Some of the Swedish Death Metal bands from the early 90’s gained huge amounts of fame, some of which still live on, and others just had too little to offer (or suffered from bad luck or other setbacks). But some never made it big, while the current general opinion is that, given their musical qualities, they really should have. That feeling of not having received enough recognition applies to a great extent to Eternal Darkenss. Unfortunately, the band never got beyond three demos and a 7″ EP, an expected album was never completed, so we now have to make do with a small amount of recordings. The first demo, 1991’s ‘Ceremony Of Doom’, has been made available again on this 10″ (and CD) by Spain’s Xtreem Music.
Within the booming Swedish Death Metal scene, Eternal Darkness was a bit of the odd one out. While definitely being equally as heavy, if not even more massively sounding, their take on the Death Metal genre is one that is at least twice as slow as your regular Death Metal band from that Swedish scene. Whether this was the (or one of the) reasons that the band never managed to pass beyond the demo stages is hard to tell, but regardless of the reason(s), their work, which certainly deserves the Doom/Death Metal label, definitely made them a bit of a (musical) outlaw.
The Doom/Death Metal scene was pretty much non-existent back in those very early 90’s, except for a few bands in the UK and The Netherlands, there wasn’t much going on. That made Eternal Darkness a very unique band in their native Swedish Death Metal scene. They are often mentioned as an important inspiration for bands like Evoken – the Eternal Darkness compilation ‘Total Darkness’, which was released back in 2006, appeared on the Morbid Wrath Records label, operated by Evoken bassist David Wagner alongside Disma mainman Daryl Kahan. The four tracks of the demo, here spread over two sides of the 10” EP, undoubtedly sound very slow and gloomy, taking on a sound that would not be popularized until many years later. So, that “doom” tag is certainly much in place. However not to the extent that Daniel Ekeroth described Eternal Darkness in his ‘Swedish Death Metal’ book some years ago. As with many other bands, he completely missed the mark here. Eternal Darkness certainly sounds slow, but the melodies are more subcutaneous and a sporadic acoustic guitar do not yet make it a “Death Metal Candlemass” as Ekeroth describes it.
If you are into Doom/Death Metal and you haven’t had the chance to get into Eternal Darkness yet, this 10” EP or CD is definitely worth checking out. And maybe needless to say, but this is the sort of Doom/Death Metal that you can call ‘real’ Doom/Death Metal, so this is nothing to do with the Swallow The Sun’s, Draconian’s, Officium Triste’s, Shape Of Despair’s or any other “romantic” and melodic Doom/Death Metal bands. This is the real deal.