Demonic Art by Darkane
Release date : October 2008
Reviewed by Eric Stephens
During mid August 2007, vocalist Andreas Sydow announced his departure from Darkane. By late September, Darkane revealed the fact that nine tracks had been penned in support of a fifth full length studio album. The inclusion of Jens Broman (Construcdead / The Defaced) as vocalist was disclosed in mid October, the man making his live debut as Darkane's vocalist on November 10th at the ProgPower Scandinavia festival in Copenhagen, Denmark.
From February to April 2008, Darkane's fifth studio album was recorded and produced at Not Quite Studio & Sensus Musikhuset in Helsingborg, Sweden. In mid April, the title of the album was revealed to be Demonic Art. That same month, drummer Peter Wildoer began mixing the effort, and was assisted by Klas Ideberg. With Matthias Klauser, Darkane engineered, with both samples and sound effects being handled by Stefan Rosqvist. At the Mastering Room, the opus was mastered by Göran Finnberg. During mid July, Demonic Art's track listing was disclosed. Designed by Fredrik Ödman, the album's cover artwork was unveiled in mid August.
Courtesy of a haunting, orchestral instrumental named “Variations of an Eye Crush”, the floodgates of Darkane's Demonic Art open. Upon Demonic Art, Thrash intertwines itself with dark Metal, all vocalized by multiple Death shouts and growls. Darkane employs rich, uptempo riffs as well as crushing moments, which are fronted by Hardcore shouts for the most part. However, clean, highly dynamic vocals also figure amongst that equation.
The title cut, “Demonic Art”, opens via a blackened Grind which happens to be fortified by dark keys within the background, and subsequently sprints away at a frenzied pace. A building guitar solo paves the way for a progressive moment upon “Execution 44”, but as with every track upon Demonic Art, this quickly deviates towards Thrash. Of the album's tracks, “Execution 44” is one which fuses Hardcore, Death growls, and clean, driving vocals. Hardcore shouts aren't required upon “Demigod”, though the Power Metal oriented melody found hidden within its chorus appropriately suits the music.
Another instrumental cut, “Wrong Grave” is a stripped down affair which doesn't include heavy riffs, nor a blistering tempo. Unadulterated Thrash, “Wrath Connection”'s guitar riffs and drum beats are escorted by organ keys, though subsequently favour a speedy tirade.
If cramming as much dynamism as well as musical stylings into Demonic Art's tracks was Darkane's prime motive, then the full length is a success. Vocally speaking, however, moments occur where clean vocals backed by deep growls would've proved more appropriate, as opposed to Hardcore shouting. From a musical standpoint, Demonic Art touches upon all which makes a solid, dark Metal album, and its fusion between guitar runs and solos will maintain listeners' attention.