Monday, September 2, 2013

Dark Season - Cruel Domination






Milk and cereal.  Bacon and eggs.  Steak and potatoes. Hammer and nail  Some things just belong together because someone long since forgotten worked out that the combinations work.  Italian band Dark Season combine thrash, death. electronic music and add more than a pinch of goth to the mix.


The vocals border on death metal but they're much clearer than the average death metal band's vocals.  The band don't quite fit into the retro-thrash movement either due to their electronic and gothic leanings.  Interceptor throws the listener for a loop with electronic soloing but despite  this Dark Season don't venture far from quick-paced head-banging metal which is driven by the strength of their rythm section.  Thrash metal fans of all generations will sink their teeth into the speed of "Groom Lake".  Electronic sounds work in this band's favour as they sound like a product of this period of time rather than a throwback to the peak of eighties thrash metal.  "Final War" starts with a slowly spoken part over music that recalls Slayer and the vocalist even barks a little like Tom Araya before Dark Season start thrashing it out.  The drumbeats become more standard but it's a backbone that works and some of the soloing reaches out and grabs a listener's attention.  The same could be said for "Channel 666" where the electronic sounds seem to be dueling with the guitar.


An industrial chug leads "Fight the Day" which brings both Rammstein and The Sisters of Mercy to mind.   The lyrics here and throughout the album are all in English and the vocals are often of the clean variety.  The title track is frantic thrash but  gothic undertones are far from buried under the solos and half-grunted shouts.  The electronic ending is one that many metal fans will find dubious and maybe more than a little disappointing given the song's earlier strengths.


It's difficult not to admire this band for simply sticking up their middle finger to most of the current trends in metal.  The music is still what matters and for the most part, Dark Season have made an album that is both interesting musically and an overall enjoyable listen.

3.5/5









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