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  • Words by Faye Coulman and Jonesy


For the first time in many long and arduous months, our dreary little isle is finally approaching something resembling normality, with the UK’s hospitality and entertainment industries making firm and decisive moves toward economic recovery. Better yet, not only is it now possible (and indeed actively encouraged) to get pissed somewhere other than in your own home or on a hypothermia-inducing park bench in mid-January, but with Download festival having recently wrapped up its highly successful pilot scheme earlier this month, the much yearned-for return of live music could, at long last, finally become a tangible reality. So while the UK metal scene awaits – with bated breath – this tremendously anticipated advent, we at Dark Matter Towers have been busily scouring our inboxes, YouTube streams and record collections to bring you coverage of our finest musical discoveries from the grim and frostbitten netherworld of extreme metal. Featuring our team’s most highly rated tracks to date, get ready to plunge headlong in this, the eighth edition of Anthems From the Abyss…


‘Existence in a Dream’

Back in simpler, bygone times, the wondrously malicious likes of Mörk Gryning would have likely been found marauding the murky, subterranean bowels of some thoroughly disreputable local dive bar (or other equally nefarious establishment). The sort of venue whose every ancient, drink-sodden floorboard is liberally saturated with a stickily pervasive aura of coagulating booze, black leather and heavily fermented sweat. Punctuating the odorous, unmistakable stench of a million misspent weekends, the band loom into view up ahead as immense, eardrum-pulverising blasts assume a monumental assault on the senses, shaking the slowly decaying basement venue to its deepest foundations.

So goes the report we wish we could have given you…

But alas, this is the year 2021, and the discovery of these grimly absorbing Swedes did, in fact, occur one fateful drunken night in Swansea in the midst of what can only be described as a YouTube wormhole/marathon drinking session. Unremarkable and rather meandering backstory over, Mörk Gryning are a thoroughly magnetic proposition, their intoxicating melding of blistering aggression, icily visceral fretwork and deathly atmospherics bewitching the listener from the get-go. With their decidedly necro-sounding band name translating from their native Swedish tongue to ‘Dark Dawn’, these talented Scandinavians have maintained a steadily consistent output of studio material since forming way back when in 1993.

Numbering one of the many deliciously frostbitten highlights to feature on 2020 epic ‘Hinsides Vrede’, the blackly entrancing ‘Existence in a Dream’ intermingles searing extremes of aggression and coldly immersive atmospherics to mesmerising effect. Layering intensely sinister lashings of ritualistic chants and distortion-drenched guitars in amongst frantically accelerating episodes of synapse-scorching aggression, this is black metal at its blistering, complex and deftly controlled finest.



‘Us Against December Skies’