Spiritual Resonance

Anmeldt av Jens Nepper
(Dark Essence Records, 2019)

Karakter: 5/6

DARKEND Spiritual Resonance album cover.jpgThis is my first encounter with the Italian masters of ritualistic and symphonic extreme metal that are Darkend and right off the bat, I might as well tell you that I am utterly impressed with this haunting six-track affair of theirs. "Spiritual Resonance" is primarily rooted in black metal and yet it moves beyond the confines of said genre and is more progressive and untraditional than what one might be led to believe when glancing at its cover artwork or song titles. You will discover majestic choruses ala the bone-chillingly beautiful one in "The Three Ghouls Buried at Golgotha" as well as deeply unsettling passages that conjure up wild and eccentric visions of the forbidden. While the elegantly sinister melodies are strong and riddled with bombast, the somewhat psychedelic waves of synthesizers add color and a sense of the surreal to the proceedings, and the orchestrated elements that loom large in the overall sound-scape are tasteful. The female vocals courtesy of the talented Lindy-Fay Hella (Wardruna) present in "With Everburning Sulphur Unconsumed" are strangely seductive and elevate the piece to a higher realm. Speaking of vocals, they are as accomplished as the musicianship is in general and these skilled dudes certainly know how to implement and use chants, screams, and spoken words to great effect. The peaks of the album are quite powerful and the its epic proportions as well as its balance between emotion and craftsmanship is truly admirable.

In terms of its occult aura, Darkend bring to mind the legendary Mortuary Drape and to a lesser extent the Greek gods that are Varathron, but the intense and fast-paced parts have a slightly more orthodox black metal feel to them and recall such acts as Kriegsmaschine, Panchrysia, and latter-day Corpus Christii. However, these are merely superficial reference points and only a bear a slight resemblance to Darkend's pitch black cauldron of esoteric metal. If I had to choose a favorite track, it would probably be the fierce and dramatic "Vessel Underneath", but the transcendental atmosphere of the aforementioned "The Three Ghouls Buried at Golgotha" is also to die for, so consider giving those two a spin if you wish to sample the grandeur of this intriguing musical journey. But really, this is an underground gem that ought to be listened to in its entirety without any distractions whatsoever, and it just keeps on giving the more you listen to it.


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