Tag Archives: music review

REVIEW: VORNA – ‘Aamunkoi’

by Carina Lawrence / Dark Art Conspiracy

VORNA is a Finnish sextet formed in 2008 that concocts melancholic grand metal. They are back with their fourth album, “Aamunkoi”, their most melodic and ambitious offering yet. The album title translates as “Aurora”. In literature, this means “The Dawn”. In the far north, where VORNA come from, this is also the name for the phenomenon of the polar lights. The vocals are sung in the Finnish native language, which makes it more mysterious and compelling to those like me who aren’t Finnish. Still, I did have the lyrics translated into English, and as expected, the lyrics are bleak with a flicker of hope and beauty entwined – fitting for their sound and origin. The album’s central theme is survival in the uncertain world where the lucky ones who witness a new day have a chance to strive for a better future – when they still can.

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REVIEW: VV – ‘Neon Noir’

by Carina Lawrence / Dark Art Conspiracy

Finnish Love Metal pioneer, Ville Valo (VV) of HIM, will release his debut solo album, ‘Neon Noir’ on January 13th via Heartagram Records, distributed by UMG/ Spinefarm. HIM disbanded in 2017, and as a huge fan of theirs, I was heartbroken, so I was very excited about Ville’s debut album. Fortunately for us HIM fans, this is the perfect bridge between HIM and Ville’s new era of music. We got a taste of Ville’s solo work in 2020 under the VV banner with the EP ‘Gothica Fennica Vol. 1’, which included three Neon Noir tracks. The three previously released songs are also some of the best and most quintessentially HIM-sounding offerings, and hearing the rest of the album, they fit perfectly with the tone and mood.

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REVIEW: Behemoth – ‘Opvs Contra Natvram’

by Carina Lawrence / Dark Art Conspiracy

The mighty Behemoth continues to push boundaries and innovation on their twelfth album ‘Opvs Contra Natvram’. Poland’s extreme metal heroes have set such a high precedent with their past releases and achieved soaring success in the genre, almost unparalleled, which is quite something. Fronted by Adam Darski, aka Nergal, his vision has earned this statute and expanded their sound, and this new opus adds new layers being their most extensive and mature.

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by Carina Lawrence / Dark Art Conspiracy

Thrash metal legends Megadeth return with their sixteenth album, ‘The Sick, the Dying… and the Dead!’ which is the follow-up to 2016’s ‘Dystopia’. This album marks the longest gap between releases for the band and the first album to feature drummer Dirk Verbeuren and bassist Steve Di Giorgio from Testament following David Ellefson’s dismissal last year. Steve re-recorded Dave’s bass parts, but he is not their new bassist; he just featured on the album. The new permanent bass player is James LoMenzo, who was previously in the band between 2006-2010 and rejoined fully this year. For guitarist Kiko Loureiro it is his second album with the band.



by Carina Lawrence / Dark Art Conspiracy

Machine Head are back with their tenth album, ‘ØF KINGDØM AND CRØWN’, their first concept album loosely inspired by the Japanese anime series Attack On Titan. Set in a futuristic wasteland where the sky is always crimson red, the album tells you the tale of two characters who believe they are doing good. Still, both sides are committing atrocities, and as the story unfolds through the music, their paths become more heavily and dangerously tangled, which is reflected in the sound. This concept has fuelled some of their most devasting and innovative work.


REVIEW: ARCH ENEMY – “Deceivers”

by Carina Lawrence / Dark Art Conspiracy

Swedish melodic death metal masters return ever triumphant with their eleventh album ‘Deceivers’, which marks some of their finest, most ambitious and explosive material to date.

The colossal opener ‘Handshake With Hell’ asserts Alissa White-Gluz’s versatile capabilities displaying incredible clean melodic vocals paired with her fierce ones, making for a crushing combination, and the excellent fiery rapid guitar work makes it unyielding. An exhilarating and impressive one to kick off with.

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