Reviewer: Greg Watson
I love coming across bands that I've never heard of. Some of them are middle of the road and others are incredibly amazing and make me wonder how I missed hearing about said band. Darkenhold is of the latter variety. Upon listening to 'Memoria Sylvarum', the band's fourth album, I was immediately impressed and blown away. Their sound has its roots firmly entrenched in black metal but they melody and catchiness they apply really lends an ability to make this a very accessible release to those who find black metal a little too harsh for their palate. The lyrics are all in French so Google Translate is a must if you want to know what they're saying, unless you're fluent in French of course and then you're all set. I am incredibly impressed also with the quality of the vocals on the album, the rasp that it used along with the cadence is second to none. You can tell this band has a love of the classic black metal greats but want to carve their own niche in the genre. This album is really interesting too in that it could fit into the height of the 90's era black metal with some of the more avant garde bands but also seamlessly fits in with the resurgence of black metal that we've seen over the last few years. While this isn't progressive black metal, it's definitely forward-thinking given that the catchiness employed isn't something you typically find in the genre as well as the melody utilized by the guitars throughout the album. Overally, I am just totally enamored by Darkenhold and what they've created on 'Memoria Sylvarum'. This is one you definitely want to check out if you're a black metal fan and even if you aren't, you should give this one a shot, you might like it.
About this Writer:Greg Watson
// Greg Watson has been hooked on the loud and heavy sounds since the summer of 1994 when he first heard the opening notes of "Operation: Mindcrime" by Queensryche. Since then his tastes have expanded and grown like the ever evolving heavy metal tree of genres. He has been an active member of Maximum Metal off and on for 10 years. In his spare time, Greg enjoys deciding the fate of his loyal subjects in the realm of Skyrim and secretly playing air keyboard to "Separate Ways" by Journey when no one is watching. He currently resides in Roanoke, VA with his wife and his metal wannabe beagle.