Darkspace- Dark Space III I (Avantgarde Music)

In [Dark]space, no one can hear you scream.

Darkspace is an experimental black metal trio from Switzerland and have consistently managed to be one of the most unique, interesting and overlooked black metal bands to have emerged in the last 20 years. They released three albums throughout the early 2000’s expanding the scope of what the genre is capable of by adding elements of dark ambient to their already decidedly cold and alienating brand of black metal. Now, after 6 years, they are back once again with Dark Space III I.

In my recent review of Mysticum’s latest album, I mentioned the concept of black metal bands trading in the sonic coldness of frostbitten mountains for the absolute zero of deep space. Well, if Mysticum could be considered to be the soundtrack of a manned mission to the stars gone awry, Darkspace is the resulting journey as those lost souls are hurtled through supernovas and spiral galaxies, blackholes and pocket dimensions and are confronted by the infernal majesty of the infinite void.  

What’s astounding about Darkspace’s writing is that it manages to be at once claustrophobic and utterly expansive all with the use of minimalistic melodies, simple guitar structure and long sections of ambient keyboards. It really manages to convey the atmosphere of being lost and alone amongst the stars. The hour or so duration of the album is divided into three chunks, Dark 4.18, Dark 4.19 and Dark 4.20 respectively which makes it hard to pick out highlights as the ebbs and flows work towards a whole and themes and riffs are recalled throughout the album.

One thing about this album that is for certain is that it demands both patience and your full attention. Darkspace is all about creating atmosphere and immersing yourself in the experience of being taken on a musical journey and as such, this is not an album you can just throw on in the background and get the full experience, which can be quite frustrating given how long of a slog sitting though it in one sitting is. It’s highly recommended that you listen to this with a good pair of headphones.

For those out there with the listening dexterity to appreciate it, Darkspace has quietly released one of the most engaging aural experiences to have come out in 2014. 

 Dark Space III I Is Out Now