The Sinister Supremacy
01. Sounds of Pre-Existence
02. The Sinister Supremacy
03. Mechanically Divine
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
Darkane are back. Plain and simple. The Sinister Supremacy is every single thing fans of the band will want. From the return of original vocalist Lawrence Mackrory, to the ever meandering and out of the box riffing of Christofer Malmstrom and Klas Ideberg, Darkane’s return to form may be the most notable of any band in years as it is more than just a single step above previous effort 2008’s Demonic Art.
The first difference from Demonic Art that listeners will notice is the much improved production value. The guitars, drums, and bass all hit hard and are ever present. Drummer Peter Wildoer may be the one of most overlooked metal drummers out there. His drumming is always one of the biggest standout moments of any Darkane album and The Sinister Supremacy is no exception. Malmstrom and Ideberg offer up possibly their most technically proficient performances yet, their out of the box approach to harmonies give their respective guitar parts an identity of their own, something most guitar duos never pay much attention to. Tracks like ‘Insurrection is Imminent’ are a perfect example of the band doing everything they do at their absolute apex.
Darkane’s sound has always straddled the boundary between melodic death metal and melodic thrash. Never really a full on Soilwork or Dark Tranquillity style band, they’ve always had the elements of melodeath with even more ferocity. The Sinister Supremacy feels like it would have been a perfect fit for release after 2005’s Layers of Lies, sounding like a cross between Expanding Senses and Layers of Lies.
All praise aside, The Sinister Supremacy is not without flaws. Though it is undoubtedly the band moving their sound forward, they only go so far. Chorus moments on the title track and ‘By Darkness Designed’ tend to overstay their welcome, almost acting as padding for the length of the tracks. The inclusion of symphonic moments throughout the album are a common thing to Darkane fans. Though these bits do show that the band have an idea of where their music could go from here, if only they would bite the bait they’ve laid in front of themselves. For the most part, they play it safe this time around, though it’s hard to shake the feeling that they lost a bit of the raw edge they had on albums like Layers of Lies.
While The Sinister Supremacy is no Layers of Lies, it is the band going in the right direction. Lawrence Makrory back at the helm, the continued effort to push forward, and next level musicianship mean Darkane have a lot going for them. The maturation of the band has given us another album to herald as a great addition to 2013’s releases. Incorporating more symphonic moments into the music, and building on a more progressive approach to songwriting could be the push Darkane need to really get their music to the next level. For now, The Sinister Supremacy will suffice.
Darkane – The Sinister Supremacy gets…