DARKENED Assert Blackened Death Metal Dominance on Kingdom of Decay

Sept. 15, 2020


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The Pitch: Darkened assert blackened death metal dominance with the rollicking energy of Kingdom Of Decay via Edged Circle Productions. FFO: Behemoth, Bolt Thrower, Grave

What I Like: Sporting an astounding lineup of death metal veterans including Andy Whale (ex-Bolt Thrower, Memoriam), Gord Olson (Ye Goat-Herd Gods, Demisery), Linus Nirbrant (A Canorous Quintet, This Ending), Hempa Brynolfsson (Excruciate, Ordo Inferus) and now Tobias Cristiansson (Grave, ex-Dismember); it is no wonder that in its short existence Darkened is already making waves with this highly accomplished debut full length release. Kingdom Of Decay is a high energy, unholy union of Swedish melodic death metal and the blackened battering of mid-career Behemoth. Listen to songs like "1000 Years" to hear the Babylonian-sounding hooks of the latter paired perfeclty with the harmonized guitars of the former's glory days. And the band is also not above taking detours into doomier territory as on "Cage of Flesh." Despite the slower pace, these moments are no less menacing thanks to the always masterfully dark atmosphere and Gord's very Nathan Explosion meets old school death bellow.

Critiques: Shorter might have been better. There's a really tight 30-35 album here being stretched out to nearly 45, and I can feel some of the resulting drag. The first 3 tracks are the best imo. More of those hooks please.

The Verdict: Kingdom Of Decay is the perfect album for those looking for a classic sounding slice of 90's melodeath with blackened overtones. I'd like to hear a little more on the side of unique, standout hooks and focus on brevity in the future, but otherwise this album could have easily come out of some evil time machine.

Flight's Fav's: 1000 Years, Dead Body Divination, Pandemonium

- Review by FlightOfIcarus

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