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CD review: DARKANE, "Demonic Art"

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CD review: DARKANE, "Demonic Art"Five albums and three singers into their career, Darkane are still slipping melodies into their thrash-infested death metal. Demonic Art doesn't try anything new, but it captures Darkane filling their Swedish death metal niche as soundly as anyone could hope.

Demonic Art finds a good medium between proficiency and tunefulness, and almost all of the songs are worth a few headbangs. The hardcore structure of "Leaving Existence" shows the band moving in on Disfear's turf, and the awesome "Execution 44" reimagines Ministry as a death metal powerhouse. New screamer Jens Borman is an effectively decipherable vocalist, eluding any "Van Hagar" comparisons by smoothly maintaining the band's best attributes. Still, the MVPs are guitarists Christofer Malmström and Klas Ideberg, whose consistently exciting hooks and solos carry much of the record, particularly the first half. Whether evoking alarm sirens on "Demigod" or At the Gates on the title track, the musicianship is nothing short of flawless.

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Darkane don't surpass the heights that they reached on Layer of Lies, but Demonic Art confirms their talents. This is an ideal album for an opening act–unlikely to steal the show from a band of Meshuggah or In Flames' stature, but ripping enough mosh-worthy riffs and scream-back choruses to make a very enjoyable listen.

Buy it/burn it/chuck it scale: Burn

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