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Melodic Death Metal, but not Gothenburg,
This review is from: Rusted Angel (Audio CD)
I can't believe no one has bothered to review this classic yet. Rusted Angel is a genre-stradeling beast of a metal album that should be hailed as one of the best things to come out of sweden since Henrik Larson during his hey days. Oh, and Britt Ekland...
A brief and disonant istrumental section, like an ominous shadow of the carnage to come, opens Rusted Angel before 'Convicted' literaly blows my ears off. Powered by the relentlessly creative and inhumanly crushing drumming skills of the possibly 8-limbed Peter Wildoer and the ripping axe work of messers Christofer Malmström and Klas Ideberg, Darkane's debut takes us through a blood-soaked oddessy of complex yet catchy death/thrash/metal/hardcore genetic experimentation - the complexity of Dark Angel, the unholy riff worshipping of Slayer, the balls and fire of Kreator, the progressive emperimentation of late-Death, the crushing power of Obituary, the melodic tendencies of prime Arch Enemy, the unabated (and breakdown free) fury of classic hardcore punk (i.e. Black Flag)... Mix it altogether in one hell of a grinder and you've got yourself Rusted Angel. While drawing on a variety of influences should not been seen as revolutionary in itself, Darkanes ability to channel all these different elements into a sound at once original, distinctive, balance and cohesive surely is. A cascade of crushing riffs, blinding thrashing, odd-ball time changes, ridiculously good drumming and a variety of vocal styles sweeps through the album from start to finish, constantly stunning me with their technicality and creativity. The guitar histrionics are superb, from the solos to the riffs to the chord progressions - technical, well played, inventive and well written. Not to be shown up, vocalist Lawrence Mackrory pulls out just about everything from high screams and low growls through hardcore style shouts and gruff melodies, adding even more impressive layers to the diverse and mutlifaceted Darkane sound. Holding it all together is the collosal force of Wildoer's drumming, which even gives uber legened Gene Holgan a run for his money at times. Wildoer also played on Arch Enemy's Stigmata. Captured with a strong, meaty production, its pretty hard not to give this anything but the full 5 stars.
If i hate to give it a name, I guess i would say that this is melodic death metal, as this is death metal and it is melodic, but Darkane sound nothing like the other bands of the genre. The closest to them would be Arch Enemy, but at the same time Arch Enemy and Darkane are very different. Dare say though, if you like one you'll probably like the other. Some of the Haunted's earlier stuff also reminded me a bit of Darkane. Oh, and Arsis definitely pinched a few riffs from Rusted Angel.
It's hard to pick favourites on such a classic CD, but i do have a bit of a sweet spot of 'Convicted' with it's great chorus and amazing solos, while the rolling death grooves and cookie monster growls of 'A Wisdoms Breed' gets me everytime. These tracks are also featured as live bonues, coincidently.
I really can't recommend this enough. Darkane have always been criminally underrated and strangely ignored by all but hardcore metal fans, which is a darn shame as they've been continually pushing the boundaries of what one can do with thrashy death metal. Fans of anything from techy thrash, old school death, melodic death metal, hardcore, just about anything riffy is doing themselves a disservice by not having this album. The Cds that follwed, such as Insantiy, Expanding the Senses and Layer of Lies are also top notch.