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   DARKANE
Expanding Senses
2002
Nuclear Blast
http://www.darkane.com


rating: 5/5

1. Innocence Gone
2. Solitary Confinement
3. Fatal Impact
4. Imaginary Entity
5. Violence From Within
6. The Fear Of One's Self
7. Chaos Vs Order
8. Parasites Of The Unexplained
9. Submission
Darkane are "Expanding Senses" with their third release. Worked for me. I didn't know I would like a thrash release as much as I like this album. I've never really cared too much for the conventional thrash sound, the kind of stuff most people (still) think of when talking about thrash. But I obviously like my thrash (Testament) enriched by little doses of death metal and a nice portion of modern sounds (Strapping Young Lad). Darkane's sound is labelled futuristic thrash metal by their record company and this fits for a change.

Excellent musicianship and songwriting qualities courtesy mainly of Darkane mainmen Peter Wildoer (drums) and Christofer Malmström (guitar) make this album a grower. Did I already like it at the first few listens, thinking how heavy this is and lead through the tracks by their remarkable hooks, I have a hard time putting the disc back into its case to listen to something else now. Why would I want to anyway. The intensity grabs you and it won't let you go. Superb drumming and heavy thrash guitars occasionally meet death metal-like riffs and each track does carry some nice melodic leads. Which in my opinion is a strong point of the album. It isn't brutal and battering all the way but gives you time to breathe in between. Having said that, you can imagine the tracks aren't in any way dull or monotonous.

To coincide the music also the vocals come in different shades. Vocalist Andreas Sydow can of course shout and scream like one is supposed to being in a thrash band but it's relieving to see (better: hear) he's capable of cleaner vocals as well. Naturally those are mostly in use for the choruses which, just to point it out again, are hooks in the deepest sense of the word and often simply addictive. That is also thanks to some massive backing vocals: turn up the volume, raise your fist and sing along! ;)

I don't really dare to point out any songs that stand out on this album. Each of the tracks is a jewel on its own but worth mentioning certainly is the duet "Chaos Vs Order" - it features a guest appearance by former Darkane vocalist Lawrence Mackrory. It's also a rather mid-tempo and symphonic song. Something remarkable comes with "Violence From Within" as it has an outro played by a classical guitar. Definitely the only real calm moment on "Expanding Senses". Closing the album with "Submission" you'll find a pretty unconventional song, being probably the most melodic track of the record.

The powerful production leaves nothing to be desired, everything is crystal clear and well balanced to my ears. If this is the future of thrash metal from now on I'll also be a fan of the genre..

submitted by Cora 01.01.2003

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