October 01, 2020

Gorement - The Ending Quest (1994) ☠

*First pressing. 
Contains 10 tracks total.
Country: Sweden
Language: English
Genre: Death Metal
.FLAC via Mega (Link)
.AAC 256 kbps via Mega (Link)
☠: Selected by Buccaneer
© 1994 Crypta Records
Review by Erik T for Teeth of The Divine.com
First, big props to Necroharmonic to picking up the ball that Satanic Perversions dropped by getting this long sought after re-issue out. Secondly, shame on all you other labels for not jumping the gun and getting this out before now. For those that don’t know, Gorement was one of the bands that spawned from the great Swedish death metal explosion of the early 90s. Unfortunately, as with fellow Swedes God Macabre, their immense talent was undercut by a shitty label and simply the steamrollers known and Entombed, Dismember and Grave; while those three bathed in praise and genre defining criticism, Gorement and God Macabre languished in the post Left Hand Path landslide. Relapse made amends by re-issuing the superb God Macabre effort, The Winterlong, but Gorement essentially remained unheard by those not fortunate enough to own their sole output The Ending Quest on the ill-fated Crypta Records.

Now, thanks to Necroharmoic, 1994’s The Ending Quest, along with 3 rare demos and an unreleased track are available in all its down tuned, mid-range glory. It’s hard to gauge if Gorement would have ranked up with the other well known Swedish acts of the time based on one sole album, but if this album had received proper distribution and promotion, I think the band would have garnered more recognition and stayed around. Anyone familiar with classic Swedish death metal knows what style this is; crushing, fuzzed out chainsaw guitars, haunting melodies and deliciously meaty riffs. Gorement are actually far moodier than their peers, with a slight doom ambience similar to God Macabre, and their overall sound isn’t too far removed from Therion’s …Of Darkness or Cemetary’s An Evil Shade of Grey. Needless to say any fan or collector of this genre needs this. The 10 tracks that comprise The Ending Quest are naturally better sounding than the demo’s, as they benefit from a suitably “Sunlight” sounding guitar tone that was the par for the genre. It appears that Necroharmonic has left to original sound intact, as it’s far from crystal clear and somewhat muted (you really have to crank to volume to get any kind of true weight), but it oozes that classic Swedish vibe and menacing resonance, but of course the songwriting carries the sound. Slightly more controlled than their big name peers, Gorement tend to roll and rumble with mid paced foreboding rather than hack ‘n’ slash ferocity a la Dismember.

All the trappings of the genre are here including crawling Autopsy inspired solos, church bells and a bevy of classic riffs. From the ominous opening of “My Ending Quest” through the (at the time) experimental, atmospheric closer “Into Shadows”, the album is all classic death metal gold. Just listening to the killer build and rolling riff at 1:05 of “Vale of Tears” brings a nostalgic tear to my eye-they just don’t make ‘em like that anymore. Granted, the intensity and speed levels have been surpassed by death metal’s natural evolution, but Gorement still thrash it up pretty hard for “Human Relic” and “The Memorial”, even though their obvious forte is slow, moody, nervous riffs. “The Memorial” really enforces the early Cemetary/Therion comparison with its rolling bass lines and psychotic riff, but its climactic solo is more akin to the melancholy of early Anathema. Displaying the skill and ability of the genre, the album absolutely never falters or churns out filler, each of the ten tracks is sublimely written and rendered, whether the its the lurching mid-section of “The Lost Breed” or the sobering, haunting instrumental “Silent Hymn (For the Dead)””, Gorement’s song writing skills, were at times, awe inspiring and not reliant on the guitar tone or (at the times) country’s reputation.

 The seven demo tracks taken from the Human Relic, Obsequies and Into Shadows demos while considerably more brutal (especially vocally) than the eventual LP, are more collectors pieces, as their quality, even if produced by a young man by the name of Dan Swano, isn’t very good, but rather capture the raw charm of the genre’s youthful vigor, especially in the guitar department, where the midrange is horrifically overemphasized. Still they provide a couple of track not on the album, and some stripped down versions of tracks that do. The previously unreleased track “Profound Harmony”, sits right in line with the slightly more polished material on the album, as its epic, morose and pure old school. Necroharmoic also did a nice job with the inlays with lots of candid photos, classic flyers, and linear notes from band founder Patrik Fernlund.

The Ending Quest is a long buried treasure of classic Swedish death metal, finally unearthed for all to appreciate and show that it was indeed the golden age of death metal that has never been replicated.

tags: gorement, the ending quest, 1994, flac,


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