Many within the underground scene recognize the musical brilliance of David Parland, also known as Blackmoon. It was his songwriting and creativity that spawned bands such as Necrophobic and Dark Funeral; both entities that would not even exist today if not for the notoriety gained during their formative years, when David was responsible for the bulk of the compositions. He would go on to be involved in other projects, such as War and Infernal, yet one remained in the shadows for many years.
Way back in 1994, around the time of the first Dark Funeral E.P. and Necrophobic's Bloodfreezing demo, David's creative energies resulted in the birth of an even darker project, known simply as Blackmoon. Only two songs were completed and the material was hidden away, only available to a select few until being put online in 2009. Not long after, a split release was planned, eventually coming to fruition in early 2013 as Beyond the Nothingness. As the second half features songs from my own band, Nocturnal Abyss, I am unable to comment on them aside from saying that both tracks are the same versions that appear on From the Depths of Mörkvod, released not long after.
The two Blackmoon songs possess a more dark and sombre feeling than that of David's other bands. Within a few moments, one can easily distinguish the cold and nocturnal style that was prominent in his work with Necrophobic and Dark Funeral. With the subtle keyboards and mid-paced tempos, one is almost reminded of Burzum. Without a doubt, there is a Bathory influence that is heard here, hearkening back to "Enter the Eternal Fire" and "A Fine Day to Die". Though the tracks are only four and five minutes long, there is an epic quality to both, especially "Across the Black Mountains". The open arpeggio riffs add a sense of despair and misery. The drumming is consistent and lively, suiting the songs well, without taking away from the dreary atmosphere created by the guitar melodies. The vocals are powerful and yet somewhat distant. There is a certain conviction that many often lack, and it is a shame that he did not perform vocals more frequently. Unlike the deeper sound utilized on the Von cover from The Secrets of the Black Arts, his voice is raspier on these songs. Some of the screams are enough to freeze the blood in your veins. Production-wise, this is not too far off from Marduk's Opus Nocturne or the debut from Dark Funeral, with a very similar mix and guitar tone. It is not particularly rough and lacks a sharp edge, yet such things would not have benefited the compositions.
Unlike so many false bands that exist, especially with those so-called depressive bands that overflow into the scene these days, Blackmoon is marked by a genuine and true feeling that can be clearly perceived. Beyond the Nothingness shows the more dreary and morose side of David Parland's musical genius. For anyone that is a fan of his work, this is absolutely essential. The dark and mournful nature of these songs are very much in tune with what his life was like for so many years, and it may be that he missed his calling by not pursuing this project more vigorously in later years, as to express the utter pitch-black darkness that was consuming him might have been cathartic. Blackmoon was picked back up, near the end, but was still considered less important than Infernal. As a result, these tracks offer only a glimpse of what could have been, yet remain significant in their own right. After some delays, these songs were finally available on this split album, though coming some days after David's passing. In the end, the Blackmoon material served as a tribute and epitaph for a great musician and a good man that shall not be forgotten.
"The cold winds surround me
Dark gates I shall enter..."