Into the Dark Storm

review published: 8/21/2017


Darksworn is a one-man melodic death metal band from Oregon. Into The Dark Storm is the debut full length from the project.

Into The Dark Storm kicks off with the instrumental track "Embark." More a display of the range of melodic death metal and metalcore to be found later on the record than an intro track, Darksworn are actually at their best here. Swirling guitars lead the song's shifting grooves before dropping out into a piano based segue that leads into a melodic finish.

It's instrumental tracks like the opener and later "Chimera" and "Omega Centauri" – the former with its sweeping guitar leads and the latter with its synth driven dance beat – that work best for Darksworn. The songs are able to move more freely as the compositions spread themselves amongst a brighter palette.

The main issue with Into The Dark Storm comes via the vocals – a low monotonous growl that tends to bog the songs down. As tracks like "Dimensions" and "Damnation" drive through well-structured changes and impressive guitar leads, the one-dimensional vocals take center stage, obscuring the instrumentals that have been relegated to the back of the production.

As the album progresses, a more experimental vibe begins to take over as Darksworn work in various sounds and textures. "The Ancient" features a heavy palm muted riff over an 80's horror soundtrack synth while "The Time Wanderer" takes a brief spacey break before its ending.

Into The Dark Storm benefits little from its production. With its ultra clean and mechanical sounding drums (an electronic kit, I presume) contrasting with its muddy low end, monotone vocals and thin sounding guitar tone, it tends to lose any potential aggression. The musicianship is too solid for such a flat sound.

Bottom Line: Though this is certainly not a flawless debut, Darksworn could truly be an interesting band with some fine-tuning, as there is plenty of potential to be found on Into The Dark Storm.

Track Listing: 01. Embark 02. Dimensions 03. Collide Andromeda 04. Chimera 05. No War Worth Fighting 06. Treading On Mercury 07. The Ancient 08. The Time Wanderer 09. Omega Centauri 10. Damnation 11. Hydra 12. Gravity