Darkened – Kingdom of Decay

Band: Darkened
Title: Kingdom of Decay
Label: Edged Circle Productions
Release date: 11 September 2020
Country: Sweden/UK/Canada
Format reviewed: High-quality Digital Recording

It appears as if time is starting to go a little bit too fast for my likings. One day its Tuesday and i am minding my own business, and before I know its Sunday and pretty much everything is due. So, as there is no time left to lose, let’s get on with it!

My pick this week was the international group Darkened, and I say international as they seem to be from Sweden the UK and finally, Canada. It does seem like a winning combination, doesn’t it?

“Kingdom of Decay” is the group´s debut album, having only released an EP last year, and I must say from the beginning of “Nekros Manteia” I knew I was up for something good. It just had that quality sound to it, aside from that general feeling you often get in the start of things of if what is ahead is going to be good or bad. “Dead Body Divinations” also contained an extremely catchy opener with a very thrashy main riff and a longing to headbang. I know for sure I would love to see this band live…ooh just mentioning live shows is like a dagger through the heart!

This group isn’t all about being extreme, as “1000 Years” has a rather Egyptian feel to it. A genuinely nice sense of songwriting is all over these tracks instead of just the usual fast playing and technically difficult riffing. On the contrary it never takes off on that route where it just becomes noise.

“Pandemonium” strikes as one of those memorable tracks, not simply because of a fitting name or the fact that the title of this album is quite fitting for time being, but because even for its straight forward music with the occasional slowed down parts where a lot of melodies are added it has this extremely catchy bridge/chorus. PANDEMONIUUUUUUUUM!

Dark choirs, evil riffs, dystopic and depressing, more Egyptian death, a riff fest, believe me when I say that this album has it all. It’s a musical feast to the ear as the title track, “Kingdom of Decay”, finally rolls around, bringing forth a very 90s opener in a melodic and dark sort of way. Everything is being kept afloat with a flowing bass drum blasting at the bottom. Every song so far has managed to bring forth a certain mood, as well as capture me in said mood, giving me a chance to enjoy the album even more so than if I hadn´t, and I think that’s the best compliment I can really give this group. Did I mention already how the vocals glue the whole thing together?

The mood and feel from the intro are taken in as the outro “Winds of Immortality” closes this piece in a nice and suitable way. Overall, this album is quite the work. The performance is quite nice and as said before the song writing is spot on. I don’t really know what else I can put down here in order to praise it more, just…go and have a listen for yourself, you´ll understand. 9/10 Julia Katrin

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9/10 : Epic Storm!
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