Memorial
05. The Lost Breed
06. Silent Hymn (For The Dead)
07. Sea Of Silence
08. Obsequies Of Mankind
09. Darkness Of The Dead
10. Into Shadows
All songs taken from the album "The Ending Quest" (1994)
01. Intro
02. Darkness Of The Dead
03. Human Relic
04. Moulder Within
05. Intro
06. Process Of Cent
07. Gruesome Modification Of Form
08. Obsequies Of Mankind
09. The Memorial
10. Into Shadows
11. Garden Of Delight
12. Profound Harmony
13. Soulless Sanity
14. Gruesome Modification Of Form (live)
15. Obsequies Of Mankind (live)
16. Darkness Of The Dead (live)
17. Exhume To Consume (live)
18. Blood, Pus And Gastric Juice (live)
* Tracks 1-4 taken from the "Human Relic" demo (1991)
* Tracks 5-8 taken from the "Obsequies …" demo (1991)
* Tracks 9-10 taken from the "Into Shadows" EP (1992)
* Tracks 11-13 taken from the "Promo '95" demo (1995)
* Tracks 14-18 are previously unreleased live tracks (1991) - only on CD

Daniel Eriksson (Guitar)
Patrik Fernlund (Guitar)
Nicklas Lilja (Bass)
Mikael Bergström (Vocals)
Mattias Berglund (Drums)
Robin Bergh (Drums)
Jimmy Karlsson (Vocals)

The Ending Quest (1994)


Mastered & remastered by Dan Swanö
Bettina Jacot-Descombes (Cover art, Photography)
Patrik Fernlund (Liner notes)

Released 2012-09-24
Reviewed 2013-05-15

century media

Heavy breathing, rain dripping from rooftops. An odd, brief sound from a synthesizer, groan ... It was the first song. Guitars, someone that tries to talk the first thing he does after wakeing up when the voice is more like a ravens than a humans... The music sounds like a cheap attempt to mimic the soundtrack to a cheap 80's horror. And the music sounds exactly the same in the next song too.

'Within The Shadow Of Darkness - The Complete Recordings' is a collection of Gorements recordings from the first half of the 90th century. A demo from 1991, an EP from 1992, an album from 1994, a promo from 1995, and five live recordings. A total of 28 songs and nearly two hours of dark yelling to so-so music. The album has been splitted in to two discs where disc one has the whole 'The Ending Quest' (album) and the second have the rest. Disc two, which I described a bit from above, has very little that makes sense - the EP tracks are okay and the promo tracks too, but the rest is the true definition of horse shit. The first disc is pretty okay. It's noticeable that the band developed a lot from their demo days in the five years that this collection covers because the latter material is so much better at more or less everything: song writing (absolutely!), sound quality (definitely!), music (as a whole another ensamble!) and performance (much better!). As a whole, it is a little hard to judge what to think because it's such a big difference in quality between the best and worst material, but we make a small summary trial below.

Playing through the entire close to two hours with Gorements collected works from the 90th century's first half feels completely inconceivable to me. There is too much music by a band of this nature and proportion of this quantity it's also poor, so already here we have a problem. But this is a compilation album so then you are at least partially forgiven for the length and amount of material. Also, the album is divided into two parts, which also softens the blow a bit. If you want to, you can always take a little break between disc one and two, so it's something like one point lost instead of ten.

The parts that are decen, in chronological order as they come in presentation on the CDs is the first disc and track 9-13 on disc 2. Tracks 1-8 on disc 2 are from two different demo discs and has a really, really bad sound, really bad songs and really lacks any kind of melody construction. It is a sort of cave metal which some death metal fans consider being the only true kind of metal, while most people consider it to be the true definition of misery. The live recordings at the very end of disc 2 are also terribly bad. Poor recording, bad songs and they are live versions of the songs on the two demo discs that make up the first part of the disc so we've also already heard them, with - and this is somewhat unbelievable considering how bad the demo recordings are - better sound and in better versions.

To re-release 'The Ending Quest' like this, 18 years after it was first released, might be justified. Especially since the album has been pretty difficult to find the last decade or so but it would have been even better if they'd waited a couple of years and released it 20 years after it was first released - but details. In my opinion it's an album that can't be criticized for being re-released since it's a decent album but the second disc, which of course is a bonus that gives the re-release some extra value is among the most wasted things I have experienced in my life. One could think "okay - nothing wrong with a bonus disc. It's included on a bonus disc so why not? You don't have to play it." and sure you could see it like that but then why add it at all? It will probably just end up where you could argue it can remain if you don't like it - in the case - but here's where I fail to see the logic… why have a bonus disc that you don't play? You might think that the likes or dislikes of the bonus disc is a matter of taste an opinion, which it of course is - but it's still a poor disc compared to the first.

However, I'll try to concentrate the rest of the review on CD 1, a complete re-release of the whole 'The Ending Quest' in the same version as it was released in the first place. The songs has had a slight facelift in the sound by Dan Swanö but otherwise it's fully intact and original. The album consist of ten songs with a generally very dark sound. The vocals sounds like the sound you get from capturing a bumblebee in a glass. The guitars sounds somewhat technical and somewhat melodic, which makes me think of Finland and the bands that came therefrom a few years after this album was originally released. However, it's a bit too much speed variation and parts when they've lowered the tempo to feel really Finnish. The drums are as battering as European death metal bands always done the drums - like the drummer isn't really a member of the band but just gone nuts hammering the leather boxes and iron discs so wildly he could and then the band has put music on that - regardless of the result from the drumming.

I like some parts of 'The Ending Quest' more than other, but to endure that stretch listen to the album isn't my definition of heaven. I know it's a classic album and I have seen many reviews that praised the album since I'm pretty late with my review, but I really can't see the grandeur of this, especially if we compare the material with what's available today, which, we kind of have to since it's released now. Sure, originally it was released earlier but that doesn't change how we now has a lot more music to compare it with. For me, Gorement isn't a classic band. I've never listened much to them, I've never liked bands with members from this band or even bands that mentioned them as an inspiration. For me, Gorement is just a name, no different from bands like Gravewurm and Grey Storia that comes directly after Gore Movement in my review playlist - a name that does not really stand for anything special at all.

If you ask me which Swedish death metal album that is the best or has made the most difference from the albums released around this time, it's without question At The Gates and their 'Slaughter Of The Soul'. 'The Ending Quest' is okay, the bonus material is mostly crap and the album as a whole is in my opinion just something you buy if you really like 90's death and more specifically the slightly more primitive one.



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