Darkane – The Sinister Supremacy

Opening with a beautiful orchestral score that would be at home in a fantasy movie or even a Disney movie Sounds of Pre-Existence gives no hint at the madness that is about to ensue. Though, this being the latest release by Darkane we all know what’s about to happen. Sure enough the heaviness kicks in with an unrelenting force a mere minute and forty five seconds later and continues to pummel you for the next hour or so.

This is Darkane’s sixth studio album, and most interestingly, the first with Lawrence Mackrory on vocals since 1999’s debut album Rusted Angel following the departure of Jens Broman who had been fronting the group until 2011. With the return of the original vocalist, who had only been in the band for a year before leaving to be replaced by Andreas Sydow (from 1999-2007), a lot of fans are curious to hear if this will be Rusted Angel part two or a continuing development of Darkane’s thrash attack.

Without spending too much time comparing The Sinister Supremacy to Rusted Angel I’ll just say that Mackrory’s vocals are still powerful though perhaps not as growly as they once were. The music may have also slowed down a beat or two but really that’s about it. Darkane are still Darkane, all the signature elements are still there. Still remain the brief flirtations of classical music before kicking in with a riff that is made so much more heavier by the preceding softness. The melodic death metal may have been stripped back a notch but the thrash elements with a strong emphasis in technicality are still standing strong.

This album proves Darkane are still a relevant and powerful band 15 years after their formation, where many other bands are struggling to turn out material that is both fresh yet appealing to older fans Darkane have managed to do just that. This latest release slots well in with the current metal trend of tight, stop start riffs with big choruses and brutal verses; yet the band haven’t done this deliberately to fit in, this has been a Darkane type sound writing style for many years. This will be an excellent album for fans of that sort of music to discover something new and experience their back catalogue.

While some songs have a big epic grandeur behind them, we also get straight up classic thrash bursts in songs like Humanity Defined and Insurrection is Imminent that also features an excellent riffy breakdown section.

I was a bit worried going into this that 12 tracks, or an hours worth of material, would grow a bit stale but luckily they had enough going on throughout that this never became an issue. This might not be the best album they’ve released, but it’s one of the strongest they’ve released to date.

4 out of 5!

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