In the context of all of 90s black metal, Sorhin remains a relative cult (or I guess, kvlt) classic. Known by all the hardcore fans, unknown with the rest of the majority. And it’s a damn shame, because they released some of the best material out of the Swedish scene, if not arguably THE best. The riffs hit, the production is flawless for what it is, everything comes into place and delivers exactly what you want, how you want it.
But what intrigues me primarily is how relatively little this has in common with most of the raw black metal at the time. Primarily, this isn’t that much of a black metal record at all as much as a punk rock/hardcore record with metallic guitar tones and satanic vocals. Now normally this is expressed in the drumming pattern. It’s not totally unusual for a black metal record to be fairly devoid of blast beats in favor of punkier drumming patterns, particularly in the french scene. In fact on I Det Glimrande I’d say the fact that this is around 70% non blast beats is not even that abnormal, just on the far punk side of the black metal spectrum. This was especially common in the 90s when a lot of the ingrained black metal traditions hadn’t totally been established bands, and lots of bands took to the thrash and hardcore scenes for ideas.
What’s really odd about this is how melodically punk rock like it is. The constant alternating tritones without using too many tremolos is a staple of hardcore at the time (well, really the early 90s and 80s but ’97 can kinda count I guess), before the extra thicc production spooks got a hold of the genre. I mean let’s me real, Och Om Natten Min Själ Dansar is a punk song in black metal clothing, can we agree to that? It kind of amazes me how little this is ever brought up in regards to this album. While yes, hardcore was a major influence on black metal as a whole, Sorhin manages takes the punk influence up about 5 notches here, while still maintaining a raw aesthetic and being very melodic.
In a way, this being made in ’97 is itself bizzaro, as this sounds like something crafted 4 years earlier, when it was actually made at a time when black metal, punk, and thrash itself were totally starting to sell out. I Det managed to totally surround itself in a bubble for it’s ideas, and as a result came up with a not so unique album that managed to be insanely unique for it’s time. This is one of the forgotten staples of black metal, I honestly think everyone who loves the 90s scene should listen to this.