DARKANE - Rusted Angel LP (Blue Vinyl)

DARKANE - Rusted Angel LP (Blue Vinyl)

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Melodeath is often a genre maligned for it's staleness and in the case of the greats tends to be assume that it'll devolve into nu-metal at one point or another. The bands who stick with the true sound of melodeath and don't go the nu-metal route often end up suffering from stagnation and eventually realize that they have no choice but to churn out riffs that all sound recognizably similar. Darkane avoided this pitfall, and is one of my favorite bands of ALL FUCKING TIME!

What we have here is this Swedish units debut album, an album so chock full of badass riffs, intensely technical drumming, raging vocals, and intelligently fit in classical and jazz sensibilities and one of my top ten guitar heroes, Christofer Maslmtrom. It isn't in my opinion fair to say this band is a melodeath band, but their often classified as such, though if you were to ask me this is actually a death/thrash band with melodic elements in place.

The highlight of this album (and this band) is definitely the riffs. We have some intense fast paced bludgeoning in "Wisdoms Breed", interspersed shredding in "Convicted" and mid paced stomping devastation in the title track. The other highlight of this album is Christofer Malmstrom's manner in which he conveys these heavily inspired classical and jazz idea's within the scheme of Darkane's music. Some of this shit sounds downright Beethoven, Bach, and Tchaikovsky out the ass and it creates some awe inspiring moments (July 1999's solo is one of my top ten guitar solo's of all time). Klas Idleberg, the bands rhythm guitarist keeps the tightness of the riffs down to a T, and Peter Wildoer's heavily fusion infused drumming at high velocity is just something to behold. This album also featured the bands first vocalist, and this being the only album he was on, Lawrence Mackery, who employs a very thrash shout voice with some death grunts here and there.

If this release qualifies as melodeath, it's a masterpiece within the genre, though if you asked me it's a masterpiece regardless of what label it actually fits under. Guitar players would dig the shit out of this though, I'm not fucking around when I say this. The production is a bit shoddy, the drums and vocals sound great but for as guitar heavy and oriented as Darkane's music is, the mix pushes the guitars and bass just a bit too far back for my liking. Check this out though, seriously, it will please the ears.

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