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DarkTRANCE : Beyond The Gates Of Insanity

I must confess I had some serious doubts about reviewing this. Many factors made me think this wouldn’t be worth my time: Ukrainian one-man band was a starter and another one was the “Dark Metal” label of it. A label most often used to categorize everything that no one wants to review correctly.

Though this record will probably not become this year’s best achievement in Doom Metal, I must admit I enjoyed it to a certain extent. So, what does dreaded and loathsome Wikipedia tell us about the fundamentals of Dark Metal? “Genre that doesn't quite seems to exist. Seems to be a generic term for bands that don't quite fit in other categories.” Well, “Dark Metal”, besides being Bethlehem’s first release, is now just a fanfiction style that allegedly combines many genres like Black Metal (Death Metal?), Goth Metal, Doom Metal and sometimes Industrial Metal into one big musical maelstrom.

Shall we then check this out?

Black Metal: check. DarkTRANCE’s main vocals are your usual harsh raw vocals typically found in Black Metal. To a certain extent, the guitars are also reminiscent of Norway’s Black Metal.

Death Metal: check. DarkTRANCE’s second preferred choice in vocals are Death Metal growls. We’re doing good.

Goth Metal: check. Lyrical themes such like despair, despise and affiliated curses fill the whole record. Next.

Doom Metal: check. Okay, it’s dark (haha) and the heaviness of the guitars and especially the soli displayed here make that a go.

Industrial Metal: double-check! Fifth track “Duskworld” is an all instrumental industrial-ambient track on top of various samples used elsewhere.

Hey! It's Dark Metal allright! But then again, don’t expect treasures of depression and burden in Beyond The Gates Of Infinity. What actually struck me as fairly good in this record besides more than decent musicianship (for a one-man band, that is) is the overall feelings and atmospheres conveyed by DarkTRANCE's music.

One would expect longish tracks with a never-ending unique riff throughout the album or something even sadder than a Polish presidential plane crashing in Russia but DarkTRANCE managed to put something else entirely in their music. The musicality of this record is above average but what makes it stand on its own is its very unconventional upbeat feeling. Correct: upbeat. I’m not quite certain this was originally intended but the additions of Heavy Metal soli and faster drum pounding (as in faster than most Doom Metal acts) gave the album some undeniable groovy feeling. Besides the ambient/industrial filler that is Duskworld, all other tracks have this “rock n’ roll” feel to them.

Though I am perfectly aware that you might run away from the record with such a description, I firmly believe that this highly original approach should pave the way for even more interesting releases in the near future. Again, not this year's record, or any other year for that matter, but something that should be worth it if you're looking for some more originality within a scene whose lack of originality has long since been a trademark.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Beyond The Gates Of Insanity
2. Halfdrained
3. Don’t Want To Miss You
4. Dreams Are Hollow
5. Duskworld
6. Shadows Of Spirit
7. Alone

Duration : Approx. 41 minutes

Visit the DarkTRANCE bandpage.

Reviewed on 26-06-2010 by Frédéric Cerfvol
No God Only Pain
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