Album Review: Darklore – The Evil of Man (Self Released)
Brisbane based metal quintet, Darklore, are out with a brand new release treating us to blackened hymns from both familiar and foreign realms. The Evil of Man is out on January 29th 2021.
Blending fantasy with the harshness of thrash metal then layering a thick and grimy touch of blackened death and throwing in some elements of symphonic metal. The Evil of Man is a cauldron bubbling ominously away. You know you really shouldn’t drink from it but the temptation is far to grand.
The fits and convulsions that follow are the sound of Darklore as they come screaming out of the darkness with The White Hand (following the symphonic intro of Retribution). There’s a ton of ferociousness and fiery grandness to the instrumentation here.
The flames are still burning even though there’s an icy wind blowing from The Ravens Return. The combination of biting riffs, near-feral vocals and eerie symphonic sounds makes for an unsettling listen. Then shadows creep in and there’s a bulbous vein of black metal darkness running through it with the aptly titled Forlorn the Light.
At the halfway point, the fever caused by drinking the poisonous liquid isn’t abating and Darklore still haunt nightmares. This time with something more war-like and bombastic in the form of the towering Castle Black. A belter of a listen and a great example of how well Darklore combine their different ideas and turn it into something magical. Wings of Fire has a bit of the old school thrashy metal about it whereas The Empire Has Fallen is as close to an ‘epic’ as you’re going to get here.
It’s not that Darklore are a unique proposition but rather that they do what they do so damn well. It’s that which will keep everyone listening on, especially as the final third of the album has songs getting longer and longer, culminating in a 15-minute finale. Before that though, From the Shadow crafts something crushingly intense, playful and quite pretty at times. Followed by the absolute beast of a title track. One that sounds like the mind is falling apart and Darklore are gleefully flinging the pieces around with complete abandon.
Which brings things back to the 15-minute finale, Curse of Frostmourne. Where an ‘epic’ length hides a detailed and nuanced listen. A smorgasbord of what Darklore do. Where speeding riffs and drums share the same space as troubling symphonic sounds and the horror of the black-infused vocals. A constant extra patch of darkness in a bleak landscape.
Hugely impressive and richly delivered.
Darklore – The Evil of Man Full Track Listing:
2. The White Hand
3. The Ravens Return
4. Forlorn the Light
5. Castle Black
6. Wings of Fire
7. The Empire Has Fallen
8. From the Shadow
9. The Evil of Man
10. Curse of Frostmourne
Darklore - The Evil of Man (Self Released)
The Final Score - 8.5/10