Originally released in 1991, "Of Darkness" was Therion's debut album displaying a very visceral form of death metal. Their frontman was barely 18 years old, and they recorded & mixed this disc in roughly 6 days. The material was originally written in the last couple years of the 80s, but Therion demonstrated with this debut that even as a fledgling band they would become a force to be reckoned with. "Of Darkness", like the following two albums "Beyond Sanctorum" and "Symphony Masses", held very closely to the death metal code and this particular release shines with creativity.
It may be true that the original release of "Of Darkness" had something to be desired, but this remastered version is truly awesome (despite the lack of full color original artwork). Therion has shown themselves to be masters of the symphonic/operatic metal scene in recent years with releases such as "Vovin" and "Secret of the Runes", but it is necessary to hear this album and understand their amazing talent as a death metal band. It is their mastery over that particular style that allowed them to develop and create the operatic metal masterpieces as of late.
Though many of you may not completely appreciate or even like Therion's first record, even then it should still be listened to so you gain an understanding of the path the band took to get where they are now.
As for the music itself, I personally find it to be one of the greatest death metal debut albums of that time period. Considering that this album was released just a year after Metallica released their 'black' album, it just goes to show how much Therion chose to shrug off any influences of the more mainstream scene to pursue an effort in unbridled ferocity and raw power. This remastered disc allows you to hear all the intricacies that were perhaps unavailable on the original, as well as simply discover how great these guys were at the death metal sound. This isn't quite the caliber of say Opeth's "Orchid" or Sinister's "Cross The Styx" in terms of a debut release, but "Of Darkness" is still one of the best and most entertaining debuts of that time. This is a great example of how many of today's great metal acts had roots that would thoroughly shock many of their contemporary followers. Don't miss out on this one. I VERY highly recommend it.