Home > Music > Darkane – Rusted Angel (1999)

Darkane – Rusted Angel (1999)

folderIf I understand my subsubsubgenres properly, Rusted Angel is a prime example of the sort of Gothenburg melodeath influenced by At The Gates (primarily their final album, Slaughter of the Soul, and not their earlier material). This means there’s a lot of power-thrash antics going on; Darkane in particular sounds like a less proggy but more intense variant of Realm on this album, obvious melodeath stylings aside.

This results in the album being about as consonant and poppy as it can within a sound that is not necessarily friendly to the human ears. This album is generally written and mastered quite loud, with a mixture of various sorts of distorted vocals in the songs. However, it’s the guitars that drive this, mixing a great deal of ornamentation (the type known as a ‘turn’ stuck out to me in particular) into what is otherwise a conventional set of traditional and speed/thrash riffs. Further references come in handy here – if you’re familiar with Destruction, you should know what I’m talking about. Tempos are generally fast, although the band doesn’t really advance into full-on death metal technique; further betraying their origins.

The key here is that Darkane takes a great deal of influence from ’80s thrash and filters them into their chosen genre. One could argue that the entire Gothenburg “scene” did this, but it seems particularly relevant with Darkane, since they only began releasing content a few years after the first few pioneers there. In its fast sections, this is arguably more intense and aggressive than what inspired it, and it does have a sense of musical skill that not all its predecessors were particularly concerned with. However, the band does lapse into occasional slower sections designed to convey ‘epic’ melodic guitar chords/leads; it can be a bit cliched at the best of times. Arguably the greatest weakness of this album is that it doesn’t really introduce many new ideas; instead basically tossing whatever these guys were listening to in the Gothenburg blender.

On the other hand, the execution is fine – as a sort of proving grounds for its chosen style, Rusted Angel pulls out some tracks that are compelling and interesting; at least enough so to disguise their influences for some time. When it doesn’t work, though, it’s warmed over, and my attention begins to turn to other bands who have more ideas and aren’t afraid to use them. I mentioned at the beginning of this review that Darkane reminds me very heavily of Realm and other power-thrash bands, which due to being less aggressive and ‘extreme’ have more room for dynamics. Ironically, while Realm thrived on their technicality, Darkane does best when they take a moment to breathe, even if they’re not inhaling in a particularly novel fashion.

Highlights: “Convicted”, “Rusted Angel”, “A Wisdoms Breed”

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