Dark Space III I

Written by: MST on 30/10/2014 00:47:42

Darkspace. The embodiment of all things obscure and cosmic in the world of black metal. Anonymous and with no online exposure save for their record label and a mysterious website with very limited information, this Swiss trio has garnered a large following, their genre and inaccessibility taken into account. Six years have passed since the release of the third Darkspace album with the creative name "Dark Space III", and this year the trio return with, you almost guessed it, "Dark Space III I", another hour's worth of dark, atmospheric and truly cosmic black metal.

With three tracks spanning 18 to 27 minutes in individual length, "Dark Space III I" obviously isn't an easy listen. The predominantly blasting drum machine, the enormous riffs, the ambient sections, and the generally dense wall of sound the apparant size of a galaxy filament - these factors are all welcomed back on this album. However, "Dark Space III I" is a lot more accessible than its predecessors. The production is remarkably clear compared to previous outings, and the drums that used to be a faint echo in the background have been pushed forth a notch, further enhancing the soundscape.

But what really makes the album an easier listen is the instantly recognisable pattern which the album follows. "Dark 4.18" opens the album with some peculiar industrial drumming that leads directly into classic Darkspace territory: furiously blasting drums, razor riffing which combined with the synthesizers develop a hypnotic movement in the listener, and vocal work shared by the three members consisting of various forms of screams. The song continues in this vein throughout most of its 27 minute duration with brief interludes before "Dark 4.19" takes over; an instrumental track that leaves the blasting drums behind in favour of increased attention to melody and synthwork. Album highlight "Dark 4.20" picks up where 4.18 left off, essentially acting as a climax with its monolithic riffs. But since the whole album is built around continuous build-ups and climaxes, there's a lot more than a single high point on the record.

"Dark Space III I" is another huge record in an already impressive discography released by this anonymous Swiss trio. It is convincing in so many ways, and one of those is the album's only real weakness: the delicate balance between chaos and simplicity. A major draw to Darkspace has always been the mysticism associated with the music, be it the members and their monikers or the pandemonium of impressions and emotions that lay in the wake of each album. The increased attention to the order of things on this album is a double-edged sword, as it rids the music of some its perplexity. This is only noted because while this album is incredible, it still hasn't beaten the monstrous creation that is "Dark Space III". Proving their mettle in the world of cosmic black metal, Darkspace have still managed to create an album that only just misses the grandeur of their previous opus, an album that deserves all the attention it can get.

Download: Dark 4.18, Dark 4.20
For The Fans Of: Paysage d'Hiver, Sun Of The Blind, Trist, Blut Aus Nord
Listen: Bandcamp

Release date 06.09.2014
Avantgarde Music

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