Though DARKANE has remained somewhat hidden in the shadows cast by melodic metal heavyweights such as IN FLAMES and SOILWORK over the years, being underrated hasn't stopped the Swedes from improving and progressing with each album. Fortunately, and one major reason why I predict "Demonic Art" to be the album that boosts this band's credibility a rung or two up the ladder, their evolutionary path has not led to the same 'written-for-the-masses' territory the aforementioned acts have set up camp in over the last couple of albums. There can be some subtle comparisons made between "Demonic Art" and some of SOILWORK's earlier material, particularly in the vocals of new singer, Jens Broman (ironic as Björn "Speed" Strid appeared on a late '90s DARKANE demo), but the overall vibe of this one is much thrashier and more aggressive than much of the melodeath coming out of Sweden these days.To write an entire album conceptualized around a single song, as this disc is with "Organic Canvas" from "Layer Of Lies", is an interesting endeavor to say the least, but DARKANE handles the chore with a level of intelligence and depth that has been missing from previous efforts. Shades of DIMMU BORGIR's dramatic orchestral flourish get things going with "Variations Of An Eye Crush". Said tune's atmospheric, Danny Elfman-on-metal vibe and climactic build-up flows nicely into the chugging thrash of "Leaving Existence". From this point on, "Demonic Art" maintains a rather consistent level of intensity, driven by the two-pronged assault of guitarists Christofer Malmström and Klas Ideberg and Broman's multi-faceted vocals; each of the three taking their own individual moments to shine. In regards to the guitar players, the aggressive as hell, death metal riffing on "Impetuous Constant Chaos" and "Still In Progress", or the skilled soloing and harmonizing done throughout all serve as reasons to brag. Broman proves himself worthy several times during "Demonic Art", but makes his biggest impact as a team player when directing his choir through larger-than-life choruses as he does during the title track and "Absolution". Other choice cuts like "Execution 44" and "Wrath Connection" show DARKANE's growth as well-rounded and aggression-minded songwriters. After five albums of steady progression, "Demonic Art" sees DARKANE finally ready to take on their Swedish brethren and the rest of the world right along with them. Here is an album that will make its mark by being more technically sound and musical than the most recent SCAR SYMMETRY disc and loads more metallic and aggressive than what SOILWORK or IN FLAMES have been doing recently. Not quite brilliant or timeless, but goddamned impactful nonetheless.
To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends). To report any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, please send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details.