Darkane - The Sinister Supremacy (Massacre Records)

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Release Date: 
27 Jun 2013 - 11:30pm

Swedes Darkane are undergoing something of a renaissance in 2013. Reunited with the man who sung on their first album – Lawrence Macrory – there seems to be a surfeit of energy and effervescence bubbling around The Sinister Supremacy that was lacking on their last release, 2008’s Demonic Art.

That’s not to say that there’s much progression on show. The band is still content to hammer out their gigantic widescreen Gothenburg-informed thrash just as they were in 1999 when they broke out with Rusted Angel; it’s just everything here seems to be imbued with an extra sense of purpose which, even at its most mundane, powers everything forward with impressive levels of confidence and power.

Things start off after the obligatory orchestral frontispiece very well indeed – the title track being an absolute belter of modern thrash with guitarists Christofer Malmstrom and Klas Ideberg meshing with frightening precision and melody as the song rises to a melodic crescendo that wouldn’t look out of place on a latterday Kreator album, whilst next track Mechanically Divine is almost as effective. The next five tracks all add variations to the central theme without ever surpassing what’s gone before. Macrory is in bileful form throughout, spitting and screaming his way through the conspiracy theory lyrics with far more conviction than any grown man should be showing, and the whole thing is an absolute hoot. However after the short piano-led instrumental Hate Repentance State the band seems to run out of puff a bit – 14 songs is surely pushing it for most bands to be able to keep up the Olympic-level levels of hate, no? – and by penultimate track Malicious Strain they have taken their collective foot off the gas so much what they are putting out sounds like something Chimaira would baulk at releasing – so maybe a little thought might have been given to sharpening up the first dozen or so tracks and leaving it at that?

That’s just a minor complaint, however, and for the most part The Sinister Supremacy is a pretty credible return from a band many feared gone for good.