Darkane – The Sinister Supremacy (Prosthetic)

Sunday, 7th July 2013
Rating: 8.5/10

Lawrence Mackrory is back in the Darkane fold, bringing back all sorts of fond memories when the band’s Rusted Angel debut was a thorn in the side of melodic death metal circa 1999. Since vocalists are largely interchangeable in this field, it would be a reach to state Mackrory is the definitive voice of Darkane, even though he’s better equipped to handle the band’s treacherous technical turns than successors-then-predecessors Andreas Sydow and Jens Broman. So like virtually the rest of Darkane’s catalog, The Sinister Supremacy advances at a similar clip…you know what you’re getting, and it’s melodic death/thrash of the highest caliber.

Age has done little to diminish Mackrory’s vocals, who famously lent some guest vocals to “Chaos Vs Order,” the show-stealer on 2002’s Expanding Senses. If anything, he’s a bit clearer, as heard on the Hetfield-like chorus via the title track, as well as the stop-start climb of “The Decline.” Over top of those dazzling, punctuated riffs, though, Mackrory is ace, demonstrating a bit more burl and control than his predecessors.

Lots of numbers to get excited about. The thrash maelstrom kicked up on “Mechanically Divine” is a neck-snapper; “Ostracized” is in step with the above-mentioned Rusted Angel, only with more mature riffs, and the build-up, then acceleration on “Insurrection is Imminent” is an album highlight. Additional props go out to the main riff on “Humanity Defined,” one of those real brain-wreckers that Christofer Malmstrom and Klas Idleberg relish in, as well as the Meshuggah chug on “Collapse of Illusions.”

The ideal band to stare down the Gothenburg and Stockholm crowds, Darkane remains largely a fringe/cult commodity. You’d think that by now, their advanced, highly intelligent, and perfectly executed approach to thrash/death would give them more of a global presence, so it will be left up to the unknowing to decide how The Sinister Supremacy fares. If DR had its way, Darkane’s profile would be doubled what it is at the present time.

Darkane official site