The same person who put me in mind of Summoning for last Sunday’s Rearview Mirror installment is responsible for this week’s choice as well. But while I was already a fan of Summoning before being reminded of their great Stronghold album last week, this week’s suggestion — Mörk Gryning — was a new name to me.
After listening to the album that I’m featuring today, I began to do a little research and soon discovered that the German label Eisenwald re-released this very album on CD in January as the first part of a series of Mørk Gryning reissues, and so I’m going to quote Eisenwald’s own introduction to the band:
Mörk Gryning (Swedish for “dark dawn”) arose during the year 1993 and both founding members Draakh Kimera and Goth Gorgon started out to create their mystical brand of black metal. After 2 demos in ’93 and ’94, they signed with the infamous Swedish extreme metal label NO FASHION RECORDS (Marduk, Dark Funeral, Dissection, Katatonia, Opthalamia…).
During May 1995 the duo (both members beeing only 16 & 19 years) entered the Unisound studios together with Dan Swanö to record their debut album “Tusen år har gått”; a nine track theme album about the story of Nidas, Eldon, Erin, and Cahn. It included lyrics in Swedish and English and managed to create a beautiful classic from the early days of the Scandinavian Black Metal.
High-density 33 minutes of raging, cold black metal with a brilliant earworm quality. Underlined by decent keyboards that never stand too much in the foreground, but fit organically into the overall sound, like many other debut albums, the specific and special atmosphere of this early work helped to make something lasting. Looking back today, Jonas Berndt (Goth Gorgon) adds, “I’ve listened through the album and I’m proud that it sounds so fresh and honest still today. It’s great songs with nothing superfluous to it”.
You can learn more about this reissue, which comes with a 16-page booklet and two additional tracks that did not appear on the original release, at this location. I’ll add that Eisenwald also plans to re-release the band’s second album Return Fire on CD, and that vinyl releases for both albums are also planned.
I’ll further add that Eisenwald has made the album available for streaming (but not download) on Bandcamp as well, where orders can be placed for the CD edition:
But this post really wasn’t intended as an advertisement for Eisenwald — the discovery of their reissue came only after I had listened to the album on YouTube last week and become enthralled by it. The fact that it was created in 1995 by a couple of teenagers blows my mind. Thanks to Dan Swanö, it still sounds amazing.
Mörk Gryning went on to record four more albums after this debut, the last of which was a self-titled one in 2005, and then the band split up. However, Mörk Gryning have reunited for an exclusive one-off performance at the Party San festival in Germany on August 11, 2016. And if you would like to learn more about how the band’s music evolved after the record featured below, I’d recommend this article at DECIBEL, which I also discovered in my researches.
Enough words. Now it’s time to enjoy Tusen år har gått. It really is amazing.
I’m glad to see this band getting some attention again thanks to the reissues. Excellent stuff from the No Fashion Records era. Thanks for sharing!
You’re welcome. It’s just another reminder to me how much I still have left to discover from this formative era of extreme music when I was busy paying attention to other kinds of music that have much less meaning to me now. 🙂
A thousand years have passed since I came across and bought Tusen år har gått, which translates to ‘a thousand years have passed’.
I’ve been curious ever since, wondering how this album where received back than by the same orthodox fundamentalists who hates Dimmu’s For all tid, released the same year.
I think this album is great!
I can shed no light on how this was received back then, but if it was scorned by fundamentalists, they were wrong!
I think that Decibel article was my first pass with this band. I’m loving what I’m hearing on this album – reminds me a lot of Dissection, which is certainly a lovely thing.
Indeed it is. And it’s interesting that despite how often I have come across Dissection’s name over the last 10 years of my education about extreme music, I can’t remember hearing this name before. However, because my memory is like a sieve, I searched through all our posts and discovered one mention of Mörk Gryning in this 2013 guest post, which included a write-up about a band named CB Murdoc and a mention of the fact that about half the band’s members had been in Mörk Gryning:
Mörk grynings “Tusen år har gått” was the first black metal album I heard. I was doing military service and some guy left two CD’s on the table of our room before going out to town. One was Mörk gryning, the other was In flames “Whoracle”. I stayed behind and listened to both; with “Whoracle” flooring me and “Tusen år…” making me fall asleep (it was so soothing with all that tremolo picking at an even pace). I came to enjoy it later, but never as much as I came to love In flames.
The rest of Mörk grynings discography is kinda rubbish IMO, they never could top the debut. I think they and Dark funeral were considered a bit as jokes in the late 90’s, mainly because they appeared in Swedish talk shows, which clearly only lightworshippers do. 😉
(Goth gorgon appears at 3:36)
Dark funerals Blackmoon
Underdog and quite forgotten act.
I first heard of them with the second Blackend compilation was out and included the title “Tusen ar har gatt”…God the impression was so hard that until I managed to get my hands on the entire album I kept listening to only this track from the entire compilation.
20 years and this is as great as the first time I heard them, something that is not going to change.
Back than I had a good communication with Jonas and we planned a show in Israel which was sadly cancelled.
Among NFR, Mork Gryning were one of the best.