Metal Redux: Cemetary – An Evil Shade of Grey (Death/Doom)

Written by Steven

  • The Band – Cemetary (1989-1997, 2001-2005)
  • The Album – An Evil Shade of Grey
  • Country of Origin – Sweden
  • The Year – 1992
  • Lineup – Mathias Lodmalm, Zrinko Culjak, Juha Sievers, Christian Saarinen
  • Genre – Death /Doom Metal
  • Metallum Average – 8 reviews at 92%

Other notable releases from 1992 for context – Legion by Deicide,  Body Count by Body Count, A Blaze in the Northern Sky by Darkthrone, The End Complete by Obituary, Shadows in the Deep by Unleashed

Cover Art by Kristian Wåhlin

Cemetary on Spotify

An Evil Shade of Grey is an outstanding and very listenable Swedish Death Metal album with a genuine element of uniqueness. This comes from its tastefully written melodic riffs and song structures, that are layered with atmospherically textured elements, and all combined to create a gloomy ethereal listening experience.  The production is dynamic and intelligent, accentuating moments within each track to compliment lyrical themes (a very strong point of the album), whilst also creating a perfectly crafted sense of melancholy.  Although Cemetary have been labelled Death / Doom Metal, this album also has some Black Metal elements floating just beneath the surface.

Lyrically, the songs touch on the vastness of time, eternal emptiness , insanity, nightmares and dreams, and the sadness of loss and isolation.

“Revel within your time

But make it last an eternity

Because life is not all

That is going to be” – from Dead Red

The album art is by the amazing Kristian Wåhlin whose catalogue is insane (Bathory, Emperor, King Diamond just to name a few of his album cover credits), and is very Swedish in its styling.  The link between the artwork, lyrical content and the use of keyboard, synth, acoustic guitars, and well placed reverb / chorus type effects throughout the album is ghostly, and employed with a great level of artistic maturity.  Each track is strong, and as a whole the track sequencing allows the listener to fully soak in the sonic beauty, and themed stories on offer. 

There is not a lot written about Cemetary, but from what I understand, Mathias Lodmalm was the creative force of the band.  Their journey post AESOG was a devolution in release quality, a break up, a comeback, and then a final break up.  If you listen to their final release, Phantasma (2005), the music is unrecognisable compared to their debut LP.  Mathias seems to be the typical troubled genius, suffering for his art.  From past interviews he has said that he does not look back upon his metal years with any degree of fondness, which is sad, given how good AESOG is. 

Post final breakup, he has stayed in the music industry; not in metal however, but in electronica and as a DJ working with experimental music.  From his interviews, he has reflected upon how the band was very young when they made AESOG, which may explain their short lived history.  Sometimes when a group of young, raw musician make something that is so unique and brilliant for their first offering, their inability to recapture the initial genius drives an ongoing angst, starving them of their ability to surpass the magic of their initial work.

 The Last Word – This album is a standalone masterpiece.  It sounds as good today as it did when it was first released, and by listening to it, your musical palette will be enriched.

“Take me to the other side

Beyond this world I know

Through madness eternal falls

My sanity will flow” – from Where The Rivers Of Madness Stream

About Steven - Aeons Abyss 42 Articles
I do the music for the band Aeons Abyss, and also co-host The Metal Podcast on Spotify. I have been into Metal since the mid-80s, growing up in country Victoria, Australia. Some of my favourite bands from back in the day include Morbid Angel, Slayer, Obituary, Bolt Thrower, King Diamond, Megadeth, Sabbat and Iron Maiden. I am a massive fan of Aussie Metal, and underground metal in general, and for me, nowadays the scene is very much akin to the tape trading days when metal first started; but instead of tapes we have Bandcamp, websites like Noob Heavy, and Social Media platforms. These are the tools to network with other underground metal bands and metal fans from all over the world. A little about my band: Aeons Abyss formed in 2017 and we play our own brand of Death Thrash Metal. Our music is on all streaming platforms and Bandcamp, where we also sell our merch directly to fans. Also, our lyrics are a very important component of our music, so much so that our vocalist is known as "Death Metal Poet".

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