28 Years Ago: NIHILIST complete Only Shreds Remain demo at Sunlight Studio

This was the first time NIHILIST recorded at Tomas Skogsberg’s Sunlight Studio; one of the first to record at Sunlight at all. They followed TREBLINKA (Crawling in Vomits, November ’88) and MORBID (Last Supper, September ’88).

Recording began on 8 December and Only Shreds Remain was completed on this day in 1988.

With their new lineup and improved material, Nihilist easily blew away their contemporaries and delivered what can be seen as probably the first 100 percent pure Swedish death metal recording. The precise riffing, the ghastly growls of Petrov – very unlike the screams delivered on the debut – and Andersson’s drumming are all just incredible. This demo is also the first to feature the special ultra-thick Studio Sunlight guitar sound that would later become the trademark of Swedish death metal.
– from Swedish Death Metal by Daniel Ekeroth

We used Sunlight only because Morbid had been there. But I was not pleased with the studio. I think the production on our second demo sucks. The drums, especially, sound awful. Skogsberg didn’t know much about how to take care of death metal back then. The reason we got the great guitar sound was the Leif moved on to guitar, and came up with that fat sound. At that point, we didn’t know how he did it – but we loved it!
– Nicke Andersson

For that recording, we hardly had any time at all. You had to pay for each hour in the studio, and we didn’t have any money. And back then you didn’t rehearse much before a recording, so it was pretty stressful.
– Johnny Hedlund


20 Years Ago: KATATONIA record Brave Murder Day at Unisound

Twenty years ago this month KATATONIA were in Finspång, Sweden at Dan Swanö’s Unisound to record their classic dark doom album Brave Murder Day.

KATATONIA had used Unisound for previous releases: Dance of December Souls, For Funerals to Come… and others. After Brave Murder Day they began recording at Sunlight Studio in Stockholm.

The influences have changed quite a lot, because when we did the first album, we were mainly influenced by Paradise Lost, essentially, and Tiamat as well. On Brave Murder Day, I’m not really sure, but I don’t think we had many influences when we did that album. It was more like we wanted to try something really new for us, which led to this very repetitive sound, which I think is very dark.
– Jonas Renkse, Chronicles of Chaos (1999)

The album was released by Avantgarde in November that year.


In the distro: we have several t-shirts including the Brave Yester Days design, some Katatonia CDs and the tribute double-album December Songs on vinyl

We found the front and back cover pictures in an archive here in Stockholm. They have tons of good – and bad – pictures, and we instantly fell for those two as both of them represented what we were doing at the time. The band picture is also cool, we had the photographer shoot our reflections in a pool of oil in an industrial area – I think that gives the picture a darker shade than if it was just an ordinary photo.
– Jonas Renkse, Chronicles of Chaos (2001)

Around the same time the band went on the 19-day European “Autumn Wilderness Tour” with IN THE WOODS… The last three dates were in London, Bradford and Dublin.

We did one tour in 1996, for Brave Murder Day – it was an European tour, a small tour. I think we had something like twenty dates with a Norwegian band called In the Woods… So that’s the only tour we’ve done, and then we’ve been playing some shows in Sweden, but this was a long way back. We haven’t been playing live for a very long time.
– Jonas Renkse, Chronicles of Chaos (1999)

25 Years Ago: GRAVE finish recording Into the Grave at Sunlight Studio

HYPOCRITE spent the previous two days recording their first demo Ruler of the Dark, then GRAVE arrived to record their debut LP. The band had moved from Visby, Gotland to Stockholm in January.

Recording took two weeks, beginning on Monday 17th ending Sunday 30th.

…at the beginning when we started do everything wasn’t turning all the good but at the end we got all what we wanted. We’re satisfied with the final result.
…I don’t really know why it took so long to get this record deal, but it’s like we have some offers before. I’ve choosen Century Media finally. Doing LP took us about 3 weeks. There was no really big problems during that time ‘coz producer is a cool guy who know what to do.
– Ola, Metallic Butcher zine #4, 1992