Uncanny
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Of all the recent reissues of classic Swedish death metal, this two disc reissue of Uncanny’s lone album complete with two demos and one split with Ancient Rites is the one I’ve most been looking forward to. Alongside Gorement and maybe God Macabre, this album was long the holy grail for hard to find classic Swedish death metal until their deserving re-issues. And with good reason- it’s a great album that didn’t get a whole lot of attention back in 1994, and was hard to find a mere few years after its release.

With members that would go on to form long running Swedish stalwarts Centinex and recently reformed Interment, the lineage of Uncanny is appropriate and their sound, though a couple of years after the genre exploded, fits right in with other second tier Swedish death metal acts like Edge of Sanity, Séance, Therion and Cemetary — both in style and delivery.

Originally recorded by Dan Swano at his Unisound Studio, the Splenium For Nyktophobia album has a distinct Swedish sound but again, more in common with the above mentioned bands than the forceful Sunlight buzz, which had been already overdone in 1994. While the tone is distinctly Swedish, it’s the songwriting that truly makes Uncanny more impressive. Slightly more more choppy, technical and unpredictable than the Swedish big three (Entombed , Dismember, Grave), the song structures cull from the bands I mentioned above, but there’s a bit of a Darkthrone circa Soulside Journey feel to the album.

The tracks that comprise Splenium For Nyktophobia are deserving of the album’s revered status. Other than the strange industrial pounding of “Lepra” and the odd instrumental closing title track, each has the indefinable sense of ‘classic’, deserving in the annals of the Swedish greats. And I’m not sure you can say that about Cemetery or Séance (and the post-Uncanny band Centinex for that matter). From perfectly Swedish opener “Elohim” through the aptly named “Timeless” and “Screaming in Phobia” with riffs that can only described a purely Swedish death metal to  the furious cover of G-Anx’s punk track “Enkelbiljetten”, and penultimate track “The Final Conflict” all have a classic aura making it clear why this stuff is so highly regarded within the fans of Swedish death metal.

The second disc is comprised of the Transportation to the Uncanny Demo, (1991), Nyktalgia Demo, (1992) and 1993”s split with Ancient Rites. There’s obviously some doubling up of tracks between the three demos/split and the actual album, (“Tales from the Tomb”, “Brain Access”, “Soul Incest”) but there’s a lot of tracks that are not on Splenium For Nyktophobia. They’re worth hearing. As expected, the demo tracks are rougher and rawer, with deeper vocals. On top of that, with Transportation to the Uncanny being produced at Sunlight Studio, there’s an even more distinct primal buzz to the likes of the grooving “The Porno Flute”, and “Why My Intestines?” which have more in common with Grave. The Nyktalgia demo (produced by Swano) and the split with Ancient Rites are cleaner and tighter, but different sounding. It makes doubled up tracks like “Why My Intestines?” and “Brain Access” still worth it.

When you consider this release is an hour and a half of classic, once hard to find music and comes with Dark Descent’s top notch presentation including a gold text CD inlay, all original artwork and detailed linear notes, it’s the most worthwhile of all the Swedish death metal reissues. Even for curious newcomers, you can hear one of the genres more smaller named, but respected albums and not wait 15 years to own it like I had to.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
April 18th, 2011

Comments

  1. Commented by: gordeth

    Great album. It’s worth noting that Fred Norrman of Katatonia/October Tide fame was in this band too.


  2. Commented by: shaden

    didn’t know they did this on cd,only have the vinyl box set,along with the Crypt of Kerberos and Epitaph boxsets.kinda old news.not to mention the interment members of this band.review stuff thats not a year old!


  3. Commented by: Erik T

    Shaden- this was released earlier this month or march on cd- im fully aware of the vinyl version that came out a year ago.


  4. Commented by: Lionel Ulloa Jr.

    Uncanny drummer was enroled with the all-female death metal band from Sverige Sadistic Gang Rape [SGR].

    I am looking for that stuff yet.


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