1. Amnesia Of The Wildoerian Apocalypse 2. Secondary Effects 3. Organic Canvas 4. Fading Dimensions 5. Layers Of Lies 6. Godforsaken Universe 7. Klastrophobic Hibernation 8. Vision Of Degradation 9. Contaminated 10. Maelstrom Crisis 11. Decadent Messiah 12. The Creation Insane
It's been three years since Darkane released their last record, "Expanding Senses", a creative vision that seemed to have these Swedes "reinventing" their sound, restocking their shop to include more melodic and ambient moments. Those elements in my opinion have helped Darkane become the future of this genre. As more and more "new wave" bands capitalize on the success of the Swedish melodic death sound of a decade ago, those early "Gothenburg" pioneers have all moved miles past that particular stance. Really "today's" modern new wave bands, acts like As I Lay Dying, Killswitch Engage, and Still Remains, are all stuck somewhere in 1999. That is perfectly fine as that sound is still appealing to many, including myself. But at the same time bands like Dark Tranquillity, In Flames, Soilwork, and Darkane have matured, with positive and negative changes all taking place within those camps. For Darkane, their sound has improved through the years, arriving at this pivotal point in their career with quite possibly their most diverse and important record to date with "Layers Of Lies".
The packaging for this release is phenomenal, with the most abstract and unique images brought to life courtesy of Frank Odman. I really like the inlay and the positioning of the lyrics and songs themselves. But beyond the music lies a cutting edge sound, produced, mixed, and engineered by the band themselves. With the right amount of blast beats, ambient, trance like moments, ripping grooves, shredding leads, and diverse vocals, Darkane position themselves at the very top of the mountain, really taking what In Flames, Soilwork, and Dark Tranquillity have done and combining it all into a Swedish melting pot, all capped with the best of Hypocrisy's space like odyssey.
Each cut created here moves with it's own unique pace, sometimes moving into warp drive, but slowly slipping back into the designed pattern. Every track has timing changes and at times can slip into a totally different direction, but given time everything slips back into place and never becomes too disruptive or confusing for the listener. Songs like "Fading Dimensions" and "Godforsaken Universe" build into mighty crescendos, all wrapped up with the most progressive of chorus parts. Faster, more straightforward tracks like "Contaminated" and "The Creation Insane" move at blazing speed, all the time playing with complex timing changes and the most diverse vocal patterns. Favorites for me include "Organic Canvas", "Layers Of Lies", and "Vision Of Degradation".
Nuclear Blast have had quite a year thus far, with quality releases seemingly every month. Now we get the much anticipated "Layers Of Lies", a rather innovative style on display here that few bands can even imagine, much less write and record. Darkane have gone beyond the call of duty, this time inventing something new all together. At times you can put this record on the same page as "Rusted Angel" or "Expanding Senses". The signature is definitely on the bottom line, but at the same time the contract has been altered. This time the paperwork calls for a whole new approach that still retains the same theme and overall method of mayhem. It is of my opinion that this band have gone into that "thinking man's" frontier, much like Century Media recording artist Mercenary. Both bands have created a dark, fantastic journey through nighttime realms, those darkened corridors filled with both mystery and forbidden delight. That is where we arrive, at this stage venturing into sci-fi themes and the very darkest of mankind's hopes and dreams.
About this Writer: Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.
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