Tag Archives: album review

REVIEW: Ofdrykkja – Gryningsvisor


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by Carina Lawrence / Dark Art Conspiracy

Swedish atmospheric black metal act Ofdrykkja have been through their share of trials and tribulations relating to addiction and mental illness, with member Drabbad even being shot by the police and arrested in the past for drug offences, they recovered from this and created their second album ‘Irrfärd’ but they soon drifted apart to embark on their own journeys, luckily along the way they embraced a new and better outlook and found sobriety and regrouped to create their new and third album titled ‘Gryningsvisor’ which is Swedish for ‘Ballads At Dawn’ which marks their new direction and chapter as a band…

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REVIEW: Sabaton – ‘The Great War’


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Swedish power metallers Sabaton are back doing what they do best. Being known for their main lyrical themes of war, historical battles and events, their new ninth album ‘The Great War’ doesn’t disappoint. This time they dive into the bloody and gloomy atmosphere of World War I which took place during 1914-1918.

Opening song ‘The Future Of Warware’ is symphonic, massive and epic in every detail, aided especially by soaring skilled guitar work. It is a grand way to start which is all-consuming and sets the scene wonderfully as well as displaying power metal as it should be…

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REVIEW: Watain – Trident Wolf Eclipse


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Review by Carina Lawrence / Dark Art Conspiracy

Swedish black metal act Watain have unleashed their sixth studio album ‘Trident Wolf Eclipse’ after a five-year gap between albums which marks the return to more traditional aggressive black metal.

The opener ‘Nuclear Alchemy’ gets the dark journey underway with sinister vibes and immediately asserts a more classic black metal style. With its explosive and foreboding unstoppable ending, this is the perfect opener and scene setter…

‘Sacred Damnation’ features some brilliant eerie guitar work throughout and is one of the most melodic, with it’s seeping moody sounds it is a must hear. ‘A Throne Below’ again it features a sense of hope and is very tuneful for black metal making it a dark masterpiece.

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REVIEW: MESMUR – S


REVIEW: MESMUR – S by Jessica Johnson / Dark Art Conspiracy

A singularity is the point in a black hole where density becomes infinite, space-time bends, and the laws of physics as we know them cease to operate.

This is the perfect way to describe Mesmur’s newest album “S,” an infinitely dense soundscape that bends space and time around the listener. A meandering funeral dirge through the chaotic void that is the universe.  A universe that was doomed from the start.

Mesmur is a funeral doom metal collaboration with members hailing from different parts of the globe: the U.S, Australia and Italy. Led by Yixja, the mastermind that brought to life the progressive black metal band Dalla Nebbia, along with vocalist Chris G (Orphans of Dusk), drummer Alkurion (Dalla Nebbia and Funeral Age), and bassist Michele M.

“S” is their second album, after their self-titled success, “Mesmur.” “S” will not disappoint fans of the genre. It does everything that funeral doom metal is supposed to do with a bit extra. Influences range from Evoken to Esoteric, Ea, Mar de Grises, Comatose Vigil, Ahab and Neurosis.

The music is not supposed to be “enjoyed,” but “experienced.” The synthesizer does a great job of creating a melancholic atmosphere that bends and fluxes around guttural vocals and discordant riffs that at times torture the listener with the dissonance of a dentist’s drill. At some points the distortion is very grainy. I’m not sure if that was an intentional choice or a flaw in the production. I also wasn’t a fan of the overdose of sound effects, but I suppose that was part of the experience.

Let’s talk about why the album was named “S.” The final track is called “S = k ln Ω.” This equation refers to entropy. I am not smart enough to give the exact definition justice, but put simply, entropy refers to a lack of order or predictability and the gradual decline into disorder.

I believe the song “S” along with the album encapsulates that theme. Each track is a progression into more chaos and disorder, with the first track being “Singularity” (an infinitely small but dense single point), followed by “Exile” (something going outward), “Distension” (enlarging, dilation, a ballooning effect), and finally “S” (breaking down into chaos). Indeed the first track is more tightly formed and dense than the rest, with harder distortion and more riffage. Each following track becomes more disorderly until you get to the end, which is almost an overkill of sound effects, and at times sounds like someone fell asleep on the synthesizer. But as a thematic representation of the expansion and break down of the universe, it’s fucking brilliant.

I also noticed that the cicada-like sound effects that ended the first song were played in the beginning of the last song. Were the artists trying to make an “S” shape through the album, or was that just a cool coincidence? Who knows? As one reviewer said, “If you look long into the abyss the abyss will look back. ‘S’ is the sound of the abyss looking back.” Perhaps I stared too long into the void with this one. “S” is a delicious descent into entropy. Each time you listen, there are new mysteries to discover.

So check out “S,” the sound of the universe’s demise.

SCORE: 4/5 

Country: USA
Style: Funeral Doom metal
Label: Solitude Production
(https://solitude-prod.com)
Release date: September 15, 2017

Jeremy L (Yixja) – Guitars/Synth
John D (Alkurion) – Drums
Michele M – Bass
Chris G – Vocals
Music and Lyrics by Jeremy L
Recorded/Engineered by Mesmur
Mixed and Mastered by Jeremy L
Cover Art by Cadaversky
Layout by Jeremy L
http://www.facebook.com/mesmurdoom
https://solitude-prod.com

REVIEW: ARCH ENEMY – WILL TO POWER


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REVIEW: Arch Enemy – Will To Power by Carina Lawrence / Dark Art Conspiracy

Swedish melodic death metallers Arch Enemy are back with their tenth album and follow up to the successful 2014 ‘War Eternal’ which saw new vocalist Alissa White-Gluz’s take to the helm, and was the first album in thirteen years to feature a new line-up after former long-time vocalist Angela Gossow stepped down. The transition went well and she was quickly accepted by fans. With this new album ‘Will To Power’, it is the first album to feature respected guitarist Jeff Loomis who joined in 2014 and notably is the first to incorporate more clean vocals throughout, again showing off Alissa’s wide talents and the evolution of Arch Enemy after their two-decade career.

Opening song ‘Set Flame To The Night’ is a scene setter, with voices and sirens accompanied by resonant fast and alarming guitars that build suspense and foreboding…

‘The Race’ furiously kicks off with Alissa White-Gluz’s fierce screamed vocals and urgent guitars. The guitar work, especially towards the end, carries over the creepy vibes seen in the opener. It features crashing riffs and rapid drums throughout, this is a solid and savage first full offering and sets the bar high.

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Review: The Dead Soul Communion – MMXVII


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REVIEW: The Dead Soul Communion – MMXVII by Carina Lawrence / Dark Art Conspiracy

The Dead Soul Communion is a brand new project from Ex Devilment founder Daniel Finch. The band also features members of Steve Harris British Lion and ex Dearly Beheaded drummer Simon Dawson, along with members of Synaptik, Heathen Deity and more, so there is a lot of experience and influences running through the band. The album lyrically deals with many themes such as internal struggles, love, relationships, suicide, self-destruction, acts of violence, war and mental illness.

Opening song ‘My Beautiful Mistake’ gets things off to a powerful melodic start with fierce outbursts and chug heavy guitars. This is a hefty, varied and unpredictable track especially towards the end, leaving us eager to hear more…

‘The Communion’ is much darker with aggressive growls and stomping fast instruments. It still maintains its melodic currents aided through the use of the clean vocals. The synths add more depth and ambience and work well with the thrash riffs, giving it a dramatic and suspenseful sound.

Continuing on the theatrical atmosphere is the intro of ‘Last Grains Of Sand’ which goes on to hit hard in this non-stop thumping metal offering which is all consuming through the effects and vocal wails.

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