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Album Review: DARKANE The Sinister Supremacy

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The landscape of metal fifteen years ago looks completely different than what we hear being made today… people were still hoping Limp Bizkit was going to put out another album, Korn still had a burgeoning career and nobody knew what the hell adding the word ‘core’ meant in relation to a band's genre. With the onslaught of metal from the northlands of Europe we became familiar with what is commonly referred to as the Gothenburg Sound, a melodic combination of death metal with heavy riffs, catchy melodies and driving blast beats.

[Stream the album in full exclusively right here on Metal Injection.]

As metal fans we are all probably familiar with the storied history of the sound, but when listening to Darkane separating the minds from their origins becomes impossible. Reincarnating some of the ghosts of the past while writing a forward thinking metal album proved difficult for many in the past, yet somehow The Sinister Supremacy does just that. Their sixth record and the first with this line up since 1999, making the consistency of this band through the years uncanny.

Metal bands interchange members like we change underwear these days; the Darkane vocalist slot has been somewhat unstable through their legacy, but only that one particular position. This gets observably reflected in the tone of every album. The vocals have always seemed transposable between front men: Speed Strid, Andreas Sydow and Jens Broman all have represented the band through the years, but I would argue that none have been able to accomplish what Lawrence Mackrory did on their debut.

With his return on The Sinister Supremacy, Darkane sounds whole again… not to say the middle part of their run lacked in some way, but the spark of having the original band together inspired one of their best albums to date. All the things we have come to recognize from this band present a cohesive package and a return to form, sweeping orchestral interludes, with sticky choruses which have you singing them by the end of a song's first listen, all signatures of veterans invigorated five years after their last album.

Listening to their catalog, the music never created a unabridged picture of who Darkane would be destined to be, similar to this or that, and hard to distinguish in a cluttered, ever growing world of adopters of the style. Their records did little to set them apart, yet in 2013 they found what I needed to hear to rediscover the band again, and revive an interest lost so many years ago.

Stream the album in full exclusively right here on Metal Injection.

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