And we’re off to Sweden again top unearth some obscure death metal madness in the form of Darkified. Darkified is a band that existed for the entirety of a year. Their only two releases, a demo and an EP came out in 91 and 92 (with two compilations to follow later, one of them being the focus of this review) and then that was it. That puts them near the beginning of the Swedish death metal birth, an enviable place to be for a band. Darkified shares some of the scenes early hallmark sounds, particularly the dirty, buzzsaw riffing that’s more utilitarian than flashy, the low quality production, and the distant drums. It’s all oh so Swedish and oh so sweet, however Darkified wanted to bring in there HP Lovecraft influence and for them that meant atmospherics provided by keyboards, which for a death metal band at that time in Sweden, makes them stick out like a soar fucking thumb. It’s a bit cheesy, sure, but the addition of those keyboards brings a whole other level of atmospheric wonder and presence to the album. It’s creepy, gothic, cultish, and overall evil sounding, especially when bounced off the buzzsaw death metal moments. It also pushes the band a little further into black metal.

It’s a unique band for the time, one lost to the ages and this compilation clocking in at barely 20 minutes is the perfect way to glimpse a rare time in Sweden death metal when shit was just off the rails.