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
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