Demonic Art

Written by: EW on 30/11/2008 18:13:51

Swedish thrashers Darkane's fifth album "Demonic Art" puts me in a kind of pickle I don't like when attempting to review albums, in that it is a good album that will no doubt be enjoyed by many, with generally good reviews all round, but is one I personally just don't like. Darkane's style is so Scandinavian it hurts. It's all about the tech-thrash here, the Swedish melodrama there and the combination of shouted and cleanly sung vocals that combine to produce an album that will no doubt appeal to fans of The Haunted, Soilwork, Carnal Forge and the Japanese, whom have a strange fascination with Scandinavian melodic death/thrash.

It is Carnal Forge who provide the closest point of reference to the music of Darkane. Brutal hyper thrash punctuated by moments of sweet melody enveloped in a modern production, very much of the kind loved by kids well on the way to the harshest end of the metal spectrum. New vocalist Jens Broman is well-versed in how to conduct oneself with such a role due to his experiences in the similar Construcdead and The Defaced and feels very much at home on "Demonic Art", his shouty screams of the majority complimenting the pissed off thrash while the clean anthemic chorusses of "Impetious Constant Chaos", "Leaving Existence" (among a choice of many) are those bits guaranteed to pick up many fans not quite won over by the technical brutal thrashing that is Darkane's mainstay. What I feel is the controversial point separating the generational opinion divide on bands like Darkane and Soilwork is the riff structure; old thrash of the kind I (and predominantly the older Metalheads) love (Dark Angel, Testament etc.) feels a long way from the tempo driven, riff punctuation of these bands. I would personally prefer to hear thrashing riffs based upon chord progressions and/or dexterity upon the fretboard rather than albeit well-played twee melodies or worse, staccato riffing ala Meshuggah. "The Killing Of I", "Demigod", "Soul Survivor" all blighted by this are reduced to the feel of a group of individuals who have lost the knack of writing proper metal riffs.

As declared immediately in this review it needs to be pointed out that "Demonic Art" is no bad album. The problem I feel is most accurately summed up by sub one minute instrumental "Wrong Grave"; on a more passionate album this would espouse some sort of feeling and emotion with it's Jeff Loomis inspired solo; on "Demonic Art" it feels just like a delay tactic to give the listener a breather before the onset of further hyper thrasing in "Still in Progress". If you are Japanese or/and like your metal both aggressive and technical with the vibes of a 21st century record "Demonic Art" will satiate, but the destination for intense feeling or real brutality this is not.


Download: Impetious Constant Chaos, Leaving Existence
For The Fans Of: Soilwork, The Haunted, Carnal Forge
Listen: Myspace
Buy: iTunes

Release date: 24.10.08
Massacre Records

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