Eucharist - Mirrorworlds
Regain Records
Melodic Death Metal
8 songs (37'19")
Release year: 1997
Regain Records
Reviewed by Alex
Archive review

I suppose I am not the only one who learned about Swedish melodic death band Eucharist after they disbanded. Leaving a short legacy behind them, only two short full-length albums Velvet Creation and Mirrorworlds, the band was quite influential, original and occupied a very important niche. Rather than copycat At The Gates or Entombed, Eucharist enriched their sound with both doom chords and progressive rhythms and sometimes went out on a limb with experimentation. Even more importantly, they have overdosed their death metal with introspection and melancholy showing the sensitive side of the genre. Oh, yeah, they also gave the world Daniel Erlandsson who does a marvelous job handling drums for Arch Enemy.

Mirrorworlds is Eucharist’s second and final album on now defunct Wrong Again Records. Regain Records has obtained the rights to many WAR albums and has been reissuing them as of late. Even though it is short, just over 37 min, Mirrorworlds offers a very good slice of what Eucharist was all about. This album, probably on par with Skydancer by Dark Tranquillity stands as one of the most seminal Gothenburg creations.

The album is bookended by two tracks, Mirrorworld and Bloodred Stars, driven by the Entombed influenced, edgy, guitar driven, almost playful, if not for the lyrics, sound. Melodies wash over the old school Swedish riffs while guitarist and vocalist Markus Johnsson lets go of some of the most tortured vocals in the business. His screams “I soar” are as far away from monotonous grunting as they can get. Instead, you almost feel his pain, his skin being ripped off his bones. My favorite tracks on Mirrorworlds though are more somber cuts Dissolving, With the Sun and Fallen. Whether it is trippy rhythms like in Dissolving or beginning blastbeats as in With the Sun, something that begins almost dissonant always finds its way to penetrate your soul with riffs and somber melodies. It is if the voice perseveres and the melody emerges from the chaos. Mourning (Dissolving) and harmonized (With the Sun) solos add the technical aspect to the songs and fit in unbelievably well. Music in Fallen rolls like a non-stop wave. I always feel like I am climbing a never-ending set of stairs while listening to that song. Overtaken with melancholy, you know there is nothing good awaiting there in the end, yet you keep on moving. Great song with soul-searching lyrics!

About the only song that I feel is a little out of place is Demons with its effects and brutal, blasting, nervous, in-your-face approach. As if to compensate, Eucharist gives two super special instrumentals, the eponymous The Eucharist and sensational In Nakedness. The Eucharist has everything, from buzzsaw guitars to complex half a beat behind percussion to overlayed guitar lines for the solo to practically doom chords when the tempo slows down. Yet, it is still a progressive death metal track. In Nakedness is in stark contrast to anything you ever might hear. What it takes from Eucharist in general is its melancholy spirit. Then, Kenneth Gronberg plays oboe, the most solemn wind instrument, over quiet almost acoustic guitar strumming. The effect is breathtaking, every time I hear this song I feel the end is near.

For those who miss the “old” Swedish death metal sound the trip down memory lane with Eucharist will be worth it. It is unfortunate Eucharist didn’t last, but their music lives. This just goes to show that when the art comes from the heart it is here to stay. And know with Regain stepping up to the plate you wouldn’t have to fork over lots of $$ for the relic WAR CDs.

Killing Songs :
Dissolving, With the Sun, Fallen, In Nakedness
Alex quoted 89 / 100
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