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Monday, 22 February 2010

Abyss: Black Days (Afgrund: Svarta Dagar)

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Band Info
If it was not for the wonders of the internet I would of been certain that Afgrund was merely a new name for Nasum, or that some person was using Nasum's music and pretending it is his own. The similarities between the two are just too numerous. To quote the wise words of a youtuber who created the A-Z of Grindcore in reference to Afgrund he stated that "Plagiarism is Flattery after all", and to be honest I don't think I could of described the Afgrund-Nasum clone situation better myself.
Sadly my knowledge of most bands is minimal even the "popular" bands, this has lead me to trawl the internet to find info on the band as I write the review which is probably the worst methodology of being a journalist, however I shall persevere.
Afgrund is an international band,with members coming from Italy, Finland and Sweden but the band is based in Stockholm(God Bless Wikipedia). The band consist of a trio with the drummer being the only member to have played in other bands(correct me if I am wrong).
Afgrund is Swedish for Abyss, and although a typical name for metal bands, it is the sort of name neglected by many grindcore bands, who often prefer to go for something more savage or grotesque. I am sure by now you have worked out that Svarta Dagar means Black Days, another nice sort of name not used by grindcore.
The Review
Svarta Dagar is an immense album, the musicianship is just absolutely amazing, whatever they play they do so with such high level of professionalism, pretty impressive for a "new" band. The drumming consists of the staple grindcore blast beat, however the guitars do not fear in playing the more melodic and harmonious side of music. This sort of melogrind guitars is something I really like, and Afgrund seem to do an amazing job of it, It sort of reminds me of Nasum's Wrath, or a number of tracks on Nasum's Human 2.0 album. The bass compliments the guitaring well and does not try to drown out the melody, but rather gives the melody some more tension giving it that extra dimension of brilliance. The Vocals are your classical grind shouty screamy and then shifting to your low growls.
The production value of this album is definitely of high value,  I have heard the demo prior to the recording studio and all I can say is that although you can tell there is high level of talent in Afgrund, they must definitely needed good production value to give the "Nasum Effect" more depth and quality.  There is a track on this album, I beleive it is Afgrundssjal, although I am unable to check it out at this time, but It reminds me so much of Arkhon Infaustus and just shows that Afgrund can break from their Nasum mould, on occasion.
This review is quite short compared to my over reviews, but the art of being a good educator is to be accurate and concise. The album is a brilliant album and is up there in my personal favourites, I can forsee in the distant future Afgrund being a titan among the grind legends, all they need to do is constantly release material of equal or better quality than their current albums and voila there we have it.
LastFM: http://www.last.fm/music/Afgrund
Encyclopedia Metallum: http://www.metal-archives.com/band.php?id=97050