Following on from their stunning EP Into the Blackness which was met with widespread acclaim, death metal entity Darkened are ready to unleash their highly anticipated debut album Kingdom of Decay mixed by Tobbe Sillman (General Surgery) and mastered by the one and only Dan Swanö (Edge of Sanity) in the famous Unisound Studio in Sweden.
The short, bleak instrumental opener “Nekros Manteia” paves the way for unrelenting “Dead Body Divination” early contender for track of the album “1000 Years” has an absolute gem of a riff embedded throughout courtesy of guitarist Linus Nirbrant
Step forward drummer Andy Whale (ex-Bolt Thrower / Memoriam), whose performance on “Pandemonium” is something to marvel. The pace changes for “Cage of Flesh” and as much as I have enjoyed the storytelling of vocalist Gord Olson on this album for me this is my favourite.
Creeping in with some Nile sounding undertones in “The Burning” which sweeps into the crushing output “The Old Ones” the line up has undergone one change since the EP with Grave / ex-Dismember bassist Tobias Cristiansson now at the helm – this was a track where I particularly enjoyed his parts of the track
Title tack “Kingdom of Decay” encapsulates the dynamic of the as a whole, with “Unsound Mind” pulling into some familiar atmosphere before penultimate track “The White Horse of Pestilence” marches into battle as hungry as some of Ray Harryhausen’s living skeletons
The album ends in the same way it began with instrumental “Winds of Immortality” laying everything to waste
An intense and punishing tale for death metal maniacs.
5 out 5 Skulls
Kingdom of Decay will be released September 11th via Edged Circle Productions