Friday, 9 March 2012

CEMETARY - An Evil Shade Of Grey (1992)

01  Dead Red        
02  Where The Rivers Of Madness Stream        
03  Dark Illusions        
04  An Evil Shade Of Grey        
05  Sidereal Passing        
06  Scars        
07  Nightmare Lake        
08  Souldrain

Released in 1992, Cemetary’s An Evil Shade Of Grey is a great death/doom metal hybrid from Sweden that is unfortunately buried into obscurity relative to the popularity of Katatonia, a band which is similar in many ways. The one major difference between this and, say, Dance Of December Souls is that Cemetary embraced the death metal aspect of their sound much more than Katatonia did, and personally, I find that to make this a very interesting album to listen to. Cemetary crafted an album that always keeps the listener interested in the rhythmic elements of the songs and it also possesses many unique guitar parts. This is the kind of album that will have you racing with a blastbeat for one second, and then transition to a doomy riff topped with an acoustic guitar melody at the next second, but unlike some bands like Opeth where the transition feels a bit forced at times, the transitions here are simply seamless.

Another very interesting element of this album is the layer of synthesized sounds. Whether it’s a chilling collection of a synthesized choir, or an eerie keyboard sound over one of the death metal riffs, the synthesized sounds on this album really add a great deal of depth to the overall sound and make the album sound very textured. Nice and creepy too, which is essentially the atmosphere that almost all death/doom bands strive for.

Drowning in darkness yet never losing sight of the beauty of the experience and therefore its meaning, the music is at times menacing and unforgiving in its gothic horror, but this is starkly contrasted by a romantic sentiment expressed through the emotional eloquence of the guitar solos and lead melodies. This album is not usually mentioned in discussions of classic Swedish death metal releases of the time, however An Evil Shade of Grey maintains its relevance and distinction through captivating songwriting, melodic lucidity, atmospheric presence, and expressive character within a gloom-world soundpicture, wherein anger and sorrow dance from the dusk of perishing dreams to the dawn of limitless possibility...

A video was made for "Where the Rivers of Madness Stream" and the cover artwork was provided by Kristian Wåhlin.

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