Release DetailsLABEL Nuclear Blast
RELEASED ON 7/12/2005
Layers of Lies
posted on 6/2005 By:
I'm not going to lie, I've been waiting for this pretty intently. Since my introduction to the band in 1999 with Rusted Angel, Darkane have always unquestionably been my favorite of the modern thrash bands. There wasn't anything that could compare, except maybe the followup, Insanity. Featuring a new vocalist, they still managed to pull off the band's harsh and energetic sound without the talented voice of Andromeda's Lawrence Mackrory. When Expanding Senses hit, things got a little difficult for me. I felt slightly let down by the album, although I had to admit it was a well-executed venture into the more anthemic stylings that bands like Soilwork have turned to. Being one of the finest albums Darkane has ever written, Layers of Lies is also easily my pick as one of 2005's top albums.
So rarely am I as excited to review something as I am now. The skillful guitar playing is still performed at a furious pace and the spiraling leads have shown to stand the test of time. Andreas Sydow, who I've grown to adore as a vocalist, has an incredible range and utilizes it to its fullest potential without becoming grating or irritating in the slightest way. Even on the giant chorus of "Organic Canvas", which almost approaches a level of grandeur previously Devin Townsend was only capable of effectively writing, the singing as well as yelling remains entirely flawless. Peter Wildoer, formerly of Arch Enemy and Armageddon, returns along with the rest of the band with his distinctive drumming style. Honestly, and perhaps this is just due to how unfamiliar I am with the instrument, I can't ever pick out one drummer from another typically, but Peter Wildoer has an easily recognized sound. Darkane's ability to combine ferociousness with melody has always been a key component in their success, and "Fading Dimensions" is a testament to that fact. Just as aggressive as anything you'll get out of Carnal Forge, The Haunted, or any number of those bands, the transition into the incredible chorus, staggering bridge, and ingenious soloing is unforgettable. Commencing with a ruminating acoustic melody before being backed by even more impressive lead guitarwork, the album's title track fuses slight industrial sounds into the introduction before the sharp verse and phenomenally epic chorus hit. The mechanical effects continue infrequently throughout the rest of the album, but are perfectly placed each time to compliment the song instead of disrupting it. "Maelstrom Crisis" is a strong instrumental that holds up amongst casual listeners and musicians alike, while the following song, "Decadent Messiah" will quell the urge for odd-time changes and mercurial riffing.
I could go on for another thousand words or so. Sooner or later, all the bands that I used to adore I eventually became discouraged with, one by one, by either becoming more accessible, or more inclined towards excessive musicianship. I'm incredibly pleased that Darkane have yet to disappoint and show no signs of relenting their style. I can't even imagine how the band must feel about this album; to be a part of something so spectacular and self-assuring as a musician must be overwhelming. Rarely do they come as brilliant and untouchable as this record is from start to finish. Layers of Lies is a stunning triumph — not for just Darkane, but for heavy metal as a genre. By choosing not to pick up this album, you're not only failing me, you're essentially failing all of Metal.
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