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Demonic Art

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Album Review

Sweden's Darkane kept their fans waiting nearly four years for their fifth album, Demonic Art, which finally emerged at the end of 2008 and marked the arrival of new vocalist Jens Bronman (ex-Construcdead), in place of the departed Andreas Sydow. Yet, even though this change made Bronman the third frontman in the band's decade-long career, the remaining four musicians — guitarists Christofer Malmström and Klaus Ideberg, bassist Jörgen Löfberg and drummer Peter Wildoer — have been there from day one, giving continuity to the group's measured but steady sonic evolution from album to album. This evolutionary process has seen Darkane gradually supplanting their original death metal foundations with a modern brand of extreme metal, heavy on thrash — not of the revivalist, recycled variety suddenly popular in the late '00s, but rather akin to fellow Scandinavian outfits like Denmark's Hatesphere, the sadly defunct the Crown, and especially scene-leading compatriots the Haunted. Nevertheless, Darkane continue to distinguish themselves from these and other competitors with the high degree of musicality with which they manage to embellish the harsher elements of their songwriting; including everything from symphonic passages, to tightly wound harmonies and jaw-dropping guitar solos (as melodic as they are technically complex), not to mention Bronman's very capable clean singing. This impressive versatility yields enough highlights on Demonic Art to make picking out favorites a pointlessly subjective exercise, but for the sake of those wishing to download a few tracks before committing to the full album, instant gratification can undoubtedly be had with "Leaving Existence," "Execution 44," "Sole Survivor," and the title track. Chances are, though, sampling a few will inevitably lead to the rest, so fair warning, and congrats to Darkane for surviving yet another new singer relatively unscathed. [A bonus DVD version was also released.]


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Swedish death metal band Darkane was formed from the remnants of Agretator, a progressive-influenced unit following in the footsteps of bands like Watchtower. Guitarist Christofer Malmström and drummer Peter Wildoer (the latter also formerly of Armageddon and Arch Enemy) first recruited guitarist Klas Ideberg and bassist Jorgen Löfberg, and recorded a couple of compilation tracks. The new band's sound contained some progressive elements (somewhat similar to Meshuggah), but took a more Gothenburg-style...
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Demonic Art, Darkane
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