Darkseed - Ultimate Darkness review
|Release date:||January 2005|
02. My Burden
03. Ultimate Darkness
04. Biting Cold
05. The Dark One
06. Save Me
07. Speak Silence
08. Next To Nothing
09. Follow Me
10. The Fall
11. Endless Night
12. Sleep Sleep Sweetheart
Disc II [Russian Edition] [bonus]
01. Lifetime Alone [previously unreleased]
02. Walk In Me [previously unreleased]
03. Kingdom [previously unreleased]
04. I Turn To You [Mel C. cover]
05. Watchful Spirit's Care [re-recording]
06. Like To A Silver Bow [re-recording]
07. The Bolt Of Cupid Fell [re-recording]
08. Give Me Light [demo version]
09. Spiral Of Mystery [demo version]
10. Hold Me [previously unreleased]
11. Not Alone [previously unreleased]
12. Wisdom And Magic [previously unreleased]
13. Paint It Black [Rolling Stones cover]
Darkseed is but one of many bands I discovered as a result of the 2010 Metal Storm Awards. After listening to Poison Awaits, I immediately downloaded it. It took me a while to get into the album, but it grew on me with three or four spins. After three dozen, I decided to pursue more Darkseed, starting with Ultimate Darkness.
I've found two forms of gothic metal, a style very different than my normal black and power, and which I am just approaching. The tragic and dark, such as Draconian, and the angry and despairing, which is what Darkseed definitely qualifies as. Stefan Hertrich's vocals are strong and passionate and delivered well, ranging from harsh growls to rough shouting, with a good deal of melancholic singing thrown in. His voice is consistently deep, which fits the mood of the album very well.
The music isn't the heaviest or most complex in the world, but it has energy. A very electro-style keyboard saturates the album but doesn't dominate. The drumming isn't fast, but it's far from unskilled. Guitars are distorted and mix well with the keyboard and vocals. Overall, the instrumentation has a very aggressive vibe. My only qualm is that the occasional guitar solos take away from this rage (especially in the opening track, "Disbeliever"), a problem I had with Poison Awaits as well.
The angry, despairing, grim lyrics are excellent. They're a pleasure to read even when unaccompanied by the music, which is a rare thing to me. English is predominant, but a very small bit of German can be found, too. They're standard fare, full of sadness and rage and mourning, but interestingly written.
Most of the songs are powerful, aggressive tunes with energy and vibe, such as the opener "Disbeliever" and the powerful "The Dark One". Melancholic, softer tracks with brilliant atmosphere, such as "Biting Cold", can be found, too.
Songs are fairly short, not a one tops 5:15 in length, and the average length is about 4 minutes. They flow together well, though, and it's easy to give the album your full interest, which is a problem I had with Poison Awaits (until about the eighth spin).
This is a excellent, solid album. It's not the most well-done gothic metal, but if you're a fan of the genre, check it out. The music here isn't often beautiful, but it's interesting and catchy and strong. Standout tracks: "My Burden", "The Dark One", "Next To Nothing", and the surreal "Sleep Sleep Sweatheart".
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| Jason W.
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