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Released: 2001, No Fashion Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
The 3rd album from the notorious Mörk Gryning and a 3rd member is added to the infamous line-up of the band... 3rd time lucky? Well, not quite, even if a press release that came along with the CD, shamelessly claims MAELSTROM CHAOS to be Mörk Gryning´s “strongest and most powerful release to date..”. As far as all the chaotic and rugged moments on this album go - yeah, you could partly agree about the strongest and most powerful release in that sense, but unfortunately that statement still doesn´t bring the whole truth out from the window of pitch-black darkness in the front of us.
The songs are thoroughly OK by the standards of Mörk Gryning, but most of the songs have been ruined by a pretty weak production (produced by both Pytten and the band at GriegHallen, Norway) which doesn´t do too much justice for the material on this overall ravingly testosterone-filled release. It sounds like both the guitar and drum sound could have been castrated at the very early stage of the recording. There are simply no balls in them at all! The sound for the guitars could have been much sharper and a bit more crispy - and the drums would have worked out much better if it had been brought out in the foreground in the final mix, I suppose.
Having some symphonic parts added occasionally here and there doesn´t save this slab of "Satan-this-Satan-that" songs to fall into a swamp of average Black Metal releases, although songs like "Ont Blod", "The Menace" and a very symphonic and somewhat focused "The Darkness Within" all hark back to the times of their excellent debut "Tusen Er Har Gett..."; back to those unholy days when Mörk Gryning´s ability to create haunting yet evil atmospheres was at its sharpest and most convincing - and therefore, at its most pulverizing and most lethal in many ways. I just wish they could bring back those magical times with their next release... they would hardly regret it.
01. A Perception of the Ancient
03. Ont blod
04. The Menace
05. Maelstrom Chaos
06. My Friends
07. The Darkness Within
08. Bloodspring Mirage
09. Forever Unhallowed Preponderance
10. Dodens Skald
Draakh Kimera - Guitar and vocals
Goth Gorgon - Bass and vocals
Avatar - Lead Guitar
Dennis Ekdahl - Drums
Henrik Hedberg - Keyboards
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