[colored_box color=”grey”]Rating: 8.5
Label: Massacre Records
Website: Link
Author: Aggelos “Redneck” Katsouras[/colored_box]

It took them forty months but they finally made it and returned with a great album. Darkane from Helsingborg, Sweden were wrongly put into the wave of Swedish bands that emerged after the successful self-titled debut of The Haunted. They played a bizzarre mixture of modern thrash with some death metal elements but were far away from the direction most newcoming Swedish bands had in the late ’90s. They made a good break with ”Insanity” and kept on releasing great and interesting albums. In 2008 we had their last news with ”Demonic Art” and the change of vocalist with Jens Broman substituting Andreas Sydow.

This time we had some good news, as their first vocalist Lawrence Mackrory (or Larry Lethal if you prefer as he is refered in F.K.U.) has returned fourteen years after the debut ”Rusted Angel”. It seems it was a good kick in the ass of the rest members who decided to write more demanding material that would fit the new old vocalist and Darkane made one of their best albums so far, with tracks so addictable that you won’t be able to specialize in only one and this would happen after a lot of listenings of this fresh and high level energy pouring album.

When the title track enters after the short intro ”Sounds Of Pre-Existence”, it becomes clear that the band wants to rock (or thrash if you prefer) and begins shortly enough to send the message. Amazing rhythm section with drummer Peter Wildoer proving why he was almost to enter Dream Theater two years ago. The guitar duo of Christopher Malmstrom and Klas Ideberg once again create gigantic heavy modern riffing which don’t sound cliche’ and despite the big gap since ”Demonic Art”, they manage to state that the band is back for good and will likely continue sounding interesting for much more years.

Mackrory‘s bay area sounding voice helps the band sound friendlier to the (new) fans without this meaning they got commercial (they never played easy to listen music after all) and the production helps them sound either melodic and aggressive without confusing the listener. Tracks like ‘‘Insurrection Is Imminent” or the closing ”Existence Is Just A State Of Mind” shine with their maturity, while ‘‘In The Absence Of Pain” contains this Meshuggah feeling they always had in their albums that fits them perfect as an influence and in terms of performance.

I’m rather happy that they returned after nearly five years, but I’m a lot happier that they once again give me the opportunity to state that they are still one of the most unique sounding European bands of the last fifteen years and if you happen to encounter them for the first time, give them the chance they deserve to become a part of your listenings. I hope that Mackrory stays in the band without leaving F.K.U. and that it won’t take another forty months for another great album by the Swedes. One of the best albums of 2013 with closed eyes.

Track List Line Up
01. Sounds Of Pre-Existence
02. The Sinister Supremacy
03. Mechanically Divine
04. Ostracized
05. The Decline
06. Insurrection Is Imminent
07. In The Absence Of Pain
08. Humanity Defined
09. Hate Repentance State
10. Collapse Of Illusions
11. By Darkness Designed
12. Existence Is Just A State Of Mind
13. Malicious Strain (Bonus Track)
14, I, Author Of Despair (Bonus Track)
Jorgen Lofberg – Bass
Peter Wildoer – Drums
Christopher Malmstrom – Guitars
Klas Ideberg – Guitars
Lawrence Mackrory – Vocals