Interesting facts about the town Falkenberg:
-The municipality has about 40.000 inhabitants, half of whom live in the town.
-That region has been peopled since prehistoric times, with its fertile soil and efficient trading possibilities.
-It is found on the beautiful Swedish west coast, about 100km south of Gothenburg (that gave us Hammerfall and melodic death metal) and 30km north of Halmstad (that gave us Arch Enemy, Per Gessle of Roxette and Niklas Kvarforth of Shining).
-I grew up about a mile north of Falkenberg, just outside the municipality.
-One movie has been made about the town; “Farewell Falkenberg”, a drama-documentary about the existential anxiety and utter boredom of growing up there, having no future and nothing to do.
-The town’s biggest metallic (and musical) export ever is Sonic Syndicate, whom all lovers of original, creative and profoundly spiritual metal simply adore; especially their demos are of cult standards.
(source: http://www.falkenberg.se and personal investigations.)
But when the nineties ruled, other bands roamed this armpit of the Swedish west coast. One of them where Entity, a very special doom metal outfit. They released a bunch of demos and two 7″ EPs, the latter through Megagrind Records (later known as Heathendoom, run by the tireless Perra Karlsson, from Nominon, In Aeternum, Bergraven, Nex, etc). “The Lasting Scar” was released in March 1994, and in October the same year came the EP “The Payment”. It was through our spiritual link Bergraven I got hold of these two obscure rarities – don’t even consider getting hold of the records, as they’re probably not worth anything and probably will stay rotting away in forgotten dustbins or something. I don’t even think it’s possible to find a decent mp3 rip of them on Soulseek. Unfortunately I must add, because this is some very special music.
If I’d been about ten years older, I probably would have known these guys personally, maybe even been a member of the band. But you know, a lot of things pass you by right in front of you when you’re eight. Anyhow. These two EPs, both consisting of two songs and an intro, are pretty unique and strange (words used perhaps a bit too often on this site). The sound is diminished by pretty crappy productions and the fact that I’ve transferred 13 year old cheap vinyl to even an even cheaper cassette through archaic inherited or second-hand equipment, but at a respectable volume and with a decent concentration of listening you hear everything pretty clear. The four-piece Entity’s music is most easily put into the doom section of metal, even though it’s not very metal at all. Straight rock beats and pretty standard slow metal beats lay the percussive foundation, at times moving into some upbeat parts giving the music a surprisingly energetic feeling. Obviously a very competent drummer this Tomas Hedlund, who is later to be found in bands like Karnarium, The Ancient’s Rebirth, Autupsy Torment and currently Tristitia. Vocalist Dan O. Persson (also found in The Ancient’s Rebirth, and Cardinal Sin) has a highly expressive voice, very theatrical in a way I suppose few would tolerate (I personally have no taste). His range is wide yet pretty unsharpened, moving from blackened screams, loud shouts and operatic clean vocals. Well, it’s more “badly treated bad guy in a Broadway musical planning revenge on the hero and you kinda feel he’s on the right but then you realise the hero’s honourable motive yet still feel a certain attraction to that black-clad fellow ’cause he’s really an underdog but does things the wrong way”-style than real opera, but you get the point. It’s very theatrical, and there’s probably some sort of story behind the songs, but with only the titles I’m not getting very far.
Following the run-through of the different sections of Entity’s rehearsal room, I reach the string-wielders. For some inexplicable reason, all forms of guitar distortion have been left out. And now we reach what’s most important with Entity. The origin of all that is metal – the Distorted Guitar Riff – it’s not there. They have riffs, but the guitars are all clean. It took a while for me to get over, because it really sounds strange, and that’s why I’m going on about it. Their only guitarist play some fancy leads, a big bunch of arpeggiated chords that make out the foundation for the overwhelming keyboard masturbation, and yes, they have riffs, and they are great, but they’re equally lost in the mix. The bass just follows the guitar, which in turn mostly follows the aforementioned keyboard. Yes, the keyboard… it’s everywhere! And it’s cheap, but I like that – probably Casio. Massive string pads cover everything in a symphonic Candlemass way, beautiful piano sections, some quasi-Oriental Tiamat anno ’93 style cheese. Very Swedish, in a confounding yet alluring fashion. There is something here that makes me feel that Entity, had they continued and evolved, could have been a perfect blend of Beyond Dawn and Tiamat, only a bit more symphonic. Don’t ask me why, I just do. Entity could have gotten far, and I’m happy I got the chance to hear this lost artefact of obscurity.
The DIY factor of Entity is immense, yet deceiving. When working on the layout for The Lasting Scar, the band came to their label boss with the logo, hand drawn. On a piece of paper. But later that year, they used artwork by Aaron Stainthorpe from My Dying Bride on the cover of The Payment (not show here, mind you), so they weren’t some sort of nobodies, as one might expect. Their sound was just a bit too strange I suppose, especially at a time when extreme metal meant Florida or Oslo in the minds of metalheads. There was just no space for an entity like Entity.
Release: March/October 1994
Label: Megagrind Records
Avantgenre: Symphonic Doom Rock Theatre
Duration: 2×11 Minutes
Official site: None
Review online since: 14.01.2008 / 17:45:38
The Lasting Scar (March 1994):
1. “My Inner War” (intro)
2. “The Lasting Scar”
3. “Leave The Kiss To Die”
The Payment EP (October 1994):
1. “The Payment” (intro)
2. “Storms Of Bitterness And Blood”
3. “My Dream Is Bleeding” (instrumental)