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I Det Glimrande Mörkrets Djup (1997)

I det glimrande mörkets djup is the first full-length from Sorhin, one of the lesser-known Swedish black metal bands. They recorded at Abyss Studio, in November 1996, and the album was released the following year. This is a rather unfortunate case where it seemed as if all of the necessary ingredients were there, but the band failed to put it all together and execute things properly.

Surprisingly, the production is not bad. This was before Peter Tägtgren became known for being a master of creating a slick, plastic sound for every recording that he had a hand in. No, here the production suits the music (and the overall style) pretty well. The guitars possess a thin, cold sound, which is what the material called for. The only issue would be that the drums are too clear and too high in the mix, but not to the point where it's overwhelming. 

At its best, I det glimrande mörkets djup offers up some decent black metal in the typical northern style. The hateful vocals sound quite good, especially since all of the lyrics are in Swedish. Songs such as "Godhetens fall", "Skogsgriftens rike" and even the title track show some potential. One would expect that a Swedish black metal album from the '90s would be a safe bet. Upon first listen, it's all there, cold tremolo riffs, raspy vocals, coherent songwriting, etc. The thing is, like a lot of Swedes, the members of Sorhin appeared incapable of tapping into real darkness. This album is overflowing with light melodies and too much fluff. They've got all the window dressing, even the obscure forest photo on the front cover, but this lacks substance. Beyond a few moments, here and there, they missed the mark and offered up the black metal equivalent of the melodic Gothenburg bands that claimed to play death metal.

In the end, I det glimrande mörkets djup is a disappointing album. Then again, Sorhin was never all that promising, even on previous recordings. Their demos were trash and even the Skogsgriftens rike E.P. was nothing special. If you are a fan of bright, fruity 'black' metal, you should probably seek this out and give it a listen. However, if you prefer albums with even the slightest hint of dark atmosphere, you will not find it here. 

(22 Jan. 2008)

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