DEMONICAL - Darkness Unbound (CYCLONE EMPIRE - LP 2013)
For me personally one of the most anticipated records of 2013 would definitely be Demonical’s “Darkness Unbound”. I became a great fan of this Swedish death metal band ever since they released their killer debut album “Servants of the Unlight” back in 2007 and then each next LP was only confirming how awesome this band is. Of corpse the debut album is still my favourite, but when reviewing each LP of Demonical I was giving them very, very positive opinions every time and so they just became one of my favourite bands of nowadays. So you can understand that I really, really wanted to hear “Darkness Unbound” as soon as it is released and the vinyl was just something what I had to have in my collection (just like all previous records – I have them all on vinyl). At some point I started to get slightly nervous about Demonical as they have changed the line up quite drastically, for instance Johan Jansson left to concentrate on Interment, also Ronnie Bergerståhl left due to his commitments to Grave, luckily Martin Schulman and Sverker Widgren are still on board… Finally before I even heard any sounds from “Darkness Unbound” I have heard some opinions that the album is quite mediocre and nothing really interesting… what I couldn’t believe, because it would be impossible for the band like Demonical to record a shitty album! But some seeds of doubt have been planted. I waited with my own opinion until I listened to the album several times and now I am happy to say that “Darkness Unbound” doesn’t disappoint and just as all the previous LPs, also this one is just a fuckin killer!
The recipe for death metal is on “Darkness Unbound” unchanged… it is still very similar to the previous LPs, with the same ingredients, so it is fairly fast and relentless, uncompromising Swedish death metal, with some more melodic riffs here and there, but mainly focused on the aggression and pure ferocity. Such songs as “The Order” are a great example for what the style of Demonical is like and if you’ll like this one song, then I can assure you that you’ll love the rest of the LP as well. I think I can say that there are no weak moments on “Darkness Unbound”, the whole album is just filled with excellent, insanely brilliant and merciless death metal, which in many parts is surprisingly catchy – I can dare you that some of these riffs, harmonies and vocal parts will stick in your head for long. Even in those fast as hell songs like “The Order”, “The Healing Control” or “Contempt and Conquest” the riffing is just possessing and makes the whole listening very easy.
It is almost impossible to pick up two or three favourite songs, as the whole album is just excellent and the songwriting here is great; nothing new maybe, but the old formula has been used perfectly. I like those fast songs, but also such “King of All”, which is way slower and kind of epic is also superb. And there are also several amazing songs on side B of the vinyl, with maybe slightly more dark and grim atmosphere with slower pace mostly in songs like “Hellfire Empire” and “The Great Praise”. Hmm, maybe I prefer side A over the side B, as the songs there are more aggressive and powerful, but as I mentioned before I hear no fillers on the album. “The Great Praise” is the song, which I like least I guess, but it is still pretty good I think, I especially like the second part of this track, which is just fuckin killer melodic theme, which would fit Dismember perfectly. And luckily the choice for the cover is better than the last time, when they’ve chosen Emperor’s “Night of the Graveless Souls” – that cover didn’t convince me at all. For “Darkness Unbound” the choice is Kreator’s “World Beyond” and it is a crusher and great finish of the whole record.
Standout tracks: “The Order”, “The Healing Control”, “King of All”
Final rate: 85/100