I don’t think I’ll ever forget the time I saw Darkane live… The band played a tight set with a fair bit of tasty guitar-ing, but the aspect that will be forever etched into my psyche is the lead guitarist playing a single-coil, baby blue Fender Stratocaster for the entire set. Talk about mind-boggling! You had this guy ripping blisteringly fast neo-classical death metal solos while playing a guitar that looked like it belonged to one of the Beach Boys.
Anyways, enough of the preamble… What we have here is the sixth release from Swedish melo-deathers, Darkane. The album begins with a somewhat predictable string arrangement before kicking off full blast into a barrage of double kick and harmonized guitar mayhem. The sound is reminiscent of the early 2000’s Gothenburg style except with more of a modern thrash take. In all, it will most likely appeal to those who are into such bands as Soilwork and Amon Amarth. Perhaps even some American contemporaries like the Black Dahlia murder or Battlecross.
As the album progresses, the listener is reminded that melodic death metal doesn’t just have to be a constant dance of harmonized guitars and can use other elements like slow, sludgy grooves and technical chugs (which is welcomed by this reviewer). The vocals are also diverse ranging from standard growls to emotional and lyrical gritty clean vocals. This comes as no surprise after hearing vocalist Andreas Sydow handle vocal duties on the last F.K.U. record (which is awesome for all fans of thrash!).
Overall, this record rests within the ranks of the Gothenburg camp. To the trained ear, you can tell these guys are from Sweden and that they probably don’t take many pages out of the Opeth Heritage book. Instead, they praise modern production and use it as a vessel to convey their brand of melodic death/modern thrash. Darkane uses many different tricks to avoid sounding monotonous and the arrangements are fairly well-thought out. I’m impressed with this one and will give it a solid. 4.3/5 Dragons
– By David Khan of the Band Scythia