Chuck Schuldiner Project

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Moondark - The Shadowpath

The Shadowpath cover art

There is something strangely charming about Swedish death metal. Its slowed down grooves and punishing attack is the kind of thing that really lulls you into a sense of calm. I don't know why, but after a certain point most death metal loses its aggressive edge and instead becomes vaguely meditative. There are a lot of tropes that bands like Moondark conform too, but with a record like The Shadowpath that's kind of the point. Within these tropes Moondark are able to create some kickass sounds and truly expand the listeners mind for the better.

I think that the depth of emotion that defines Moondark actually makes more sense when you realize they've been around since 1993. The trudging sense of oblivion that helps to make this band so undeniably heavy comes from years of grinding it out in a freezing fucking country in a repressed fucking culture. What I'm trying to say is that Moondark are a product of their environment and their music acts as a reflection on that. Perhaps that is what makes The Shadowpath truly art. You find yourself coming to a deeper knowledge of the musicians, and you get the sense that the ominous and brooding destruction found on the albums closer, the truly top notch World Devastator allows the band to come to terms with their own suffering.

Moondark isn't for everyone, I'll be the first one to admit that. Yet as I sat here this evening reading Chuck Klosterman and reflecting on the earth shaking power of these tunes I found it hard to deny that Moondark also get the fundamental power of death metal and what it can do for a regular Joe like you or me. Their songwriting opens the mind and gives you a look into a brutal and more profound reality - but that's kind of the point. The Shadowpath is death metal that enhances the sense of self - and for that reason it is glorious.

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