Monday, March 15, 2010

Review: Nirvana 2002 Recordings 89-91

Here's an easy one. A nice side benefit of the renewed interest in OSDM is the re-release of classic, hard to find, material from important bands, especially those that you may have missed the first time around. Relapse Records is rapidly cornering the market on the re-release of said rare material, first with the monstrous, recent remastering of World Without God by Finnish band Convulse, and now with the label issuing nearly the entire catalogue of songs from seminal Swedish act Nirvana 2002 on one compilation.

Entitled Recordings 89-91, the compilation is instantly a "must have", and not just because you happened to read Swedish Death Metal cover to cover. Consisting of 15 total songs, Recordings 89-91 gives you remastered (or cleaned up) versions of the following:


1. "Mourning"
2. "Slumber"
3. "Zombiefication
4. "The Awakening Of..."
5. "Further Beyond"
6. "Snake"
7. "Physical Excursion/ Truth And Beauty"
8. "Brutality"
9. "The Awakening Of..."
10. "Watch The River Flow"
11. "In Fell Tongues"
12. "Mourning"
13. "Slumber"
14. "Zombiefication"
15. "The Awakening Of..."


Track 1: Taken from the Projections Of A Stained Mind compilation, 1990
Tracks 2-4: Disembodied Spirits demo, 1990 (2009 mix)
Tracks 5-6: Promo '91
Tracks 7-8: Excursions in the 2002nd Dimension demo, 1989
Tracks 9-10: Rehearsal, 1990
Track 11: Rehearsal, 1991
Track 12: Live at Kafè 44, Jan., 2007
Tracks 13-15: Disembodied Spirits demo, 1990 (original mix)

Nirvana 2002 played pure, old school, Sunlight Studio-era Swedish death metal with huge riffs, bursts of speed, and guttural vocals courtesy of Orvar Safstrom, who also briefly appeared with Entombed. Tons of slow to mid-paced groove permeate the songs, as well, resulting in songs that are at once both catchy and crushingly heavy.

As would be expected, the quality of the recordings varies. Certainly, the first six tracks are all clear and deep, coming from nearly modern production values. Also, a nice comparison can be made between the two versions of the Disembodied Spirits demo on either side of the compilation, with clearer drums readily noticeable in the 2009 update. Tracks 7 and 8 from the Excursions in the 2002nd Dimension demo are probably the roughest, but are still easily listenable, and the live and rehearsal tracks contain a mistake or two.

The quality of the music is top notch for the era, and easily stands toe to toe with the early output from the successful bands such as Grave, Dismember, and so on. As a part of the scene at a pivotal time, Nirvana 2002 are an important piece of the early Swedish death metal puzzle. Kudos to Relapse Records for making these recordings widely available, and it comes as no surprise that Nirvana 2002 have recently reformed and will appear at this year's Maryland Death Fest.

Very highly recommended.


Nirvana 2002 Official MySpace

No comments: