(Today is the day when Massacre Records releases a new album by the Swedish band Darkane, and to celebrate the occasion long-time NCS writer TheMadIsraeli has returned from a long hiatus with the following review.)
Metal, in its current form, from where I observe it, is dealing with an arms-race problem. Specifically, a technicality problem. Obviously, I’m not saying that technicality is bad, or compromises the music, or is indecipherable, but THERE IS a trend with modern bands toward what is straight-up a lack of capacity to write an actual song with twists, turns, peaks, valleys, crescendo and climax.
I find myself being kind of stuck between what feel like two extremes. We’re dealing with the excessively technical to the detriment of everything else, while on the opposite end exists boring commercially line-straddling pseudo prog that barely qualifies under any semblance of the term or the philosophy of progressive style composition.
I had my phase of liking djent, and I certainly have my moments where I like Beneath The Massacre or Braindrill as much as anybody else, but as I’ve grown older I’ve realized the extreme metal that sits with me the best is a sort that has achieved this lunatic fringe, arguably near impossible, perfect symmetry of element and frame. If you asked me to name my top ten bands of all time up to the point of writing this, without any form of hierarchy intended here, it’d be Byzantine, Meshuggah, Textures, Suffocation, Dying Fetus, Vader, Kreator, Sepultura, Dark Fortress, and last and most relevant, Darkane.