Summoned by the greater forces of death metal destiny, Darkened are a quintet of genre veterans. Boasting a rhythm section of Andy Whale (drummer of Memoriam, ex-Bolt Thrower) and Tobias Cristiansson (bassist of Grave, ex-Dismember), Darkened are set to release their full-length debut after last year’s Into the Blackness EP turned heads and snapped spines. Into the Darkness premiered here at Decibel, and resident death metal ambassador Dutch Pearce wrote the following: “They didn’t make death metal like this anymore until the various members of Darkened got together and took it upon themselves to do just that. And the result is one of the freshest debuts to come out in years, strong with the excitement of a new band, but masterfully wielded by veteran players.” Now Darkened are back with Kingdom of Decay, released from Edged Circle Productions on September 11th. Luckily, we have an exclusive stream of their crushing single “1000 Years” nearly a month prior.
The opening riffs from guitarists Linus Nirbrant and Hempa Brynolfsson sound like they’re beginning a triumphant (IVth) crusade. The song’s mix of early ’90s Bolt Thrower flourishes and churning dark metal creates an obsidian density that matches the band’s name. Midway through the track, sizzling solos blaze the way for the song’s most ruthless passage. Vocalist Gord Olson’s daunting chorus creates anthemic growl-along opportunities ripe for live shows (remember those?). Mixed by General Surgery’s Tobbe Sillman and mastered by Swedeath icon Dan Swanö, death metal fans will be hoping there’s more after the song fades to midnight black. You’ll just have to wait less than a month before Kingdom of Decay‘s reign of terror officially begins.
In a band statement, Darkened say “[it’s] a heavy, plodding beast of a song. There’s a touch of Middle-Eastern flavor in the guitar harmonies, evoking a desert landscape while marching for endless days in the blistering sun and sand. The song ponders the suffering of prisoners of war being forced to endure a death march by their captors. Most of them will die in the sand, and those who survive the journey will be sold into slavery. The title and chorus refers to mankind’s unending thirst for war and pain, and our bewildering eagerness to inflict it upon other men.”
Eclipse the sun with Darkened’s monolithic death metal and stream “1000 Years” below. You don’t even need to survive a perilous desert trek to press play NOW.